Jul/2019

Hi Bryan Here….

I just love this original series from HBO.  It is so much fun to watch and Thomas Jane is hilarious as a recently divorced high school teacher who moonlights as a male prostitute.  This second season progresses the story of a man who tries to put his family back together by earning more money in this failing economy by pleasuring women.  What an excellent and fun show.  Watch it.

THE SERIES

Desperate times call for desperate measures and Ray Drecker’s situation couldn’t be much tougher. The former high school sports legend turned middle-aged high school basketball coach is divorced and struggling to provide for his kids when his already run-down house catches fire. Looking to take on a second job, Ray decides to exploit his best asset in a last-ditch attempt to change his fortunes.  Below is an episode break down of the second season.

“Just the Tip”
Ray’s new co-partnership with Tanya and Lenore gets off to a rocky start when he “holds back” during a tryst with Claire, a client, so he turns to Tanya for advice. Later, Ray and other teachers picket the school in anticipation of summer layoffs. Jessica, already filled with doubts about her marriage to Ronnie and refusing to take calls from Lenore after her experience with the no-show gigolo, is stung by criticism from Darby and Damon. Looking to get an edge on Lenore and regain Ray’s trust, Tanya ventures into a tough neighborhood for liberating pimping advice from a real pro.
“Tucson Is the Gateway to Dick” or “This is Not Sexy”
Ray irritates Lenore and risks losing a client by giving Claire marriage advice. Tanya tries to prove she can land a big fish for Ray after being humiliated by Lenore during a meeting with a 60-year-old widow. Ray uses his sex earnings to pay for the school baseball team’s transportation to away games, raising Mike’s suspicions. Jessica embarrasses Darby by crashing an eat-in protest outside a fitness gym. At the end of a long day, Ray reconsiders accepting a gift delivered by his neighbor’s wife, Yael.
“Mind Bullets” or “Bang Bang Bang Bang Motherfucker”
Spurred by criticism from Damon and Darby, Ray tries to prove he’s not an insensitive ex-jock. Seething from the demands of her new boss at work, Tanya turns to Charlie for advice on how to deal with an even more irritable problem: Lenore. Meanwhile, Jessica feels the pinch of the economic downturn, but can’t stomach Ronnie’s remedy.
“Sing It Again, Ray” or “Home Plate”
Ray gives Lenore an ultimatum, and probes Tanya about the possibility of cutting ties with her fellow pimp. Disturbed that Damon has defiled the school baseball diamond, Ray considers Tanya’s suggestion that his son find a new hobby to shake him out of his recent doldrums. Ignoring Ray’s warning, Lenore offers Jessica advice in dealing with Ronnie. On his way to meet a new client, Ray has to think on his feet when he runs into Mike in a hotel lobby.
“A Man, a Plan” or “Thank You, Jimmy Carter”
Tanya finally gets Francis to agree to dinner with Ray and Lenore is continuing to be a pest as usual. Ray can tell that Mike is struggling to not continue with his life and tells that he needs to look at himself and tell himself that he is wonderful. Damon goes back to the Poetry Bar and embarrasses Darby after which he has a performance “enhancing” scone and sees Jessica and Ronnie naked. Ray has to choose whether to cancel on the big client or his son who needs him.
“Beaverland”
Jessica turns to Ray for help with a rodent problem that may be imaginary. Rebuffed by Ray in her attempts to add Mike to her stable, Tanya gets guilt-management advice from Charlie (Lennie James), then goes to extremes to prove her success. Ray has difficulty thawing a client who is cold as ice.
“The Middle East is Complicated”
When Tanya finds Lenore’s sweater in Ray’s bathroom, she goes to Charlie for some “relief” and Lenore finds out that Francis is no longer her client and vows revenge. Meanwhile, Ray is caught in the middle and needs to chose between Yael and a new Arab client, Samara. Things get a little complicated and it spirals for the twist.
“Third Base” or “The Rash”
Ray’s unscheduled appointment with Claire threatens his participation in a student-alumni baseball game; Frances has doubts about her affair with Mike and her business relationship with Tanya; Ronnie delivers a stern message to Ray.
“Fat Off My Love” or “I’m the Allergen”
Ray learns he’s going to lose his job, as his relationship with Mike deteriorates. Ray confronts Tanya about the money from Francis. Tanya assaults her boss, who was previously warned by Lenore of Tanya’s “sociopathic” tendencies. During an awards banquet, Ronnie publicly embarrasses Jessica by questioning her commitment to their marriage in front of the audience. Ray and Jessica share a late night dip and a kiss.
“Even Steven” or “Luckiest Kid in Detroit”
Ray considers a break from the business when he thinks that he might have a second chance with Jessica, but Lenore may not let him go that easily. Tanya tries to smooth things over with Frances after separate encounters with her mother and Damon. After an interesting ride home with Mindy, Ronnie returns to find that Jessica has made an important decision about their relationship.

THE AUDIO/VIDEO

The video is presented in a 1080p hi-def transfer with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio.  The colors pop nicely throughout the who series.  The blacks are deep and inky and the tones and textures are real, vibrant, and never do they look dull.  No flaws here.  The backgrounds are nice and pretty and rich in color, especially the greens.  Looks great.  The audio is a DTS-HD 5.1 mix and sounds great.  This is a mostly dialogue driven show, so most of the action took place on the front three speakers, but it was crystal clear and pristine. No crackles of any sort were heard.  The ambient noise from the city and clubs and of course the orgasms are loud and robust.  It sounds amazing.  HBO did a great job with the audio/video presentation on this disc.

THE EXTRAS

  • Five Audio Commentaries – Featuring Colette Burson and Dmitry Lipkin, co-executive producer/writer Angela Robinson, and writers Brett C. Leonard, Julia Brownell, and Kyle Peck.  Select episodes get commentaries by crew.  Some interesting info about the show, but it didn’t hold anything to entertaining.
  • Deleted scenes – Some deleted scenes from the season are here for your enjoyment, but I can see why they were left on the cuttin room floor.
  • “Hung:” Inside the Series featurette – Your standard behind the scenes making of season two of Hung.  Fairly decent making of doc.

THE ULTIMATE WORD

‘Hung’ is a highly entertaining show and is quite fun to watch.  The second season is just as good as the first if not better.  HBO did a good job with the audi/video presentation here.  Everything was for the most part great as far as the video and audio.  I wish there were commentaries on all episodes with the cast as well as the crew, but maybe for the third season right?  If you are a fan of the show, then this is a great season to own.  If you are new to the show, you will want to get the 1st season and this second season and enjoy the series.  I love it.

-Bryan Kluger

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