Review of "The Deuce" on HBO From The TV MegaSite
 

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The Deuce 

Review of "The Deuce" 9/15/17 By Karl
Airs Sundays on HBO

42nd street in Manhattan holds some of New York City’s most iconic buildings: Grand Central Terminal, Times Square, and the Chrysler Building. It even once hosted George Washington’s rally of troops after the British navy landed at Kip’s Bay in 1776. During the 1970’s, it was the host of some of the city’s greatest depravity. HBO’s period drama "The Deuce" chronicles just that, with a bleak portrayal of its history with prostitution, pornography, police corruption, mobsters, drug dealers, pimps and the evolving mentality towards homosexuality, gender, and race.

"The Deuce" stars James Franco as twin brothers Frankie and Vincent Martino, two bartenders who become entangled with the mob and their plans to create brothels and video booths in an area where theaters and street walkers prevail. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays a pimpless prostitute with ambitions greater than her co-workers.   She eventually begins making films with a director, played by David Krumholtz, just months before the forefront of the golden age of pornography and the release of 1972’s Deep Throat.

With many other parallel stories, "The Deuce" creates an immersive experience that may not be suitable for all, but despite its degeneracy, I looked forward to each successive episode. "The Deuce" was created by The Wire’s George Pelecanos and David Simon.

MORE INFORMATION:

HBO RENEWS DRAMA SERIES "THE DEUCE," CREATED BY GEORGE PELECANOS AND DAVID SIMON, STARRING JAMES FRANCO AND MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, FOR SECOND SEASON

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 19, 2017 - Following early critical raves, HBO has renewed the drama series THE DEUCE for a second season, it was announced today by Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming. The series was created by George Pelecanos and David Simon, who previously collaborated on the HBO series "The Wire" and "Treme." It is executive produced by George Pelecanos, David Simon, Nina Kostroff Noble and James Franco; the pilot was executive produced by Michelle MacLaren, who also directed the pilot and final episode of the first season.

"We are thrilled to continue our creative collaboration with master storytellers David Simon and George Pelecanos," said Bloys. "Their unique gift for immersing the audience in their dark and edgy worlds brings a brilliant verisimilitude unlike any other. With the remarkably talented Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco leading an exceptional cast, we look forward to delving deeper as this captivating story evolves."

"Everyone involved with this project is genuinely grateful to HBO for the chance to take the narrative where it needs to go," says Simon. "We knew the theme and purpose of the story, but there are many people in the entertainment industry who might not have it told, or worse, would have told it for the wrong reasons. HBO is a serious outfit. And they don't scare."

"Many thanks to HBO, our longtime partners, who've now given us the opportunity to continue to tell this compelling story," adds Pelecanos. "We're ready to get back to work with our amazing cast and crew."

Titled after the local slang for New York's fabled 42nd Street and starring James Franco (Oscar(R) nominee for "127 Hours") and Maggie Gyllenhaal (Oscar(R) nominee for "Crazy Heart"), THE DEUCE began its eight-episode season Sunday, Sept. 10.

The show chronicles the rise of the porn culture in New York from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s, exploring the rough-and-tumble world of the sex trade from the moment when both a liberalizing cultural revolution in American sexuality and new legal definitions of obscenity created a billion-dollar industry that is now an elemental component of the American cultural landscape. It follows a cast of barkeeps, prostitutes, pimps, police and nightlife denizens as they swirl through a world of sex, crime, high times and violence, and the porn business begins its climb from Mafia-backed massage parlors and film labs to legitimacy and cultural permanence.

Among the early critical raves, the New Yorker hailed the series as "a clear-eyed portrait of a lost universe of Manhattan decadence, neither sentimental and glamorizing nor disapproving and didactic," while the New York Times called THE DEUCE "relentlessly interesting" and the Wall Street Journal described it as a "smashing work all around." Entertainment Weekly praised the show as "an absorbing, resonant chronicle," and TIME said it is "a triumph, and, better yet, a pleasure."

Season one credits: THE DEUCE was created by George Pelecanos and David Simon; executive producers, George Pelecanos, David Simon, Nina Kostroff Noble, James Franco; co-executive producer, Richard Price; producers, Marc Henry Johnson, Maggie Gyllenhaal.


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