Remote Patrol: Hung

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

"God, you were magical! In high school, you were a king! You were beautiful and athletic and talented and smart and popular - and hung!"

So exclaims Jessica (Anne Heche) as she pulls away from her soon-to-be-ex-husband's driveway during the series premiere of HBO's Hung.

"What am I now, Jessica?" replies Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane), equally exasperated but much more even-keeled.

"Now you're just hung!"

Things only get worse. Ray moves into his rickety childhood home until damage from an electrical fire forces him into a tent in the backyard and sends his twin teenagers scurrying off to live with Mom and her new dermatologist husband.

By the time he enrolls in a get-rich-quick class at the local Radisson, Ray begins to think his oversized penis really is the only asset he's got left. So the high school basketball coach picks up a side job as a male escort and allows failed poet and former one-night stand Tanya (Jane Adams) to be his pimp.

Like the similarly preposterous Breaking Bad, the series lives and dies by its lead. Jane makes Ray likeable even as he bumbles through arrogant machismo and defeated self-loathing.

And although it's hard to believe a town wouldn't rally around its ailing basketball coach - and harder to believe it's warm enough to sleep outside during basketball season in Detroit - Ray's initial failure as a man-whore shows Hung is anchored firmly enough in reality not to descend into some porno fairytale.


10 p.m. Sundays, HBO

Grade: A-