Powered by i.TV
September 1, 2015

'Hung' - 'The Middle East Is Complicated' Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Aug 16th 2010 10:00AM
Thomas Jane and Jane Adams in 'Hung' on HBO(Season 2, Episode 7) Well, so much for 'Hung' taking the high road and not making their show about sex, and boobs and vulgarity! This week has more nudity, more f-blasts and more gratuitous shots of Lenore's nether-regions to keep even the most insatiable, gutter-mouthed pervert content. It's amazing what writers and producer types will pull out of the bag of tricks when their show is getting stale. All this episode needed was a murder to complete the final leg of the cliche relay.

Episode six ended with Lenore on Ray's doorstep. Well, she went from there to walking around nude in his half-built house talking way too nonchalantly about coffee. It was apparent from the first sight of her breast that this episode was going to take everything up a notch. Watching naked people who aren't doing naked things (sex, shower, yard work) is off-putting after a couple minutes -- I don't care how perky Lenore's breasts are. I have been calling for more Lenore, however, so I suppose beggars can't be choosers.

The subject of Tanya comes up, and Lenore's true intent is revealed. Surprise, surprise! She's using Ray to make progress in the power struggle over him. She insists on telling Tanya about their liaison, clearly to make known her power, and of course Ray insists they don't tell Tanya out of guilt and their friendship. More and more we're seeing how guilt and prostitution don't mix. Lenore does, however, have a new client (Samara) for Ray, hopefully "a steady client that you @#$%, but don't @#$% up!"

Tanya is gloating with Charlie about her triumph over her mother, but Charlie ain't havin' it. As Tanya spews her feelings, Charlie deduces, yet again, that there's no room for feelings in the flesh game. He asks Tanya if she's "some kind of new, moral pimp?" To which she replies, "I'm not moral. I'm just saying I have feelings. I'm a pimp who feels!" I suppose there could be worse things. The scene ends with Charlie propositioning Tanya in order to work out all her stress.

One thing that 'Hung' should be applauded for is its positive representation of pimps. Charlie is the only true pimp on the show, yet I haven't seen even a trace of a diamond studded chalice or a falcon handled cane or an ankle-length purple fur coat. He's arguably the most intelligent and wise of all the characters, and the futility with which the other characters attempt to do the work of a pimp only highlights how proficient he is and how multifaceted such an overlooked occupation can be. Finally, a pimp the kids can look up to.

Ray starts picking Mike's brain for gigolo tips since he's having so much success with making Francis happy, and takes what he learns to his rendezvous with Samara. It's as if the yin and yang of television came together within this one episode. As I mentioned before, this episode ramped up the boobs and the beaver and the language, appealing to the basest of human needs, but the writers must have felt their own guilt over stooping to such a level, and balanced it out with some "substance."

Samara is an Arab woman, and when Ray clumsily stumbles into a conversation about hummus and the Middle East and Israel, Samara gets perturbed... and the distilling of the entire Palestine/Israel conflict into a show about a male hooker begins. Samara takes offense to Ray's ignorance brought on by his assumption that hummus comes from Israel. He knows this via slamming his neighbor, Yael on occasion.

Later, Yael bursts into Ray's house, enraged about her husband who "@#$%s prostitutes and pays them on our PayPal account!" (I had no idea you could do that!) Ray struggles with the words to console her, probably because, ironically, she's doing the same thing with Ray, only with hummus instead of PayPal. In her fury, she finds Ray's "Arab hummus" from Samara and escalates the tensions by screaming:

"Arabs can't make hummus for s@#t! You want hummus? You have me make it for you!"

Ray (going by what Samara told him): "I thought hummus was from Lebanon?"

Yael: "Oh my God! I can't believe I fu@#ed such an idiot! I am sick and tired of Arabs laying claim on what the f@#k is not theirs, and if you're naive and uneducated enough to listen? Then I have no time for you!"

So, years of unrest solved with hummus.

When Samara meets with Ray again, she's clearly been mulling over his stance on "hummus" for a while. As a prelude to bumping uglies she asks about Yael. "She's just a married Israeli who brings over her hummus?" Add "hummus" to your list of vagina euphemisms, right next to beaver, box and pussy.

Samara: "What else does she bring you?"

Ray: "Samara, what does it matter? We're having a good time here."

Samara: "What does it matter? Do you watch the news?"

Ray: "What does the news have to do with us?"

Samara: "You can't f@#k her and f@#k me and then play neutral. That's not how it works... now you've got to take a stand. Whose hummus do you like better?!"

Oh, metaphors! You're just so sneaky!

Meanwhile, the stress of Mike and finding out Ray and Lenore slept together pushes Tanya over the edge and into Charlie's bed. I know, right? Pimp-on-pimp action! They have connected on some level, and Charlie, as is his wont, brings up a concept way too philosophical for pimp pillow talk. He talks about "cultural tourism" and how Tanya's just psyched to be able to say she banged a pimp, while he gets to check "artsy white girl" off his list, but his talk is a veil for what I think might be feelings between them both.

Lenore goes to a book club meeting with Francis, and brings Jess. There she learns about the Francis/Mike/Tanya collusion from Francis herself, and launches into a borderline sociopathic tirade using elements of the book to vent her true feelings about Tanya and the entire situation, unbeknownst to anyone else, thanks to the deceptive power of metaphor! She exclaims, "When the apocalypse comes, I'll be fine!"

We then find Ray, back in his tent trying to make sense of everything. He hears his neighbor, Howard (Yael's husband), crying next door. A jaunt over his property line reveals that Howard likes how the whores make him feel. Not sexually, but emotionally and mentally. They lie about how good-looking and fit he is, but it makes him feel good regardless. He finishes his pontification on prostitutes by adding, "I like my wife better than the hookers, Ray. I do. But I like myself when I'm with them." Ray takes that warped nugget of wisdom and uses it in the next scene with Liz, the client who hates sex, from last week, telling her what she wants to hear.

Sex Watch: No fornication at all this week, just a whole mess of before and after lounging about with bits and pieces popping out everywhere. Ray actually has more clients than ever before, but they just talk. As mentioned before, Lenore just hangs out in a shawl for the first five minutes, and the pre-/post-coital parade comes to a screeching halt with a naked piano playing scene featuring Mike and Francis.

Full-Frontal Forecast: This week looked promising, as the very first thing we saw was a naked Ray walking across his kitchen. But that's all we got, fellow forecasters. At some point he's gonna put that thing on a leash and take it for a walk. Be patient.

Dr. Vaughan teaches English/Media/Humor courses at Binghamton University in upstate New York, and you better recognize. You can check out his blog at drvtv.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Ryan-Vaughan/21931402981

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

Follow Us

From Our Partners