TV Review: The Deuce

8. 24. 18

Hello everyone! I said I wanted to do a television series review. There are so many new shows that come out year after year, but only a few make it to green pastures. HBO’s The Deuce is one of those shows. I and my good friend, Elizabeth have watched the first season and we just finished watching it again before the second season starts early next month. So Lizzie is going to do the review of the series.

Shelley and I have rewatched the first season of this series just to renew…OK, who are we kidding we liked the show. Set in the early 70’s in New York City, The Deuce is about the early years of the porn industry. George Pelecanos and David Simon, the men behind The Wire created the series.


James Franco is one of the stars of the series who portrays identical twins Vincent and Frankie Martino. Vincent is your run of the mill bartender who is now trying to pay off Frankie’s gambling debts. He opens up a bar called the Hi-Hat and a prostitution parlor, with the mob behind the whole operation, but he wants no part in the latter.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is Eileen ‘Candy’ Merrell, a prostitute who has no pimp and doesn’t want to work for a pimp. Eileen or Candy has been in the game for a long time…to a point in the middle of the series where she is fed up with the whole thing and moves on to the porn industry.

Gbenga Akinnagbe and Gary Carr are pimps Larry Brown and C.C. respectively.

Emily Meade is Lori, a prostitute from Minnesota who lands in NYC looking to make her mark works under C.C.

Dominque Fishback is Darlene, a prostitute working under Larry Brown.

Margarita Levieva is Abigail ‘Abby’ Parker a former college student from NYU.

As I’ve stated before, the series takes place in NYC in the early 70s. It’s the beginning of billion-dollar sex industry. The series shows the gritty and often dangerous times of what 1970s New York City was and is today. Franco has three hats, as actor, director, and producer. He does it all with ease, bringing the Martino brothers characters to life. Akinnagbe, Gary Carr, along with Redman, are the pimps who run their women with little to no amount of caring. Remember they are all about the money. That’s it that’s all, but these three bring some interesting notes to their characters, which is all good.

It never sugarcoats the reality of prostitution. You see what each of the prostitutes go through in their chosen profession. I was really intrigued by these ladies and why and how they got into this in the first place. Three of these characters stood out for me. Eileen, Darlene, and Ruby, played by Parnell Walker.

Gyllenhaal and Fishback are my favorites in this series. They each bring a raw portrait of Eileen and Darlene. Both women in the same job, but have ventured differently during the series. Eileen is not only a prostitute, but she’s also a mother to a son, who is being cared for by her mother. You can feel the tension between mother and daughter, she doesn’t approve of her daughter’s profession. It’s not just the family drama that Eileen goes through, but one episode she’s asked out on a date. I mention this because of the fact that she’s been in this job for so long, she doesn’t remember what a date, a real date feels like. It was interesting. Darlene, on the other hand, is just going through the motions. You get a sense that she’s wanting something more than being a prostitute, her sweet personality belies a woman with insecurities and trying to figure out what her place is in the world. That’s my personal view of her.

Meade’s Lori and Jamie Neumann, who portrays Ashley another prostitute, are just as interesting. I’m trying to like Abby Parker, really I am, but she’s just a boring character. A college student who decided to drop out, which I figure she would do, Abby is a just bored little rich girl. I would think she could become a writer or maybe a photographer for a newspaper or something, but no she becomes a barmaid. She and Vincent start a relationship and where it goes who knows. I just feel the writers could’ve done better with this character and Levieva is just there for the ride. Let’s just hope her character is more exciting in the second season.

We’ll see how the rest of the ensemble cast fair in the second season, which premieres on Sunday, September 9 on HBO.


Come back tomorrow for some Weekend Updates and Where To. In the meantime, enjoy your Friday, be blessed!


Image source: HBO



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