Friday, 26 June 2009

Illegal Review 1: Hung episode 1...

So I originally intended for this blog to have both reviews of free stuff and of things that should be free, but have been far too lazy to do so yet. Until now. Anyhow... firstly... What´s an Illegal Review?

Illegal Reviews are where I review things that are either illegally downloaded, or should be illegally downloaded to boycott those who seek to destroy the free nature of art by imprisoning it with the chains of copyright. Since I´m a weak person I cannot promise that every item review is illegally downloaded, but just because I occasionally buy stuff doesn´t mean you should.

Season 1 episode 1

Rejecting is hard for newbie man-whores.

Like for most people with taste, HBO has almost singlehandedly managed to restore my faith in American TV-series. With writing at a level that´s often far above your average Hollywood blockbuster, and great production, shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, and Deadwood are amongst my favorite pieces of newer cinematic art. Even the shows that I personally never got hooked into, like Sex in the City, Rome, and Six Feet Under, are truly admirable and finely crafted undertakings.

Now, debuting sometime soon, Hung is HBOs newest attempt at a quirky comedy-drama, created by Dmitri Lipkin, who also did The Riches, and his wife(?) Colette Burson. Having never seen The Riches, even though I´m a big fan of Eddie Izzard, I didn´t have any special expectations from Hung, and I don´t think expectations would have helped much.

Hungs plot is about a divorced and broke high-school teacher and coach, Ray Drecker, played by Thomas Jane of The Punisher fame, who decides to use his big penis, which remains mysteriously absent from the show, to his economic advantage and become a male prostitute.

The first episode is directed by Alexander Payne, whose biggest claim to fame has to be About Schmidt, and tries to tell the story leading up to Rays decision to become a man-whore. Unfortunately the story is told by loads of half-clever voice-over narration that never manages to amuse or enlighten much, and does a very poor job at making one really believe this regular-Joes reasoning behind jumping into his new career.

Other than that the direction is competent, with some funny quick cuts in time here and there, and generally good dialogue and acting. Few of the characters really stand out yet, but there is potential for them to grow. The poet lover, played by Jane Adams, starts off as noisily annoying as the script dictates, but ended up charming me. Anne Heche is suitably bitchy as the ex-wife, and Eddie Jemison is his usual amusing self as the new husband. The drama between Ray and his kids never really grabbed me, as neither kid seems like very convincing characters as of yet, but I´m willing to give them time.

And all in all that´s my judgement of the whole episode. I´m not convinced by the slightly awkward mix of comedy and drama but I´m willing to give it some time, at least until we get to the actual whoring. We need more shows about male-prostitutes.

So... Hung may yet prove to be well-hung, but I give episode 1 a score of a half-erect penis out of full boner:

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