Hung : Season 1

  • Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 28, 2009
Season #: 1, 2, 3
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Hung has more to offer than just John Thomas jokes. Amidst all the sniggering humor about how Ray has been taught to "do your best with the gifts God gave you" is some smart comedy about the state of 21st century America in general, as well as a superb lead performance from Thomas Jane.
  2. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    80
    Jane and Adams' interplay, the willingness to let the story gradually unfold and the project's disarming sensitivity (exemplified via a splendid fourth-episode guest shot by Margo Martindale) helps elevate Hung well above its gimmicky title--and gives HBO another improbable series that actually looks well worth hanging onto.
  3. 80
    Hung is much more subtle and charming and odd than its name or its concept imply.
  4. You will find yourself cheering Ray onward and upward! And yes, I am ashamed of myself.
  5. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    75
    What's new here? Nothing, really. Jane is likable, Adams is, too, and so--believe it or not--is Hung. That's another problem. Hung needed to be scabrously funny. Instead, it's just middlebrow amusing.
  6. The pilot, directed by Alexander Payne ("Sideways"), is superb, and the first handful of episodes (there are 10 in the season), prove that the writing is consistently strong, the characters multidimensional and the tone assured and surprising in its depth.
  7. 75
    Hung is worth watching. There are worse ways to spend your nights than with Ray Drecker: male prostitute.
  8. The show is pretty darned funny, especially once you get past the 45-minute pilot and into the half-hour regular episodes (smaller is better, actually).
  9. Jane is utterly believable as the hapless Ray, who, during the show's first four episodes, lurches from one disaster to another. But his character's a little too weighted down - and, no, not by the equipment you never actually see - to make his leap into male prostitution seem like anything but a plot device forced on him by writers trying a little too hard to make a point.
  10. While it sounds like a one-joke conceit, and a sophomoric one at that, this HBO series is oddly beguiling, a downbeat screwball comedy in R-rated clothing.
  11. 70
    This promising series is really about a failed optimist, driven by the recession and his own midlife depression to sell his body to rich ladies.
  12. Despite some less-than-stellar story lines--Ray's feud with his rich neighbor, his constant referral to how things have changed since his parents' day--Ray comes across as a genuine Everyman. Who just happens to have a certain God-given talent that will allow him to survive.
  13. The premise, and all the talking around it that we're forced to do in the name of propriety, is kind of laughable. Tomorrow's premiere, in which Drecker's house, and all the memorabilia from a legendary high school sports career, burn up in a fire--not so much. But the show picks up.
  14. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    70
    This show makes a virtue of vice in its own way. Co-imagined by Alexander Payne, who directed the pilot, Hung is a purposeful lark about emasculation.
  15. 70
    Thomas Jane exudes a convincing odor of despair as Ray. So does Jane Adams as Tanya, one of his former one-night-stands who abandons her abysmally failed career as a poet to become his pimpette. If anything, they're too convincing; the humor in Hung tends to get blotted out by the melancholia.
  16. 63
    Its virtues have been buried under the kind of meandering plots and underpowered dialogue that mark so many TV comedies these days, which seem unable to decide whether they'd rather be unfunny comedies or insufficiently serious dramas.
  17. HBO bills Hung as a comedy, but it uses comedy the way it uses sex--to set up darker, more interesting and complex points. It's amazing how many of those are out there.
  18. Thomas Jane and Tanya Skagle's performances aside, Hung remains, despite all efforts to inform it with larger meaning, trapped in being all about just what that title says.
  19. 60
    Since the show steadily improves as the first few episodes progress, Hung can hardly be written off as a failure.
  20. Thomas Jane, though, is a revelation--he plays hopeless haplessness without coming off wimpy, and his initial uncomfortableness as a pro gigolo is charming. But Hung's awkward tone becomes frustrating.
  21. 50
    Hung, despite some droll humor and the occasional dry insight, is even more of a disappointment.
  22. It's possible that Hung will lighten up as time goes on. The weak ending to Sunday's pilot is trite and feels like a half-hearted effort to be uplifting. It doesn't work.
  23. 50
    That is profound stuff--if only the series did a better job of capturing it. The idea that all he has to sell is himself is an interesting one intellectually, but it doesn't play very well onscreen.
  24. It’s not impossible that the show might become, as it seems intended to be, a sitcom take on Susan Faludi’s Stiffed, a perverse fable about the way a man emasculated by the economy learns to strut. But to do that, it would have to have a grander, more empathic vision of the world around Ray. Right now, it just doesn’t go deep enough.
  25. 50
    Lacking the poetic and poignant touch that might help make the ridiculous sublime or the sublime ridiculous, HBO, under cover of a dangerous and racy premise, has created a middlebrow comedy that, like its main character, looks good but has little to say.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. KittyC
    Aug 23, 2009
    10
    I love this show. Thomas Jane is humble and likeable. Jane Adams is excellent and quirky It has kind of a coming of age sort of quality. Im a I love this show. Thomas Jane is humble and likeable. Jane Adams is excellent and quirky It has kind of a coming of age sort of quality. Im a fan and hope they continue to air this series. Full Review »
  2. EstherM
    Sep 21, 2009
    9
    This show is so different from all that mediocre stuff out there and so well written that I think about it during the week and write my own This show is so different from all that mediocre stuff out there and so well written that I think about it during the week and write my own plotline in my head. I really hope it continues. Full Review »
  3. ZackW
    Aug 1, 2009
    9
    The show is genuine and engrossing. It starts slow but the show picks up steam when Ray begins embracing his new role in life and he realizes The show is genuine and engrossing. It starts slow but the show picks up steam when Ray begins embracing his new role in life and he realizes that is a race against time to save his home and his children. By the 4th episode, he has grown into his role and calls himself "a professional." I also enjoy the use of Detroit as a character in the story, much as HBO harnesses the flavor of LA in "Entourage" and New York in "Sex and the City." Ray reflects the city's storied history and struggle to rise again to past glories. Full Review »