"Here's an idea: you want to be a millionaire, why don't you go market your d--k?" -TanyaI talked a lot about the reasons why I like this show in my review on Thursday, so I just want to hit a few points here and see what you all thought of it.
"She definitely meant it as an insult, but somehow, I couldn't get the idea out of my head." -Ray, narrating
The first is the charming, utterly self-deprecating performance by Thomas Jane as Ray. Not many actors could make a guy this pathetic -- even someone who recognizes and even embraces his own pathetic nature -- as likable as he does, nor could many make him seem as human even as he's being such an imbecile in so many ways. He and Jane Adams (and the double-Jane thing is going to get confusing in future blog entries, I fear) work very well together, and I loved his reaction to her excessive climaxing, and then having to listen to her post-coital poetry.
The second is that patience is going to be required here. Again, look at "Breaking Bad" as the model, and not just because both deal with high school teachers resorting to a life of crime to pay the bills. "Hung" is going to take its time getting Ray's career as a male prostitute(*) -- and Tanya's parallel career as a pimp -- off the ground. As "Breaking Bad" has shown (and as "The Wire" has, though I'm not yet prepared to set the bar remotely that high), series that show a little patience in depicting people learning how to do their jobs can reap big rewards as their characters get better at them. I've seen Ray make some progress in his man-whoring in later episodes, and it feels much more satisfying than if things had worked out just fine with the lady in the hotel who slipped the 50 under the door for his trouble.
(*) And if you're of a certain age, you can't hear that phrase without thinking of Dan Aykroyd as the decidedly less-glamorous Fred Garvin: Male Prostitute.)
The third, which I didn't have room to deal with much in the column, is that Ray's ex-wife and maybe his kids are on probation for me. Anne Heche is usually an acquired taste for me (while I didn't like "Men in Trees," it at least seemed to dial back her quirks a bit), and the role of Jessica seems to play to her more annoying qualities.
But for me, the show is about the reluctant partnership between Ray and Tanya, and the interplay between our two acting Janes, and I look forward to seeing more.
Keep in mind that the show isn't on next week because of the holiday weekend. (Which makes premiering it tonight odd, other than that the extra length would mean "Entourage" might need to be pushed back another week.)
What did everybody else think?