Hung: Season One (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

I’m a fan of HBO’s original series and even some of their original movies as well. That’s not to say, however, that everything they put out is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Yes, I loved “Sex in the City”, wasn’t as fond of “The Sopranos” but watched them all anyway and am pretty much enthralled with “True Blood.” So along comes a series that pretty much announces its presence without anyone ever having to really see a single episode. It’s title: “Hung.” I mean, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what might be going on in the episodes. And the title of the series is none other than Thomas Jane, one of my favorite character actors. I loved him in “Boogie Nights” and even in some of his lesser-roles like “Deep Blue Sea.” He’s even played baseball icon Mickey Mantle in Billy Crystal’s “61*” a few years back. And we’re going from an American hero to a jigalo. Ah, the life of an actor.

“Hung” is pretty straight-forward in what it sets out to accomplish. Ray (Thomas Jane), has pretty much lost it all. His job, his house and his wife. He’s got teenage daughters that he doesn’t really relate to either. After he fails trying to start a business, he meets Tanya (Jane Adams) and the two form an unlikely partnership. She’s, well, his pimp which they call “happiness cnsulting.” Ray meets all sorts of women and it’s quite evident that Ray and Tanya have no idea what they’re doing. That’s fine though. Truth be told, even though I find “Hung” a guilty pleasure, I’m not sure how long the show will run. I just don’t see it in the same light as some of HBO’s other series. Still, it’s nice to see an avant garde series such as this and as long as its around, I’ll tune in.

Video: How does it look?

“Hung”, like most of HBO’s series, is shown in a 1.78:1 AVC HD transfer. The image, by and large (pardon the pun), is very crisp and clean. I feel the series is a bit more bright than some of the others, then again the only other series I watch is “True Blood” which is dipped in darkness from every standpoint. Flesh tones seem very warm and natural, detail is on the up and up and I’m hard-pressed to find much to complain about. While I feel there are other series out there that look a bit more natural and colorful (“Dexter” comes to mind), “Hung” delivers the goods – free of charge.

Audio: How does it sound?

All of the episodes are presented in a DTS HD Master Audio that are surprisingly robust. I watch the series in HD which doesn’t deliver an full uncompressed track and there is a bit of a difference in sound here. Dialogue is very strong and I think what really grabbed me was the surround sounds. I just really didn’t expect this much ambiance from a television series, but this Blu-ray set has proved me wrong. A good effort and one that I wasn’t expecting.

Supplements: What are the extras?

As far as supplements go, we get a trio of audio commentaries over the course of the season. We get some pretty candid remarks from the participants though it would have been interesting to have creator Alexander Payne in on the action. Sadly, he isn’t. We also get two promo pieces “Women of Hung” and “Ray and Tanya’s Personal Ads”, both of which are faily self-explanatory.

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