Gigolo Comedy Pays Off for HBO

HBO's newest is more than a sex gag, but needs to develop further
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2009 3:39 PM CDT

(Newser) – Critics are split on Hung, HBO's new series starring Thomas Jane as a down-on-his-luck dad who becomes a gigolo. Though it's deeper than its salacious premise, the show, which makes its debut Sunday, isn't living up to its potential.

  • Hung "represents a wonderfully positive step for HBO, which has nurtured a series that is so much more than its title and something you wouldn't see on a network," writes Tim Goodman for the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • The pairing of the leading man and Jane Adams "proves top-notch—each of them equally damaged, desperate and confused," writes Brian Lowry for Variety.

  • Michael Shrage, writing for the Huffington Post, disagrees: "Maybe it's the predictable cliches or the oddly scattered side plots, but something just doesn't work," he writes. "A show about an amateur male gigolo trying to make ends meet should be funnier, or at least more dramatic."
  • Although Jane "is a revelation," writes Ken Tucker for Entertainment Weekly, "Hung's awkward tone becomes frustrating. The series needs to commit: Either evolve into a funny, sexy stud-romp or hang it up."
(Read more Thomas Jane stories.)