The story of the rise of the porn industry in 1970s New York, The Deuce is an ambitious new drama by HBO that weaves a sprawling tapestry of characters and storylines.
The production values are predictably top-notch. Everything from the astonishing set design to the vintage openings credits are on point. With details oozing out of every corner, you never once doubt the show’s time period (just look at how they recreated Times Square in all of its glory). It’s the kind of art direction that made Mad Men stand out so magnificently a few years back, and I have no doubt that this show will receive similar acclaim at the Emmys next year.
The show’s ensemble cast is also shockingly good. James Franco gets to showcase his full range by tackling the dual roles of twin brothers Vinnie and Frankie. Revenge‘s Margarita Levieva makes a welcome return to the small screen; she always stuck me as an actress with potential, so I’m pleased to see her in such a high-profile drama. But the real star here is Maggie Gyllenhaal as a prostitute named Candy who refuses to work with a pimp. She’s tough, vulnerable, and everything in between. As for the pimps (and there are a lot of them on this show), Gary Carr makes the most impression as C.C, a smooth-talking player with a simmering dark streak underneath.
Digs from The Deuce
Reggie: I think I’m gonna get me a Chinese hoe. I want my herd to be international.
C.C.: You speak Chinese?
Reggie: I know a few Vietnamese words. That shit’s like a cousin to Chinese.
Abby: If people stopped for a moment and realized what they looked like during sex, they’d lose it.
Frankie: If she has as many pricks stickin’ out of her ass as she had stuck in her, she’d be a fucking porcupine.
A confident pilot for a show that’s going to stick around for a long time to come. I’m very intrigued.