I keep forgetting this blog is supposed to be about pop culture...my bad. So am I the only person in the world who watched Hung (crappy title for a few reasons) on HBO or what? The second season ended recently. In an art class once, I painted a beautiful watercolor of a kangaroo, and my professor called it a "bizarre choice of subject matter". I guess the same could be said of Hung. It's about a divorced father, teacher, and baseball coach in Detroit, basically a regular guy facing financial problems. His house burns down and he loses custody of his kids. So to get some extra income, he turns to prostitution.
Bizarre show for an asexual to enjoy? Eh, I don't think so. I really liked the first season for the humor and the great acting of the two main characters: Ray, the prostitute, and Tanya, a poet by day, his pimp by night. They're very likable. Most of the characters on the show experience some kind of growth, and not just the major characters. The second season, while it had good moments, became increasingly odd and disjointed. Considering that, I'm actually kind of surprised that it got picked up for a third season.
As you might imagine, Hung contained a fair amount of sex. But it was usually depicted in a humorous way that didn't bother me. What tends to bother me about depictions of sex is a total irrelevance to the plot, and that definitely can't be said of Hung. Also, as someone who doesn't connect love and sex, casual sex (as long as it isn't abusive) is no more distasteful to me than sex in a relationship. Since Ray has veto power over his clients, there isn't really any coercion involved. But like Sex and the City, the main focus of the show isn't actually sex. It's more about the non-sexual tribulations of setting up this business, and its ramifications on the rest of Ray's life.
Two interesting things from the second season: Ray had a client who saw him because sex was always boring to her. And in the end...she was still bored. So, hey. Also, at the end of the second season (s p o i l e r !), when Ray and his ex-wife, Jessica, are realizing they still love each other, Jessica says that rather than just going from man to man, she wants to take some time for herself to figure out her own needs. I thought that was cool, and an extremely rare outcome for film/TV. I also like how Ray's daughter is shown as being into the Fat Acceptance movement, although it's randomly thrown in and not explored. Maybe next season?
If you like any other comedies from HBO, you'll probably like Hung as well...the first season is out on DVD, if anyone wants to check it out.