I had been waiting for The Deuce to premiere for what seemed like eternity. Having a love for New York City and being obsessed with the 1970s, as soon as I saw the trailer this past winter, I couldn’t wait. But first, let’s take a look at how New York City looked back then…
Recreating The Disco Era
The Deuce is written by David Simon (The Wire, The Corner), so you know it’s going to be gritty and intense. The show centers around the disco era of Times Square when the sex industry and drugs ran rampant. Instead of having to go into a back alley to do something illegal, Times Square was an open playground for that sort of illicit behavior. The billboards that you see today advertising H&M and Mac Cosmetics used advertise peep shows, massage parlors, and porn movies. Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad, The X-Files) directed the pilot episode and told The Daily Beast, that “every post and sign in this pilot is accurate.”
Each character in the series is based off a person or a combination of people from that time period. You get to see the perception from all of the players, starting with The Deuces main characters. James Franco who plays twins, Frankie and Vincent. Frankie is a degenerate gambler who owes a lot of wise guys money, and Vincent is a bartender trying to make ends meet while also trying to help pay off Frankie’s debts. Then there’s Margarita Levieva who plays a college student attending NYU that strikes up a relationship with Vincent while he’s on the outs with his bitchy party-girl wife played by Zoe Kazan. Then of course Candie, a street prostitute who works without a pimp played by Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Other notable characters that show you what street life was like back then are a trio of hookers played by Pernell Walker, Dominique Fishback and Jamie Neumann. And then there’s their pimps played by Method Man, Gbenga Akinnagbe and Gary Carr. The Deuce showcases the complex relationship between the two and gives you a glimpse of what turning tricks in seedy Times Square was like back then.
After watching the pilot I can not wait for the next episode. One of the things that I loved was how authentic it felt. There wasn’t any cheesy lighting or cheap looking sets. The costumes look like they were taken out of a thrift shop and brought back to life. The hairstyles of the cast tied everything together and left us will a realistic portrayal of the 1970’s.
The series premieres September 10th on HBO, but lucky for those that have an HBO subscription you can stream the hour and half special advance premiere on HBO GO right now.