Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What I’m Watching: Hung (Season Finale)

Hung: Season 1, Episode 10 “A Dick and a Dream or Fight the Honey” (B+)

Just as suddenly as it began, HBO’s newest enticing comedy is done for the season. In a mere ten episodes, it gradually established a true potential to become something great, and I’d argue that these past few episodes have really been pretty spectacular. The cast is wholly terrific, and the season finale begins to explore other issues that haven’t quite been looked at fully yet, including the recession and the flexible fixture of tenure, and Ray’s children’s personal lives. I’m especially impressed by the incredibly dramatic phone conversation between Ray and Jessica at the end of the episode when he realizes that she is the one who hired him. It’s a wonderful serious note for the show to go out on, and I think that’s pretty terrific. HBO shows always seem to be a rung above the rest, and that’s certainly true here. The show took a few episodes to find its footing, but ever since, it’s been really solid. Lenore could have been a one-shot character, but fortunately she was brought back after the Jemma arc (which now seems like so long ago) was over. Having her interact with Tanya was priceless and her chance (or not?) meeting and subsequent get-togethers with Jessica were wonderful. The finale seems to imply that Ronnie is going to cheat on Jessica, and therefore even he, the most minor of minor characters, may actually become significant next season. Ray’s kids may have also have an increased role, and seeing the way they respond to each other’s unhappiness is really very inspiring, and a tribute to the kind of semi-effective parenting Ray espouses. And then of course there’s Ray and Tanya. The two work so incredibly well together, even if they’re constantly arguing and fighting about the way they should do business. Even though Ray doesn’t seem to appreciate it, they really do have an intense bond that runs deeper than friendship or business. I personally can’t wait for season two, and I hope that, like many HBO shows, later seasons have more episodes than the first.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Patrick Jane

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