The ever- prescient purveyors of pop culture seem to have caught on to this phenomenon and have adjusted the way television shows and films,
particularly comedies, portray men. The 2011 fall television lineup garnered significant coverage for the fact that a number of new sitcoms—New Girl, 2 Broke Girls—revolve around female leads, while other shows like Last Man Standing suggest that a male-dominated society is a
thing of the past.
If journalists like Hanna Rosin and Kate Bolick are correct, and we truly are witnessing the end of men and of male-female relationships as we have
long known and understood them, the fact that it is happening against a backdrop of TV narratives in which men are a bunch of slobbering bozos
seems like a dash of salt in an open wound.
bucked this trend by portraying its male characters in a sometimes stunningly positive manner. Since the show's debut in 2009, its creators went out of
their way to portray the leading character and a particular part of his anatomy as a Godsend to women. The world of Hung was not one, to quote
the title of Maureen Dowd's 2005 book, that raises the question "Are men necessary?" It was a phallocentric show that suggested men can be the best
answer to a woman's problems.
Every season of Hung explored different themes, but the one theme that remained constant throughout the show's run was the idea that females
gain incredible pleasure from the company of a worthy man. Almost all of show's female characters at one time or another have sex and/or spend time
with Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane), the aforementioned high school teacher turned male prostitute, and the show suggested that all of those
characters are better off for their interactions with him. The primary reason female characters are attracted to Drecker is his sexual prowess, but the
show also demonstrated that the women enjoy the non-sexual aspects of Drecker's company.
Consider the relationship Ray establishes with a pregnant woman named Claire (Kathryn Hahn) in season two. Sex s the crux of their relationship, but
Claire also enjoys just spending time with Ray around her spacious house, which is filmed in a way to emphasize
its emptiness. Abandoned by her husband, Claire clearly craves someone with whom she can have a relationship, and Ray is that person. The pair's casual
conversations and friendly interactions are a boon to her and part of the reason she continues to hire him.
Throughout the show, Tanya Skagle (Jane Adams), who acts as Ray's pimp and business partner, pushes Ray to make every client relationship a
well-rounded experience rather than a one-dimensional sexual relationship. Tanya is portrayed as the show's most progressive character, yet she firmly
believes that in order for women to be satisfied they need more than sex. She also believes that a man is the best person to provide this type of