Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hung: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review

Disc 1 Size: 31.0 GB
Disc 2 Size: 36.0 GB
TV-Rating: TV-MA
Region: A
The Video
Hung: The Complete First Season comes to Blu-ray with 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentations for all 10 episodes across 2 Blu-ray discs. Being an HBO Blu-ray release, I didn’t expect anything less than to be impressed and Hung does not disappoint at all.

The video is quite grainy, so grain haters will likely be annoyed by this release. However, those who appreciate the natural look of the film and detail will be ecstatic like I was. The show features a very pleasing level of clarity and detail levels can be particularly amazing.

Colors on the release are also very strong and pleasing to the eye. Black levels while not the inkiest, remain solid throughout. There are some softer scenes throughout the presentation, but they appear naturally soft.

Overall I am very impressed by the video presentation. While it may not compare to the very best on Blu-ray (True Blood for example) it definitely appears to be true to the source and accurate to intention. I can’t say I was disappointed at all. 8/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included. A Spanish 2.0 DTS Digital Surround track and French 5.1 DTS Digital Surround track are also included. Optional subtitles include English SDH, Spanish, French, Nederlands, Dansk, Suomi, Norsk and Svenska.

The show is definitely heavy on the comedy so I didn’t go in expecting a surround sound experience. The result? Not a surround sound experience. I can say that the audio experience is limited due to the show’s sound design, but that doesn’t mean it can’t impress.

Dialogue is presented front and center and is always crisp and clear. The film’s music also sounds nice as it expands to the surround speakers from time to time. Audio effects such as basketball games are bit more exciting audio-wise but that is about as good as it gets.

I wasn’t disappointed at all by the mix as it delivered everything it needed to in the most immersive way possible. The audio effects were nicely placed and there are some immersive moments throughout the season. Overall I don’t think anyone will find the audio disappointed if they go in with the right expectations. 8/10.

The Extras

Disc 1:

Audio Commentary on Episode 1 “Pilot”
With series creators/executive producers Colette Burson and Dmitry Lipkin.

Audio Commentary on Episode 4 “The Pickle Jar” or “Twice As Fat”
With series creators/executive producers Colette Burson and Dmitry Lipkin.

Disc 2:

Audio Commentary on Episode 8 “Thith Ith A Prothetic” or “You Cum Just Right”
With series creators/executive producers Colette Burson and Dmitry Lipkin and writer Brett C. Leonard.

About Hung (9:36) (HD)
Go behind-the-scenes of production, including crew and cast interviews.

The Women of Hung (7:20) (HD)
This feature is all about the ladies in Hung. It mixes a nice amount of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.

Ray and Tanya’s Personal Ads (1:53) (HD)
See some fun personal ads promoting Happiness Consultants.

The extras on this release are definitely decent, but it does leave bit to be desired. I wish trivia tracks or picture-in-picture tracks were included for the episodes, but sadly that is not the case. The behind-the-scenes features are definitely entertaining, but for a television release I definitely expected a bit more. Overall the extras are good, but ultimately lacking. 4.5/10.

The Season
Hung is just one of the latest series from HBO and for the most part I liked it. The series stars Thomas Jane as high school basketball coach Ray Drecker. While he was once a hot shot in high school with a promising future, reality has caught up with him.

Separated from his wife and a father of two, things go from bad to worse when his house catches on fire….leaving him living in a tent and his children wanting to move in with their mother. Down on his luck and needing to make money, he attends some entrepreneur classes.

At the classes he runs into Tanya Skagle (played by Jane Adams) who we learn he knew before, including working together and having occasionally sex together. They are both told to find their tool and market it, it doesn’t take long for Ray to realize that his friend downstairs could be his tool to success.

Tanya wants in on his plans and quickly makes herself his pimp, finding potential clients and setting up appointments with newly male prostitute Ray Drecker. This is where the story really starts and to be honest, not much happens throughout the season, but it is still quite an entertaining comedy.

I think the cast is quite great, but I do have a few complaints which many have had as well. Ray’s kids are just so incredibly hideous that it makes no sense how they can actually be the children of two decent looking adults. I’ve read some viewers thoughts in which they think it was an intentional joke of the show, which I can see why it would make sense. Regardless, those kids are UGLY, Lawwwwd have mercy!

The series while on a totally different subject than Nurse Jackie was quite similar to the show in which the show does progress, but quite slowly. The show is a comedy after-all, but unlike Nurse Jackie the show doesn’t leave you wanting to watch the next episode directly after one ends.

The show isn’t what I would call boring, it just isn’t gripping. For those looking for a fun and fairly entertaining series, you can’t go wrong with Hung. I don’t know of another comedy that is about male prostitution, so it is unique in that aspect. However, I do admit that there are definitely better comedies out there and on Blu-ray as well.

Overall I definitely enjoyed the first season of Hung. Hopefully the second season develops a bit more story-wise and hopefully adds a bit more drama than that of the first season. The show’s humor is quite great and the season was definitely enjoyable compared to most of the garbage on television today. I would definitely say it is worth watching if the show interests you even at all, but I would be lying if I said it is one of the better comedies on television. 7.5/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Hung is an entertaining comedy with a good Blu-ray release. The video and audio presentations get the job done and extras are pleasing, overall this release is ‘Recommended’ if you can get a good price on it.

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