Hung: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS 5.1, Spanish DTS 2.0
- Subtitles: English SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish, Swedish
- Region: A (B? C?)
- Rating: TV-MA
- Running Time: 315 Mins.
- Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
- Studio: HBO Home Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: September 27, 2011
- List Price: $49.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
The character of a female prostitute in film and television are a dime a dozen. In fact it stretches back way beyond the era of television and film to the days of stage and troupes. There are so many, it wouldn’t be worth it to begin to recount them all in the span of this article. Male prostitutes on the other hand are a rare breed. I can refer to Midnight Cowboy and American Gigolo and have plenty of fingers left to calculate how many pieces of work have ever focused on them. HBO’s latest hit half-hour “dramedy” Hung focuses on just that, a male prostitute.
Hung is another in a long line of HBO series that hits you upfront with shock value, but once you settle into, you realize there is so much more going on beneath the surface. Season one set up the premise of the series. Set in the crumbling economy of Detroit, former legendary high school athlete Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane) is now a middle-aged divorcée struggling to get by as a high school coach. To help make ends meet he is convinced to cash in on his natural endowment by his friend Tanya (Jane Adams) and becomes a male prostitute to lonely older women, with her as his pimp.
Season 2 continues the story, but now Ray and Tanya have taken on “life-coach” Lenore Bernard (Rebecca Creskoff) as a co-pimp, disrupting Tanya’s life financially and emotionally as the slick Lenore and Tanya battle it out to control Ray’s clientele. Meanwhile, Ray is still in love with his ex-wife Jessica (Anne Heche) and hoping to get back together with her as she begins to have doubts about her marriage to Ronnie (Eddie Jemison).
All of this is set against the slumping American economy in one of the country’s hardest hit cities, Detroit, with references to teachers being laid off, doctors making a fortune because more people are having heart attacks and the general malaise of an American dream left by the wayside, Hung is a timely and sexy comedy that continues to mature in its second season.
Hung is not the sort of show that is going to offer lots of eye candy. The image is straightforward without a lot of special effects or nuance, but this AVC 1080p encodement is a strong one nonetheless. It provides natural flesh tones, sharp foreground detail extended well into the backgrounds and good shadow delineation. Whites look a little hot from time to time and some spots look just a bit heavily grained and rough, particularly in the skies or flat colored walls and such.
The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack provides clean dialogue and a wide stereo field across the front. Dynamic are expansive, but certainly not anything rivaling a cinematic special effects extravaganza. The surround channels fill with a decent level of atmospherics, but they could be just a bit higher.
Interesting, but not compulsory, creator audio commentaries for select episodes make up the bulk of the extras on Hung. Unfortunately there are no commentaries with the cast included. Besides that a few deleted scenes and brief “making of” featurette round out the supplements.
The supplements provided with this release:
- Audio Commentary on Episode 1 “Just the Tip” with creators/executive producers Colette Burson and Dimitry Lipkin
- Audio Commentary on Epsode 4 “Sing it Again, Ray” or “Home Plate” with creators/executive producers Colette Burson and Dimitry Lipkin and writer Brett C Leonard
- Audio Commentary on Episode 7 “ The Middle East is Complicated” with creators/executive producers Colette Burson and Dimitry Lipkin and writers Brett Leonard and Kyle Peck
- Audio Commentary on Episode 8 “Thrid Base” or “That Rash” with creators/executive producers Colette Burson and Dmitry Lipkin and writer Julia Brownell
- Audio commentary on Episode 9 “Fat Off My Love” or “I’m the Allergen” with creators/executive producers Colette Burson and Dmitry Lipkin and writer Angela Robinson
- Hung: Inside the Series (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:13:27)
- Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:16:00)
The Definitive Word
If you haven’t seen Hung, then it’s time you started watching. I’d only previously given it a peek here and there, but after sitting through this entire season, I think I’m hooked.
Additional Screen Captures