I’m really looking forward to this. David Simon is not only the creator of the best series ever to be on TV (come on, the Wire!), but I also loved Treme and Show me a Hero. Joining him is longtime collaborator George Pelecanos.
The opening episode is on HBO Go/Now, and it’s really great. It doesn’t officially air until Sept 10 though. If any of you guys really enjoyed the Wire but felt Treme / Show Me a Hero was too dry, I think this one has more conventional pull that will keep your interest.
Come on guys, I know there’s many here that were big fans of the Wire, let’s not let this become another David Simon show that flops on the air! Anyone who has posted in one of the Tom Chick Wire Season 1 threads are ethically obligated to give this a proper chance.
First episode was fantastic. The cast is top-notch, Simon and co. really sell 1970s New York City as a center of depravity and sleaze in a way I haven’t seen since Taxi Driver. It’s a huge relief this won’t be a repeat of the disastrous Vinyl for HBO. I hope viewers show up and support it!
This show deserves top honors for the pimps. Not to be insensitive to the abuse, which it doesn’t shy away from, but oh my freaking god they are hilarious. The white dude with long hair busts me up every time he comes on screen.
So one thing I love about Simon’s shows is that they have a natural rhythm and don’t feel the urge to amp things up just for dramatic effect …
… But that being said, maybe this most recent episode was a little too low key for a season finale. And I say this because I didn’t even realize it was the season finale until the credits rolled and I realized there wasn’t a promo for the next episode.
That was a fantastic first season. I’m really surprised by how charismatic James Franco is when paired with the right filmmaker. It’s one of the best twin performances I’ve ever seen. I can immediately tell which brother as soon as he appears on screen just by the way he carries himself.
The rest of the cast, particularly Lawrence Gilliard, Gary Carr, and especially Maggie Gyllenhaal (that scene where she prepares for her civilian date is heartbreaking) are all doing top-notch work. David Simon even sold me on Ralph Macchio as a police officer!
Hats off to HBO for not shying away from the industry appropriate sleaze. This is easily the most graphically explicit show I’ve ever seen, but it would be hard to sell the subject matter without it. Unlike other shows in HBO’s line-up, most of the sex scenes in The Deuce are kind of low-key. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the show develops in the second season.
So dissenting opinion here, I guess. Watched a full episode and then part of another one and I was bored beyond belief. Did I miss something? Is this as meh as I thought, or something that grows on you?
Technically this shouldn’t matter at all, but are you a fan of The Wire, Treme, or Show Me a Hero? Also, is it the first and part of second episode that you watched?
David Simon’s (and his collaborators) shows are slow burns, and resist typical show trappings of immediately gripping drama and constant plot twists. Not to say they don’t have plot twists or gripping drama, rather that they happen more organically. Instead the focus is on character development and long story threads that dynamically intersect over time. In his past shows, while they were slow burns when they burned they burned, if you know what I mean.
Even the Greatest TV Show Of All Time, The Wire, needs at least an average of five episode involvement before it all starts to become clear. The shows also seek to give the viewer a more nuanced and informed view of whatever reality it is portraying, and between seasons it will portray different realities to reach a tapestry of … realities. Yeah my writing needs work. Point is what to some people might be an extremely boring scene describing the workings of something, is to other people utterly fascinating. It might not be clear why things matter until later on in a different context.
With all that said, maybe you are just missing something? I have only seen the first three episodes of the Deuce and love it lots. Very interesting characters and some sharp dialogue. I have faith it is going places as all his other shows did.
Fair points. I loved The Wire, along with everyone else. Perhaps it’s the setting. Or perhaps its the casting. The Wire had unknowns cast. This had Maggie Gylenthal as a hooker. And Franco as a twin pimp or something. I mean, who can beat McNulty?
The setting could be it. The Wire had the very conventional hook of cops and robbers that helped audiences get intrigued into the story. Treme was about music and the culture of New Orleans, a much less exciting topic (on paper) for a TV show and its viewership suffered as a result. Same thing with Show Me a Hero. Didn’t stop either series from being really great. Anyway, making a show about porn gives it the same conventional hook of being a show centered around vice, like the Wire, but that will only work with some people.
I actually think Maggie Gylenhall is doing a great job acting-wise. James Franco I also like but I don’t think they should have given him the twin role as well. Too much James Franco, although I will never tire of hearing him say “Hey Fucko”.
Like Guap, I did not think much of the first episode, so I’m wondering if I should continue. My streaming backlog is slowly creeping up to be as hideous as my games backlog, so I’m becoming more picky, and I truly hate wasting my time on a show/movie/series that I end up not enjoying at all. As one of the very few rare mutants who somehow did not “appreciate” The Wire (most probably because I waited too long), I’d like to ask those who have loved The Deuce from episode one if one must have an affectionate “The Wire” mindset and embrace that mindset before one can enjoy/appreciate The Deuce?
Disclaimer: I suppose I have a general dislike of James Franco, as I cannot think of a single performance of his that has impressed me, and can think of many that have disappointed. He somehow strikes me as a Ben Stiller/Will Ferrell/Adam Sandler type who believe they are much more funny and/or dramatic than they actually are. I have enjoyed some movies they’ve been involved with, but generally…not so much, and mostly due to their participation.
I finished this over the holiday. I thought Maggie was terrific, James Franco very good, and I really like the performance of the porno director. The writing was also top notch. My only problem is what I seem to have with most of David Simon’s work, the pacing is just too slow. Generation Kill was a notable exception.
Still overall this was a much better than average Netflix/HBO series 7 or 8 out of 10.
I’m slowly working through the first season of this. I watched the pilot a few weeks ago and felt, meh. I’m not sure why. I saw Simon and his wife at a reading and he was selling this show. I am very interested in this scene (42nd Street) at this particular time (70s and 80s). I read a book about the history of the area and really loved it. So why is this show so… I don’t know. Meh. I don’t have the answer, but I’m working through season 1.
My wife and I just finished the series last night. (Pretty much all TV, we wait til a season is complete and then watch episodes on consecutive nights.)
Most moved I have been by a TV show in… well, forever. So very poignant. I am not a New Yorker nor urban nor have I ever been particularly plugged into popular culture, so I missed a lot of the little references in the story that I have seen discussed in reviews, but it’s a moving story of ordinary people during a time of rapid societal change.
Obviously, this is a story centered on characters and poignancy, not on dramatic action or steady violence. So not for everyone. But wow, did we ever love it. I have a hunch that within a few days, we will be watching the whole thing over again from the beginning.
Thanks for your post. I must confess that I have failed to watch Season 2 or 3 of this show yet. I don’t know what is wrong with me, I liked season 1 alot. It just so happens that unlike with season 1, HBO did not release a blu ray of the show here in Australia and buying a dvd set in 2019 just feels wrong to me.
I’m going to set aside some time over the holidays to binge the whole series, and will post my thoughts in the thread after that’s happened.