Everyone’s Starting to Know His Name

Hung-HBOEpisode Commentary: “The Rita Flower or the Indelible Stench”

This episode allows “Hung” to keep its promising run of solid episodes alive and strong. The series has truly found the best use of each character as we continue following the adventures of a male gigolo and his madam.

After this week’s episode, it’s official; the foreplay is over.

Ray Drecker opens the episode still wrestling with his feelings of romance towards his best customer Jemma (Natalie Zea). Drecker is so naive in being a gigolo that he mixes his lust with his emotions. He is not mentally prepared for the fall backs to his profession, which seem to be unsparingly understood by his clientèle. She is an interesting and multi-layered character that clearly wants a fake relationship with all the trials and tribulations of a real-life one. This makes her one very unusual and intriguing television character, proving some television writers (Emily Kapnek) are pursuing new concepts these days.

Jane is truly coming into his own as Drecker, which ultimately makes the experience of the series even more rewarding, especially as we watch him comically find new people for which he can become happiness consultants to. This all leads to a very steamy sexual encounter that will make audiences sweat a little more this summer.

This episode also expands on the already and strange love triangle that began last week because his madam, Tanya Skagle (Jane Adams) may have feelings for him. Not only that, but he may have feelings for her and they could be developing the seedlings of a love/hate relationship. The real question is will writers provide them with a Sam and Diane a-la “Cheers” type relationship? This is certainly an interesting approach to keep the audience coming back without using the desperate ploy of a mid-season cliffhanger.

“Cheers” seems to have a relevant influence on this week’s episode, as Skagle’s mother is played by Rhea Perlman. Her performance illuminates the many reasons as to why Skagle’s character suffers from low self-esteem. It is also a nice treat to see Perlman back on television.

Our introduction to Skagle this week has her in a bar slowly getting drunk due to the thought that in the last episode she was rejected by an ugly man. That feeling is truly the lowest feeling in the world and something that is never fleshed out in more popular shows. Even though this happens all the time, it is refreshing to see a sitcom portray real people as opposed to what is traditionally the norm. Nevertheless, soon after, things change for Skagle and the drama continues.

However, this new romance may hinder the feelings Drecker has towards Skagle, and give us even more of a reason to continue to watch next week.

With all of this going on this week, “Hung” has continued to develop something new for television audiences. With some more work, the upcoming episodes should solidify this as a great HBO series.

enablingAs the once famous ’80s band Crowded House once said, “Now we’re getting somewhere.”

This was the type of episode fans of this series were waiting for since the show first aired over two months ago. It’s not because of the steamiest sex scene on the show to date either. It’s the wit of Jane and his hopelessness to whore himself out for his overall betterment and his confusion as to what he really is.

The ultimate paradox.

The man is a prostitute and uses his talents to get what he wants and is then at conflict with himself after he falls in love with one his clients. However, this new love doesn’t stop him from “working.”

Great television my friends.

The developing storyline with Tanya is also an interesting one and is giving the show plenty of story ground to cover, making the 23 minutes every week fly by.

With all the pieces in the right place, it’ll be interesting to see how much stamina the show has.

-Patrick Hickey Jr.

About Anthony Benedetto 153 Articles
I have always had a tremendous passion for the cinema. For me, movies provide a great escape. When done right, the characters and stories are something that I am instantly drawn into. Over the years, I’ve unintentionally become a movie encyclopedia that I often find myself the recipient of late night phone calls from my friends while at Blockbuster [One such conversation between the Editor of this site and the film “Redbelt” immediately comes to mind.] As far as my preferences go however, I love both the cult cinema and the classics. My love of film ranges from features such as “Amadeus” to “Sorority Babes in the Slime Ball Bowl-A- Rama.” I have a long range of film heroes as well that include, Michael J. Fox, Lloyd Kaufman, Robby Benson, Michael Caine and Jeff Bridges. On this site, I hope to teach people about cult cinema and have them rent films that they normally would not, turning you into the monster that I have become. Someday, I hope to be the star and director of my cult film, employing the old stop motion techniques used in films like “Flesh Gordon.”

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