Here we go again. The breathless ad for "HUNG": "Don’t miss the premiere of HBO’s new comedy series. Jane Adams plays Tanya, a struggling poet who unexpectedly lands a new career – as a pimp. Hung airs Sundays at 10pm -- only on HBO"
Well, where else BUT HBO? The place where "transgressive" and "groundbreaking" are automatically compliments. Where finding the new low below the bar is daily sport. Where the newest series revolves around a down-on his-luck but decent fellow who finds a new career as a man-HO. Of course. Carpenter, shoe salesman, truck driver? NAAAAAAH. This guy has an extra-large hmmm to go with his very large heart. So the obvious choice is the Fred Garvin-male prostitute route. And it's not just for him, you see-- it's for the kiddies. He's a divorced Dad with a shrew of an ex-wife and support payments to make.
The ad mentioned above shows a photo of the actress with the large-print word "PIMP" above her head. The companion ad with the actor Thomas Jane does the same with the word "HO", the new shorthand for a culture that can stand the act of sex-for-money but apparently not the damning word "whore". My beef is not that possibly good drama might be made of some of the more seamy aspects of modern life. But the mainstreaming of the squalid sex trade by offering us a pair of typical neighbors (note the "struggling poet" gambit--"aren't we ALL struggling poets, in our own way?"-sniff, sniff) really ticks me off.
There's a lot more to the issue than that, but HBO has a reputation to uphold. Showtime beat them to the raunch with their sleazy suburban mom who sells pot and is currently pregnant with the child of a Mexican drug lord ("Weeds") and they've got to one-up the competition. What a stroke of genius-- the average suburban dad starts prostituting himself.
And another triumph for modern women--Elizabeth Cady Stanton, give a cheer! You, too can be a pimp, a special place in our society that used to be reserved for men only. Ladies, do you see your opportunity here? Or are you as annoyed as I am?