Hung: “Do It, Monkey”
Posted by therebelprince on August 5, 2009
This week, Ray experiences the wackier side of prostitution, while Tanya slowly falls apart. It’s not the most fascinating installment, but at least everyone gets a moment in the spotlight.
Ray, moving up in the escort world with each passing trick, spends several days trying to please Jemma (Natalie Zea), a client who appears to want a very specific afternoon, which he just can’t seem to figure out. There’s a clever introduction to Jemma – when it appears as if Ray has stumbled upon her broken-down car – and his attempts at figuring her out are hilariously awkward. Jemma is sweet but ultimately tragic: the sex makes her feel more distant, the conversation never quite has the ring to it that she requires, and Ray isn’t canny enough to read her signals properly. As Tanya puts it, “I think this one’s impossible to please”.
Is this the shape of things to come for our well-endowed hero? A series of sweet vignettes told through the eyes of a gigolo? It’s a little bit Love Boat, I’ll admit, but I’m enjoying the guest stars so far. Then again, Ray’s offer to make Jemma happy at episode’s end seems pretty sincere: let’s hope he hasn’t fallen for a trick as messed up as she is. Zea is great, but if Ray falls for a client this early, we’re going to have very few cliches left come season two.
Meanwhile, Tanya falls apart after a meeting with Floyd, where his interest in her and her extreme lack of interest in him (fuelled, perhaps, by a growing attraction to Ray?) explode into a major argument. Things are not well for the kind-hearted pimp, and I’m not sure how long she can keep running her one-man Happiness Consultants Agency without breaking apart. (The cutest moment in the episode comes when Tanya trials preacher cookies with a piece of psalm inside. Part of me almost hopes she’ll succeed with her baking plans…)
And Jessica’s storyline continues to languish in third place: Doris the dog is dying, and we learn just how badly Ronnie was affected by the stock market crash. It’s not exactly earth-shattering fare this week, but I’ll give them some time. Again though, I feel as if we’re seeing these snippets of Jessica and Ronnie primarily because the actors are contracted, and so far I’ve been given no reason to care about them on the same level as, say, Tanya. (Besides the wonderful Anne Heche and Eddie Jemison). Anyway, just a thought to ponder for next time…