HBO’s ‘Hung’ returned for its third season this Sunday. Ostensibly a comedy, the series often leans more toward drama. It’s about down-and-out characters scraping to get by, after all. The new season premiere, however, is all about the funny. In a welcome change of pace, the episode also finds our characters on an unexpected upswing.
I have to admit that I find the show’s double episode titles a little annoying. This one is called ‘Don’t Give Up on Detroit, or Hung Like a Horse’. Just pick one already. In any case, with the city’s economy still in the toilet, it’s not a good time for Ray to be laid off from his teaching job (like there’s ever a good time). Tanya, who barely avoided being evicted from her apartment last season, has been forced to work as a barista, presumably for minimum wage or close to it. So, happy times, right?
Then Tanya gets an idea that it’s time to legitimize their Happiness Consultants business. She wants to open a “wellness center,” where she will lecture women on how to understand their vaginas and achieve better orgasms. Ray will act as the totally unlicensed Male Therapist. The real money, obviously, will come from his “private consultations.”
Of course, you need money to start a new business, and they have none. After a series of rejections from every bank they apply to (with half-hearted explanations of being lifestyle coaches and selling hand creams), Tanya makes a direct plea to a female loan officer named Judy (Michaela Watkins from ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’) to take the seminar and see for herself, satisfaction guaranteed. Her ditzy and adventurous bank teller friend Joanie (Arden Myrin from ‘MadTV’) convinces Judy that it might be fun.
So Judy and Joanie listen to Tanya prattle about unleashing the power of her orgasms, and then go on a date with Ray. Judy is nervous and uncomfortable the whole time, but Ray manages to get them to a hotel room, where he’s sure he can take the situation in hand. Just as it looks like he’s got a nice threesome started, however, the girls lose interest in Ray entirely and shoo him out of the room so that they can continue on without him. The next morning, Ray and Tanya are approved for their loan.
(Although not A-List stars by any means, Myrin and Watkins are recognizable actresses who work frequently in mainstream, major-network television. It’s a little surprising to see them do a topless lesbian make-out scene here. Not that I’m complaining, mind you…)
Thus, the Happiness Consultants Wellness Center for Women is born. While Tanya’s lectures get the expected number of walk-outs, enough women stick around for Ray’s therapy consultations to make the business a rousing success. Ray bangs women left and right, upside and down, and brings in enough money to complete the long-delayed repairs to his house. (He tells ex-wife Jessica [Anne Heche] that he’s been doing odd jobs and personal training sessions.) Ray even buys a brand new Mustang. Things are finally looking up.
While this is going on, Lenore (Rebecca Creskoff) discovers a new young stud named Jason with a big dick, and starts him on the path of becoming a gigolo. The previews for future episodes make it clear that he and Ray are about to start a major rivalry for business.
The season premiere episode is upbeat and very funny, and chock full of sex and nudity. What’s not to like?