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

watched the first 2 episodes and as I expected, the show is really good.

I thought I was going to hate seeing James Franco playing not one but TWO characters, yet he is surprisingly likeable in this.
 
New episode tonight:
The Principle is All

Putting the finishing touches on his new bar, Vincent (James Franco) is blindsided by the sudden appearance of an unexpected partner, causing Frankie (James Franco) to blow a gasket. Rudy (Michael Rispoli) buys into a rival's plan to reconfigure The Deuce, hopefully with the support of an ambitious mayor. Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) eyes an entrée into the filmmaking business; Abby (Margarita Levieva) languishes in her new job; Darlene (Dominique Fishback) works overtime to compensate Larry (Gbenga Akinnagbe); C.C. (Gary Carr) tasks Lori (Emily Meade) to play the "long game"; Bobby (Chris Bauer) pays a price for his recent stress at work. Big Mike (Mustafa Shakir), a menacing drifter, proves useful to Vincent as the Hi-Hat finally opens.
 
This felt like a very televisiony episode. Everyone took an incremental step along, nothing past that. I enjoyed it, but it's out of mind not 5 minutes after credits rolled. I still don't get Sabotka(the twins' brother in law), his scheme and character don't seem to fit into the game. The only character who stands out is Candy, she continues to be the centerpiece of the show.
 
- Collider interview: James Franco on ‘The Deuce’ and David Simon’s Three-Season Plan
David Simon has a three-season plan for this series. Is that something you’re game for?

FRANCO: Of course! I had to be, signing on. One of the interesting things about this show is that it’s a hybrid between a limited series and a regular series. There are only eight episodes a season, and if we go, which it looks like we will, there will only be three seasons. It gives it this perfectly encapsulated, very concise, economical power punch feeling to it. From the beginning, the plan was to cover 14 years. The first season is ‘71-‘72, and the dawn of pornography. The second season is ‘77, ‘78 and ‘79, or somewhere in there. And then, the third season will be ‘84-‘85 when everything imploded and the old 42nd Street was shut down by Mayor Koch. I think if we pull it off, it will be a really nice encapsulation of a time and a place.
- Rolling Stone review
 
wasn't quite sure what to think after the pilot but i'm pretty sold on this show at this point

definitely feels like it has the potential to be a truly great show if the time-skips are handled well
 
Loving this show it has that David Simonesque nothing has happened this episode but plenty has feel.

The characters are engaging and the multiple storylines are intriguing and I'm a sucker for 70's set dramas. Plus no other show walks that tightrope of making me feeling leery one moment and laughing the next.
 
Loving this show. Needed a show like this again. I hoped Vinyl would fill that hole last year but that went different.

And good to see Jackie Aprile again, haven't seen Sopranos in over 6 years but recognize that guy from anywhere.
 

Grizzlyjin

Supersonic, idiotic, disconnecting, not respecting, who would really ever wanna go and top that
Watched Episode 2 last night and Episode 3 tonight. The scene with the soup in Episode 2 almost made me throw up. Also noticed how this show really excels at juggling a large cast and going back and forth between short scenes. Sometimes they'll revisit a character for less than 2 mins and then jump to something else. But it never feels jarring.
 
Watched Episode 2 last night and Episode 3 tonight. The scene with the soup in Episode 2 almost made me throw up. Also noticed how this show really excels at juggling a large cast and going back and forth between short scenes. Sometimes they'll revisit a character for less than 2 mins and then jump to something else. But it never feels jarring.
David Simon is the master at making sure one storyline doesn't feel too worn out and juggling like 6 stories in a single episode
 
The vibes at their bar opening was soo good. Even though in reality it'd probably be kinda shit and dodgy as hell but I guess that's the beauty of TV right. I loved the arc of the junkie turned bouncer in this episode, I'm sure we'll see more of him going forward but I just love how these characters pop up seemingly out of nowhere. The waitresses/bartender we got mafia we got irish gangsters... ah man loving it.
 

RatskyWatsky

Hunky Nostradamus
Also noticed how this show really excels at juggling a large cast and going back and forth between short scenes. Sometimes they'll revisit a character for less than 2 mins and then jump to something else. But it never feels jarring.
Yep. It's really impressive how each character feels lived in and three dimensional considering what little time we've spent with most of them up till now.
 
- Pelecanos and Simon on Fresh Air today
Is it possible to create a realistic television series about the commodification of sex workers and porn actors without being exploitative? That's the dilemma David Simon and George Pelecanos faced while creating their new HBO series, The Deuce.

"We didn't particularly want to do a show about pornography," Pelecanos says. "David and I worked on this for two or three years before we shot any film, and it was continually on our minds: How were we going to approach it?"

Set in New York City's Times Square in the early 1970s, the series depicts prostitution and the growth of porn from a small-time business to a big industry. Every episode contains explicit sexual content, but its creators went out of their way to avoid what Simon refers to as "pornographic tableaux."

During shooting and editing, Simon explains, the goal was to "restrict the camera's use as a titillating agent." Sometimes that meant changing the lighting in order to lessen the erotic impact of a scene. Other times, it meant being cognizant of how long the camera lingered on exposed breasts.

But both men say that avoiding an exploitative approach was only half of the challenge; they were also wary of presenting a view of the industry that was too sanitized.

"If you're going to do a piece that's explicitly about the sexual commodification of women ... then you have to show what that is ... and be direct about the fact that that is a very coarse product and very painful, " Simon says. "You don't want to be prurient — but if you're puritan as well, now you're saying something else."
Interview highlights and podcast via the link.
 
Her eyes slowly sold the disappointment. She's such a great actress.
The woman who plays Darlene is excellent as well. There's been less subtlety to her scenes so far, but she's entirely convincing. Those two are such stars, I hope they get more and more screen time as the season develops.
 
Great show so far. So much more enjoyable than treme already

It really goes for the jugular on the way women are treated in that industry and in general too as objects. The scenes with Maggie Gylenhaal and that girl who is reading dickens are really well acted and tend to be quite the gut punch

I think they were smart on casting Franco as a major character here. Much like Dominic West's McNulty was in the wire we got somebody here who is hella charismatic in the role and fun to watch and cut back to when things sometimes get a bit too heavy. Dude is killing it imo. Makes me remember why I used to like the guy in the first place.
 
New episode tonight:
I See Money

Rudy (Michael Rispoli) dangles a lucrative offer in front of Vincent (James Franco). Longo (Daniel Sauli) uses strong-arm tactics to restore order among Bobby's (Chris Bauer) unhappy construction workers. Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) attracts unwanted attention and is intrigued by a legitimate suitor. Paul (Chris Coy) questions his place at the Hi-Hat; Frankie (James Franco) hits a hot streak; Darlene (Dominique Fishback) gets a gift from Abby (Margarita Levieva); Alston (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.) sees through Sandra (Natalie Paul). Bristling after a police shakedown, Vincent adds muscle in the person of Black Frankie (Thaddeus Street), a Vietnam War vet.
 
I'm gonna guess the slow burn is gonna carry on throughout the entire season. I think this show would be better served if you could watch it in one go.
 
Eh, unless HBO are forcing them to be 8 I don't mind it at all. If anything I usually prefer miniseries/short seasons.
I imagine it's Simon and Pelecano's decision unless HBO gave them a budget and asked how many episodes they could do for that amount of money. Of course I don't want them to overextend themselves if the material isn't there, but I do feel like they have a lot of characters that are underused and could carry additional scenes. I want to spend more time with the show.
I'm gonna guess the slow burn is gonna carry on throughout the entire season. I think this show would be better served if you could watch it in one go.
A number of reviews mentioned that they thought it would flow a lot better if you're binge watching it. This is after they saw seven of the eight episodes from this season for review.
 
I imagine it's Simon and Pelecano's decision unless HBO gave them a budget and asked how many episodes they could do for that amount of money. Of course I don't want them to overextend themselves if the material isn't there, but I do feel like they have a lot of characters that are underused and could carry additional scenes. I want to spend more time with the show.
A number of reviews mentioned that they thought it would flow a lot better if you're binge watching it. This is after they saw seven of the eight episodes from this season for review.
Yeah seems that way. For me, the atmosphere and setting is outstanding but I feel like what's actually transpiring isn't entertaining enough.
 
The Wire felt the same exact way. This show is very, very good but it does not lend itself that well to watching one episode a week.
Well there is something frustrating yeah cause Simons loves things that don't progress quick enough. it's always been in his shows.

That show is meant to be about porn industry birth and they barely mention it. One character was interested then she forgot about it already.

Treme was even more stagnating sometimes. The structure of the show but also the development of the characters.
 
Well there is something frustrating yeah cause Simons loves things that don't progress quick enough. it's always been in his shows.

That show is meant to be about porn industry birth and they barely mention it. One character was interested then she forgot about it already.

Treme was even more stagnating sometimes. The structure of the show but also the development of the characters.
They barely mention it??

Maggie's character have starred in a porno and we got to see how that got shot. She has also expressed an interest in how you shoot one and the legality of selling hardcore pornography in Europe vs America.
Darlene unwittingly starred in a porno and we get to see how the market works before the birth of the big porn industry (i.e. under counter).
We have also been in a theatre with CC and "I can't believe she's 37" and seen how that particular outlet works at that time.

Yes there is a whole lot of else going on, but it is necessary to show the workings of society at that point, to establish what forces were behind the porn business, and how the legal aspect of it worked.
It's hard to show why and how something was a revolution unless you show what it revolted against.

The entire show is nothing but a giant mention of the birth of the porn industry i you ask me.