On paper, HBO’s latest offering, Hung, starring Thomas Jane, should be a smash hit.  A man (Jane’s Ray Drecker) who is stuck in a dead end job (as a history teacher and basketball coach) is down on his luck and needs to make money quickly.  Rather than ask for a raise or look for a better situation, he makes the most of what he has.  What he has happens to be a larger than normal male part of the anatomy, so together with his kind of needy new best friend (and pimp), he sets out to be the best male gigolo money can buy.

Like I said, on paper, it should be a smash hit.  However, in real life Hung leaves me feeling anything but satisfied.  The motto of “if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again” is not only Ray’s mantra after a few mishaps; it seems to be the show’s theme.  The pilot is heavy on exposition and Jane’s gruff persona (with a little bit of bitchy-Anne Heche thrown in), but light on humor and anything new.  Episode 2 tries again to impress, trying for jokes, trying to be darkly comedic, but it didn’t have me yet.  I went on to the next episode, hoping for something to truly convince me that this is worth watching.  Episodes 3 and 4 came and went without much fanfare, trudging along with not much movement in story.   

There could be something here, buried beneath the muddied story and not that likeable characters, but there’s nothing jumping out at me as “must watch.”  I’ll give it a chance to convince me otherwise, but for now, it’s voted a no.

Premiere: Sunday, June 28 on HBO 10PM EST