Episode Commentary: “Can I Call You Dick?”
The pilot of “Hung” set the scene for a fun, yet calmer ride than most expected. However, aside from a witty Thomas Jane [“61*,” “Punisher”] the show felt bogged down with annoying characters and a slowly-developing plot. Nevertheless, there was still enough to keep audiences in their seats and ready for another episode.
The second episode in the series however, while moving along at a brisker pace than the pilot, still lacks the elements needed for it to be a real hit.
The fact that this past week’s show was 30 minutes, rather than hour as well, hurts the development of the plot, making each episode feel stunted and flat.
“Eastbound and Down,” a show that thrives in a half hour spot, this is not. Nevertheless, this episode does pick up some of the slack from the pilot. The question remains however if it is enough to separate this show from the pack.
The relationship between Jane and Jane Adams [“Little Children,” “Last Holiday”] continues to develop and while it brings along some laughs, it is the inclusion of Lenore, played by Rebecca Creskoff that saves the episode. Her chemistry with Jane is fun and provides the show with it’s first real steamy scene, enough to keep both the guys and gals hooked for at least one more week.
However, like the first episode, the performances of Ann Heche, Charlie Saxton and Sianoa Smit-McPhee as Jane’s ex-wife and children leave something to be desired. While Heche’s performance works if you consider she’s supposed to be annoying, the work of Saxton and Smit-McPhee is a joke. These kids are supposed to be the reason why Jane is selling his body, but they aren’t the least bit sympathetic. Maybe that’s supposed to be the joke. Maybe it’s just poor writing and not the ability of these kids that is the problem.
The problem is, it isn’t funny. It’s intriguing, but not in the least bit funny.
Either way, it’s a case of the show not having a full-fledged niche, which is far worse than having characters you want to punch in the face, through the television set. If it doesn’t soon, there may be no audience around when it finally does find its identity.
The show is still intriguing enough to warrant a view of next week’s episode though. But one thing is for sure- this series needs an excellent episode this Sunday or else the possibility of the series lasting longer than a season will be minimal.