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October 4, 2015

'Hung' Season 2, Episode 9 Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Aug 30th 2010 2:00AM
Hung('Hung' - 'Fat Off My Love') After last weeks episode of 'Hung' a former student of mine left me this message on Facebook: "Vaughan, on Sunday we were over at a friend's house to watch 'Entourage.' Of course the topic of 'Hung' and it's terrific crappyness came up, but we all realized that collectively we hadn't watched enough to really judge. So we decided to break the mold and actually watch it, just to laugh at the lack of humor. Experiment failed after mayyybe seven minutes, it was too excruciatingly trite to even mock."

I chuckled, and realized that the show has been treading water for most of this season, and this week I think they tried to address that issue with some major blow-outs.

Who's Pissed?

Lenore at Ray: So much so that she hunts him down in the middle of school to shake him down for the Frances money -- money that she wants to retain her power over Tanya, and money that Ray believes was returned to Frances. Lenore brings out the big guns, seeking to regain her dominance. So, she's kinda pissed at Tanya too.

Mike at Ray: Mike thinks Ray had a lot to do with the dissolution of his relationship with Frances. When they both get their pink slips for the summer, Ray looks to commiserate and Mike gives him the ol' "find a new co-manager. Find a new third base coach. Find a new friend," speech. In the process, Ray comes to the realization that Tanya lied about returning the money to Frances, which leads us to ...

Ray at Tanya: He tracks her down at her office, and she avoids him as they chase each other around the room. Once cornered, Ray asks about the money and they leave the office to scream at each other. Tanya finally repents, but reaches her breaking point when Ray starts somehow judging her character. Tanya vents, "You know what happens to good people, Ray? They get sh** on! Good people have their best friends stolen by mean, conniving, red-headed bitches [Lenore]!" She really lets it fly, and all of a sudden this subtle ambiguous morality is thrust to the forefront of the show.

Ronny at Jess and Ray: He wants to know why she's with him, and typically, when you have to ask that of your spouse, things are looking grim. The incident with the rash and the baseball game really have him frazzled, but Jess insists to his face that she loves him, to the point of saying "If I'm not happy with you, I don't know what happiness is!" Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Charlie at Tanya: You know that person who you kind of know, maybe a neighbor or a friend of a friend, who just happens to pop in at the absolute worst times with asinine requests and lame stories about pets? That's pretty much Tanya to Charlie, and this week, he's had enough of her two-bit pimp operation: "You got one white man ho, who don't do dudes, and he bring you more headache than cash!" Same thing ruined my senior prom.

Jess and the kids at Ron: At a black-tie awards banquet for tool-bag dermatologists (at which Ronny is be awarded as the eight best Botox salesman in Detroit), he finds out about Jess seeing another doctor about her rash behind his back. He proceeds to launch into a tirade questioning why his "wife is allergic to the thought of having a baby with me?" As Jess and the kids leave, doused in both humiliation and relief. The whole scene had a very '80s teen comedy vibe to it.

Horny Patty at Tanya: Lenore's plan to regain control takes her to lunch with infamous client and Tanya's boss, Horny Patty. There, Lenore conjures up sociopathic images of Tanya, looking to get Tanya fired, and hence, crush her soul. The plan backfires as Horny Patty is not quite as versed in the manipulation game as Lenore. Patty berates Tanya in front of the whole office, continually calling her "T-Brain" (Lenore's brutal nickname for Tanya) and escalating the tension, while Tanya's response of "Don't call me T-Brain," builds like The Hulk's "you won't like me when I'm angry," until Tanya unshackles her belt and gives Patty a beat down. "Don't call me T-Brain! I'm a motherf***ing pimp," indeed!

Me at 'Hung': The show closes with a not-so-surprising Jess and Ray reunion. She shows up in his backyard straight from the "Ron's a Loser" banquet, and slips into her skivvies for a clandestine dip in the lake with a clothesless Ray. They have the obligatory splash fight that turns into a make-out session which we are left to assume is a segue into lake sex. With the season finale in two weeks (Sun., Sept. 12, 10PM ET, HBO), I just wish it were funnier so I wouldn't have to keep fighting with people about how good the show is, and be able to break free from the semantic intricacies its mired in. "Comedy?" "Drama?" Who cares, as long as there's naked pregnant women!

Sex Watch: Nothing but whatever your imagination wants to do with Ray and Jess in the lake. I added an octopus!

Full Frontal Forecast: Zilch.

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

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I think you nailed it on the head in regards to "Hung" and its problem finding an audience that appreciates it. It's billed as a comedy, but it is much more dramatic much of the time. That being said, it stilled moved too slowly for me up until these last two or three episodes. Now I'm just hoping Tanya gets her act together since she's basically the one causing ALL of her own and Ray's problems. I was surprised Charley put up with her for so long since she was really doing nothing favorable to anyone. She's even been screwing Mike over and he barely knows her!

But above all else, the episode was great for the first scene of Lenore walking through the school building. Rebecca Creskoff is simply stunning.

August 31 2010 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Takayo's comment
Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously)

It's so funny to me that Rebecca Creskoff's job before 'Hung' was as the mom on the Jonas Brothers Disney channel show.

I think Tanya just crossed the line between amusing and annoying with Charlie.

August 31 2010 at 12:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't see how someone wouldn't find Hung engaging. Grat cast? Got it (I still believe in my inner soul that Jane Adams is one of the best actresses of her generation and she deserves much more recognition than she's been awarded) Nude scenes? Got them. Excellent screenwriters? The ay the dynamic between all the characters seems to flow, how every week a new door opens, so that we don't get bored or, worse, they don't become stereotypes, is just amazing. Contemporary plot? Well, I think Ray is just another bankers-crashed soul, as is Ronny, and the whole subject of money, and the crisis, and being set in Detroit... I think it's a really good - if fictional, obviously - depiction of the feelings that our society is experiencing right now. And what else can be said? I just f***ing love the show.

August 30 2010 at 8:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to adriangl90's comment
Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously)

Good point. The whole scene with Tanya and Ray fighting at the site of the old Tiger Stadium points to the show's interest/concern with the current state of the economy and it's impact on people and communities.

August 31 2010 at 12:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, I still like it too. There are tons of shows with a higher suck factor. I'm hooked on the characters, and I can't wait each episode to see how much more a travesty their lives become. I hope the series ends in a true Hamlet manner, or something akin.

August 30 2010 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm also in the minority that enjoys this show. It's like me and Weeds. I know the show has become a ghost of it's former glorious self, but I care about the characters too much to stop watching, even though it's bad. With Hung, when it's good, I really care about the characters. What's sucked this season is how NOTHING ever works out for Tanya. Lenore should never have entered the show because it ruined the great friendship dynamic of Ray and Tanya that I really enjoyed watching in Season One. It just seemed like "how do we get these characters more screwed every week..." They kept digging a hole they never van get out of. As this season is winding down, what started as a cool dramady is becoming a sad tragedy. Nothing's working out for anyone, except I guess Jess's and Ray's long-awaited reunion. This was my second favorite episode this season though, the first being "Sing It Again, Ray" because they really fleshed out the character relationships well in both episodes. I'm going to be sad if the finale is the last episode of the series, but it seems no one else will.

August 30 2010 at 2:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Amar's comment
Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously)

I don't see how they can wrap everything up in one more half hour. So, either HBO bails, or they're back for a third season.

August 30 2010 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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