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Review: 'Hung' on HBO

June 26, 2009 |  4:12 pm
Clearly the Obama administration needs to address the issue of teacher salaries and fast. On AMC's " Breaking Bad," Bryan Cranston is playing a science teacher making meth, and now we have Thomas Jane as Ray Drecker, a high school basketball coach turned male prostitute in HBO's "Hung."

Both are men of middle age who find themselves undone by fate -- Cranston's Walter White has cancer, Ray's wife has left him and he's lost his home to fire -- and a lack of ambition. Both are angry at a world that seems to have reneged on earlier promises so, with their personal landscapes scorched beyond recognition, they become, essentially, survivalists, reaching for whatever talents they have to create their own lawless, post-apocalyptic society. Recession-era Mad Maxes.

This is not to say that "Hung" is simply a sexed-up version of "Breaking Bad." Certainly there are similarities, but the same river runs through "Weeds": the belief that the old economic system is broken, that a decent living cannot be made through decency.

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