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TV Review: HBO's 'Hung'

Hung, starring Thomas Jane as Ray Decker, is a new HBO comedy about a well-endowed high school coach who becomes a gigolo in order to make ends meet. It debuted Sunday night. (Watch a preview clip below.)

Hung’s awkward tone (partly intentional, since the pilot was directed by Alexander Payne, writer- director of that gem of awkward comedy Sideways) becomes frustrating. The series needs to commit: Either evolve into a funny, sexy stud-romp or hang it up.”

-Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

“Amidst all the sniggering humor…is some smart comedy about the state of 21st century America in general, as well as a superb lead performance from Thomas Jane.”

-Alan Sepinwall, The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.)

Hung is worth watching. There are worse ways to spend your nights than with Ray Drecker: male prostitute.”

-Paige Wiser, Chicago Sun-Times

“Despite some less-than-stellar story lines…Ray comes across as a genuine Everyman. Who just happens to have a certain God-given talent that will allow him to survive.”

-Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times

“It’s worth a look, but it is not a series to build your viewing night around.”

-David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun

“Thomas Jane…exudes a convincing odor of despair as Ray. So does Jane Adams as one of his former one-night-stands who abandons her abysmally failed career as a poet to become his pimpette. If anything, they’re too convincing; the humor in Hung tends to get blotted out by the melancholia.”

-Glenn Garvin, The Miami Herald

Hung has potential, but a show about an amateur male gigolo trying to make ends meet should be funnier, or at least more dramatic.”

-Michael Shrage, The Huffington Post

“It’s hard to imagine this premise yielding years of rich development. But, if you can get past the title, Hung does offer a warm portrait of underdogs, as well as another piquant moral quandary for viewers.”

-Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe

“Nothing in the extended pilot makes you think there’s enough to fill a series, and nothing in the three episodes that follow does anything to alter that impression.”

-Robert Bianco, USA Today

“HBO bills Hung as a comedy, but it uses comedy the way it uses sex - to set up darker, more interesting and complex points. It’s amazing how many of those are out there.”

-David Hinckley, New York Daily News

Watch a preview clip below: