A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the title of this adult-themed dramedy (and many of its racy jokes) references the fact that main character Ray -- a "regular guy" who's drawn into the sex trade as a gigolo -- has a particularly big ... asset in his new sideline: a very large penis. The show is more talk than action from that perspective -- although there's still a good bit of both male and female nudity -- and the series' focus is really on Ray’s serious financial woes and his relationships with his friends and family. Still, in addition to the explicit sexual content, expect plenty of uncensored swearing, as well as some drinking and casual drug use.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Single dad. Washed out pro ball player. High school basketball coach on a losing streak. Flat broke. Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane) seems like the very definition of down and out. By his own (very low) estimation, he’s really only got one standout quality: a very large penis. Not that his genitalia is enough, on its own, seems to be enough to get him ahead in life. But when his house burns down and he’s on the edge of financial ruin, Ray starts to reconsider: Maybe his penis can help him earn some extra cash. And thus is born a most unlikely gigolo.
Is it any good?
As a conceit, HUNG seems pretty thin -- just as shallow as a bunch of high school guys (or older men who prefer not to grow up) who think that a big penis means so much more than it does. But this entertaining dramedy goes deeper than that. Yes, Ray seems glad to have been "blessed," and some of his lovers seem to appreciate it, including his extremely bitter ex-wife (Anne Heche), and Tanya (Jane Adams), a two-night-stand who becomes his pimp (she prefers to think of their business venture as an unusual marketing project).
But Hung isn’t just about sex. Sure, there are plenty of sex scenes featuring male and female nudity (though the title-making body part doesn't get any screen time). But this show is really about a regular guy trying to get by -- and how he deals with his choices. The scenes showing Ray with his clients are just a small portion of the show; the more interesting scenes show him juggling his increasingly complicated life (including hiding his new job from his two teenage kids) and his relationship with Tanya, who wants to teach him how to satisfy a woman (hint: It takes more than just a penis). And if Ray can learn that, it’s clear that he might be capable of learning much more.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the sex trade. Why does Ray become a male prostitute? Can you sympathize with his choice? Does the series make prostitution seem different for men than for women? How does this series compare to others that focus on men and women who sell their bodies?
Families can also discuss sex stereotypes. How does the show play into existing stereotypes? Does it dispel any of them?