Pictured from left to right: ho, pimp.
comedy series that first began airing in 2009 and ran for three seasons with a total of 30 episodes. It ends inconclusively after not being renewed for a fourth season
Thomas Jane stars as Ray Drecker, Anne Heche as Jessica Haxon, Jane Adams as Tanya Skagle, and Eddie Jemison as Ronnie Haxon.
Set in Detroit
, the series is about a down-on-his-luck, divorced father whose house is burned down and can't come up with the money to fix it so he can get his kids back. Solution? Become a male prostitute, of course!
- Allergic to Love: Specifically, Ray supposedly causes Jessica to break out in hives in season 2.
- Amicable Exes: Ray and Jessica, for the most part.
- Arab-Israeli Conflict: Plot point in the appropriately-named episode The Middle East is Complicated, when Ray is sleeping with his Israeli neighbour and an Arab client at the same time (though not together). They try to force him to "pick a side" over a very minor issue: has a specific type of dish been invented by Arabs or Israelis (which he knows nothing about of course), and which of the two women prepares him the better one?
- Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: Inverted. Tanya wants to get a loan and heads to the bank to show her "happiness consultant" business. Which, of course, involves Ray showing off the "product." During the date part of the thing, one of the girls is told by her friend she's too uptight. Ray talks her into staying, and it appears he's gonna be in the center of a threesome with Betty and Veronica. Instead, the two girls decide they like each other and he's not really needed, so they shoo him out. The next day, the loan is approved.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: The entire premise revolves around this, of course. Ray's package is the one thing his ex-wife will admit he still has.
- California Doubling: Averted; the series is both shot and set in the Detroit area.
- Detroit: The series is set in Metro Detroit (Fridge Brilliance when you realize that Michigan's economy, being in the toilet longer and deeper—heh, heh— than any other state, is the perfect excuse for having an unemployed man become a prostitute), and filmed in West Bloomfield (one of the wealthier northern suburbs).
- Diegetic Switch: Done with a projection of Man of La Mancha.
- Dueling Shows: With Secret Diary of a Call Girl on Showtime.
- Also arguably with Eastbound And Down. Both shows about former athletes, down on their luck, teaching gym class in their hometown. On the other hand, they're both on HBO, so they don't really duel.
- Epic Fail: Tanya trying to "fire" Ray's "client" Jemma. Jemma pretty much just blows her off, as well she should since Tanya had the stupid idea to try and do this at Jemma's workplace.
- Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: The premise of the show; the recession has hit Ray hard and he is unable to make ends-meet with his job as a substitute teacher. Prostitution ensues.
- Thomas Jane is stripping naked in the opening credits. He appears naked several other times throughout the series. The ladies have no problem getting used to this. This is almost turned into a Once an Episode gag.
- Most of the ladies requiring Ray's services are quite attractive and young-ish (to the point where their Troubled, but Cute issues are needed to maintain some plausibility) and are prone to show some skin.
- First Father Wins
- Horrible Judge of Character: Tanya hooks up with a sleazy pimp on parole and pays the price for it. In the end he abides to a reparation, however
- I Coulda Been a Contender: Ray was an an all-star athlete in high school, but suffered a Career-Ending Injury. His Glory Days are still fondly remembered by sports aficionados.
- Idiot Ball: Ray, especially in later episodes as he pursues somewhat of a relationship with Jemma. Tanya qualifies for how she handles it.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: They usually begin with one of the main things going on in the plot, then "or" and have a humorous double entendre. Example: "Take the Cake or Are You Packing?"
- The Immodest Orgasm
- Jaded Washout: Ray became this without realizing it. Albeit a still very good-looking Jaded Washout-type.
- Magical Negro: Lampshade by Charlie.
You come to me for advice like I'm some kind of magical Yoda
Negro, but you don't listen.
- The Missus and the Ex: Parodied in the sixth episode when Tanya and Jessica meet for the first time. Played straight when Jessica sees Ray kiss his now "girlfriend" Jemma at the basketball game.
- No Pregger Sex: One of Ray's client is needy because of this trope. She is provided with a satisfactory manual job instead
- Never Trust a Trailer: Promos make it look like a pure sex comedy, but the show's really more of a dramedy about a middle-aged man dealing with a bad economy and the aftermath of a divorce.
- Odd Friendship: Ray and Tanya. In season 2, Tanya and Charlie, sort of.
- Real Song Theme Tune/Thematic Theme Tune: "I'll be your man", by the The Black Keys.
- Rich Bitch: Lenore, emphasis on bitch.
- The Rival: Jason, younger but... less packed ho.
- Taking the Kids: Seemingly inverted in the pilot until the house fire forces Ray's kids to live with their mother Jessica (Ray's ex-wife) until the house is repaired. Jessica then claims that the kids will be remaining in her care.
- "Who do I have to fuck around here to get my kids back?!"
- Took a Level in Dumbass: Ray after episode six. He would become better at his job in certain intervals but then backslided by continuing service with the obviously crazy Jemma, who paid him to come to one of her therapy sessions so she could yell at him without explaining anything about what was going on to him. He then completely ignores Tanya's authority and asks Jemma to "go steady" with him i.e. date him without payment. He is now either the best or worst male prostitute ever.
- Woman Scorned: Lydia arrests Ray and Tanya after Ray stands her up.
- Yandere: Not quite the Ax-Crazy type, but Lydia (the policewoman) is very close.