The Deuce - David Simon, Franco, Gyllenhaal on sex industry in 1970's NYC - S1 on HBO

New episode tonight:
Show and Prove

Vincent moves into a seedy hotel and contemplates an offer from mob capo Rudy Pipilo; Bobby hopes to take advantage of Vincent's new connections; filmmaking intrigues Candy; C.C. shows Lori the benefits of having a pimp; Larry feels unsettled.
This show is just beyond seedy. Not sure how much I enjoyed the first episode. The production values are pretty impressive though. I'll be impressed if the keep up that level of quality.
Wow solid second episode.

I've done a double bill of the first and second episode.

This is not the type of show you watch with anyone who's prudish it's pretty no holds barred this episode haha

Maggie G is putting in work in this show.

I'll never look at cans of soup the same.
HBO needs to allow us binge David Simon shows. The Deuce is in that early soul sucking arc and I need a hopeful montage real quick. Life is too short and sad. The more things change the more they stay the same :|


there is joy in sucking dick
"Bobby, you'd fuck me twice to fuck them once."

Franco is killing it in this roll for me

Always happy to see Frank Sabotka.
Fuck yes

I love the self realization that these women are being fleeced of their money in regards to the small time corner store smut vids. A sense of empowerment which is good but then you take that into the larger context with the pimps. But you have to fight for whats yours even if its just ten bucks.
Didn't like the second episode as much, especially sine it tilted a bit towards the leery side compared to the first. It's still a damn fine show, and this episode was funnier than I thought it would.


Hunky Nostradamus
I'm still having a hard time hearing what the characters are saying due to all the background noise, but it was still a very solid episode. Fascinating to see the nascent porn industry and how it connected to and was borne out of the sex work industry.

It makes me feel like I need a shower, though.
I think every guy feels like he needs a shower 🙃
Love the show but this

I'm still having a hard time hearing what the characters are saying due to all the background noise, but it was still a very solid episode.
couldn't be more true. The audio mixing is fucking terrible. It wasn't even this bad on Treme and that had so many scenes set in clubs with loud music being played.
What's with the ho wagon at the start (and the end)? What's the point of that?
Sepinwall's review:
The episode's title comes from the police ritual that we see Alston and Flanagan act out in the opening scenes. Prostitution is illegal, so theoretically cops should be able to arrest any sex worker parading their wares out on the street, but this would be overwhelming to the system — not to mention rough sledding on the women doing work that most of the cops aren't too troubled by — so there's a grace period where those who were arrested on the last sweep of the Deuce are allowed to go free on the next one. (”Show and prove" means they are giving the cops a property voucher confirming they were in police custody in the last few days.) The whole thing is arbitrary and pointless, but it's the way the system works, and as we learned so often on The Wire, systems don't often change, even for logic. So some of the women get rounded up and brought to the station — the sequence where Alston orders them all take-out and eats it with them in the precinct courtyard is both extremely charming and a mark of how little Chris and other cops seem to think the hookers need to be locked up — and then it's someone else's turn the next time. You can see Chris being annoyed by having to shove this particular bolder up the hill in this way, and when Rodney taunts him in the closing scene with a chant of, ”The hos go in, the hos go out," Alston decides to lock everybody up for once, to stick to the actual letter of the law rather than the way he's been trained to enforce it.
EDIT: They talk about it in the Behind the Scenes video, too.
"Grimy 70s New York" has always been one of my favorite settings so I was all over this. So far it's good-not-great for me, but I've been left waiting for more both times, so I can't complain.

Very impressed with James Franco, too. Usually he's one of those actors that I can never forget are just acting, but he's super engaging as Vinnie. Very curious to see where that story goes.

The anthropologist in episode 2 is another plot thread I'm looking forward to watching develop.
- ‘The Deuce’ Renewed For Season 2 At HBO
Just days after its Season 1 premiere, HBO has renewed its praised drama series The Deuce for a second season.

Created by George Pelecanos and David Simon and starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the show is titled after the local slang for New York’s fabled 42nd Street. It 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.

“We are thrilled to continue our creative collaboration with master storytellers David Simon and George Pelecanos,” said Casey Bloys, president HBO programming. “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.”

The Deuce 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.


No longer boycotting the Wolfenstein franchise
Haven't been able to watch yet. Was this stuff covered in other interviews? I heard this a week ago and it was pretty interesting.

KCRW: The Business - Kim Masters interviews David Simon

He talks a ton about the process of getting to a pilot order and putting his faith in HBO again. He had actually been pitching it elsewhere because he didn't think HBO was quite onboard initially and he figured getting a slot on the schedule was slim due to Vinyl. He concedes that Netflix turned it down.
Episode 2 was really good even if I found the pacing a little bit too slow in parts. I didn't have that problem with the pilot. I'm intrigued to know where all of these storylines will go, especially the one with the girl borrowing a book from the library. That actress is really good and so is Franco. I like the guy but have never been that impressed by his work before but he's really shining here.

And yay for season 2!

Thanks for that. I was wondering what was the point of that whole system with the vouchers. I guess there's just not point at all, lol.


No longer boycotting the Wolfenstein franchise
He hasn't discussed that elsewhere that I've seen. Thanks for the link!
I had heard it in the car and meant to remember to share it, but only just remembered. Quick scan of the earlier links didn't look like this got covered.

There's a lot of good stuff in the interview. He talks about the particularly important role that Nina Kostroff-Noble plays in producing The Deuce. She's been producing with him ever since The Corner. There's also brief teases about one topic that S2 will explore, which is mentioned in context of one of the planned/known hires for the writers room.


Hunky Nostradamus
this couldn't be more true. The audio mixing is fucking terrible. It wasn't even this bad on Treme and that had so many scenes set in clubs with loud music being played.
It's subtitles all the way for me, otherwise I wouldn't have a chance at picking up the dialogue.
Thank god I'm not the only one! I thought something was wrong with my hearing. :D

They might as well have renewed it for season 3 as well.

He concedes that Netflix turned it down.
Netflix passed on a David Simon show? Really? Does he give a reason why they passed on it?


No longer boycotting the Wolfenstein franchise
Netflix passed on a David Simon show? Really? Does he give a reason why they passed on it?
IIRC, not really. Although he mentions they must have been developing The Get Down at the same time, so yet another NYC series set in the same general time period. So maybe that was one element in play in passing.

He also indicated some outlets got a little too excited by the prospect of a porn show, suggesting these places would have been interested in an exploitative version.

At the end of the day, he put his faith in HBO saying The Deuce would be given a fair shake even with Vinyl in the mix (with ostensibly bigger names who been part of bigger HBO series, ie. Scorsese, Winter) and reupped his deal to proceed with it there. Looks like it paid off.
Just watched the pilot. Hooked instantly. NYC in the 70s is enough to grab my interest, not to mention how much care they put into it. Then add David Simon, a great cast, strong characters, etc. Even when they had Franco with his "twin" it was very well done and I got into the scene.

Also: Margarita Vladimirovna Levieva 🤤

And the music to end the pilot...exact same tone as The Wire. So many touches in this show call back The Wire, whether deliberate or not.


Professional Schmuck
Sobatkas popping up as his brother in law was a surprise for sure.

And glad (?) to know I'm not the only one having an impossible time picking out dialogue. I thought it was my tv.
Cheese, Chris, D'angelo, Sobotka and the really tall dude in the diner all the pimps hang out in are from The Wire.

The bartender at the dead place that Franco's getting is in Treme.

The prostitute who cried watching the movie with the old guy in the pilot is in Show Me a Hero.

Did I miss anyone?
Watched these first 2 eps last night. Yeah, I'm all the way down with whatever this show wants to do. It has all the rhythms and texture we've come to expect from a David Simon show with a more colorful cast of characters than he's had in a while. Probably his most accessible thing since The Wire, whatever that means considering the subject matter.

Happy to see the S2 renewal already. Hope HBO's along for the full ride despite the small audience this'll probably have. They toughed it out with Treme for 4 years, but this seems like a much more expensive show.
Of course! I did recognise him while watching but forgot when writing up that post.
I couldn't figure Chris out for the longest time, he's so different, if Wee Bey shows up next week I'm gonna fall out of my seat.

I liked the 2nd episode better than the premier. Maggie-Candie is great with that weird ass tall but stooping body of hers and the smile. The more we see of her the better.
had no idea there was a David fucking Simon show airing this year, definitely gonna start watching then.

I might be wrong on this, but if you put in the title "from the guy who made THE WIRE" I think more people will check this out.