The Times profiled the writers of HBO's latest foray into originally programming, Hung, today. It stars Thomas Jane as a gym teacher with a huge dick who becomes a gigolo. But how does the infamously stiff (heh) Times write it?
Well, start with the title, a nice play on words ("A Comedy to Inspire Premise Envy"), slip in some subtle phallic imagery in the lede, but be sure everyone knows that it's not supposed to be phallic imagery. Okay, it's supposed to be phallic imagery. You got us there!
A husband and wife are in the kitchen of their Los Angeles home one day, talking. Not arguing; just talking. The wife is chopping a carrot; just - chopping a carrot.
Next, use the most sexless, scientific term on the first instance of writing the piece, to show good behavior. Naturally, that would be "penis." Describing the main character of the show:
The carrot-chopping wife, Colette Burson, then says: And what if he had nothing going for him except that he had a really big penis?
Now, finally, just bust it out (heh). You've been holding it in for so long, and you don't want to make a mess! Get it out of the way, slowly. There we go. Just say it: we are the Times! We don't like to think about weiners, much less bad words for weiners, much less write about weiners! We must keep this in our control! And by control we mean pants! AGH! TOO MUCH WEINER!
Actually, Ms. Burson used another term that cannot be published here. In fact, such effort is being made here to write this story without violating propriety - or without slipping in a few sophomoric double entendres - that the words being muttered at this very moment make Ms. Burson's original term seem almost Psalm-like.
The writers have turned a penis into a plot device. What's more, judging by the first four episodes, they advance the theory - fact? myth? - that bigger is better, risking the alienation of a sought-after segment of television viewers: men who are average in every way.
Also, more "short thingers are okay, too!" action near the kicker:
Mr. Lombardo, HBO's programming chief, said he never doubted the power of the writing. He just felt that the title at least warranted a chat about whether it was appropriate. When that chat finally took place, everyone agreed: Stick with "Hung." The conversation, he added, was surprisingly short.
And that's - predicktably - all we get. An old, wood(en) instudition like the Times just can't nail a good tail about penis like we can(s). They should've left this story in our big, thick, capable hands. It would've gone something like this: