Hung – Tucson Is the Gateway to Dick or This Is Not Sexy (S02E02) – Episode review

This is a fleeting review of the Hung season 2 episode Tucson Is the Gateway to Dick or This Is Not Sexy. This episode has already been reviewed by our telly blogger Jo Curtis, so go check out that review for another opinion.

Following on from the season two premiere, Ray’s neighbour buys him a bed after complaining about having to have sex on his floor. Well, it was leaving horrible scrapes on her knees. He gets on his high horse and rejects the gift though.

Elsewhere, Tanya ruins a meeting between Lenora and a prospective client, proving that she’s a total idiot when it comes to the pimp game. In order to redeem herself, Tanya goes to the woman’s house and messes everything up. She gives her croissants only to be told she’s a diabetic and comments on the Christmas tree still being up in April, only to discover the woman’s husband died at Christmas. Awkward!

And Lenore’s still giving her the runaround – setting up meetings with Ray and giving her the wrong times, etc. And referring to Tanya as her intern. She’s wonderfully wicked, isn’t she?

And Ray continues to service the pregnant client called Claire (played by an oddly sexy Kathryn Hahn). But when he discovers that she’s not answering calls from her estranged husband, he can’t resist giving her relationship advice. Which, of course, she’s not interested in. Because he’s Rent-A-Cock, right? He’s not paid to have opinions. Lenore steps in with a stern dressing-down, but Ray still feels the need to give Claire the benefit of his experience. And that’s not a euphemism either.

The beauty of this is that it’s Ray acting out his regrets through Claire – he doesn’t want her to give up too easily, but it leads to conflict between them. Jessica says something similar to Darb later on when she tells her that she’s forgiven for her harsh comments in the previous episode, because she knows that in 20 years time, Darb will feel bad about her words. I doubt it, though. Ray and Jessica’s kids are truly horrible teenagers.

And Darb’s continued abuse of her mother drives poor Jess back to Lenore. Can you imagine that? You drove your poor mother to rent a prostitute…who’ll probably turn out to be your father. Confusing.

The end of the episode inexplicably shows us Ray simply giving in. He takes Lenore’s advice and does what he’s paid to do. He even accepts the memory foam mattress from his sexy neighbour. Quite right, too. I just don’t see where this regular dalliance with his neighbour is going – it’s like a plot thread that promises to pick up later in the season, hopefully when her vile husband finds out.

Likewise, the strange physical closeness between Darb and her brother seems to be becoming a theme. Certainly in the last two episodes, they’ve been talked about and Jess has given them both worried looks when they’ve been hugging. But the brother (whose name I’ve forgotten) was teetering on the edge of being gay last year, wasn’t he? So what gives?

Is it a comedy or a dramady?

Something I’m picking up in other reviews is the distinction between a comedy and a dramady. I’m not sure it’s either, and I think the key to enjoying Hung is to treat it in a soap-y way. There aren’t going to be any big events per episode, but the joy is in watching how everything comes together. As I watch it, I find myself wondering whether Ray will keep his job, or if his kids will find out what he does, or if he’s really interested in his ex-wife. Does his job as a prostitute make him crave physical intimacy?

I do agree with something other reviewers are saying – Lenore and Tanya (espoecially Tanya) need to get better about courting clients. We’re not seeing enough of the process to believe in them. And if every week is going to result in a screw-up of one kind or another, it’ll become formulaic and boring. Happiness Consultants need to get better at their jobs.

Still, I’ve enjoyed the first two episodes, and I’m more than looking forward to the continuation of the season. The storytelling is subtle and if you don’t expect to be ROFLing at every bit of dialogue, it’ll be much more enjoyable. Trust me. Manage your expectations. [[Hung (TV Series)|Hung]] is not a comedy.

Selected quotes:

  1. Ray’s neighbour: “You can fuck me, but you can’t take a mattress? Don’t be stupid, Ray.”
  2. Jessica’s mother: “Teenagers hate everybody. Pent-up hormones. Once they have sex, they calm down. You were happy teenager because you were slut.”
  3. Jessica’s mother: “Friends with first husband…goodbye second husband.”
  4. Lenore: “Ok Ray, it’s my fault. I confused you with my talk on stripper theory. So, let me simplify. Your job is to take your penis and stick it in Claire’s vagina when she tells you to. And take it out when she tells you to. You’re not her shrink, you’re not her marriage counsellor, you’re not her priest.”
  5. Ray: “Sometimes a mattress is just a mattress. And it feels fucking great.”

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