Author Topic: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos  (Read 6037 times)

Small Man Big Horse

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This sexy 70s porn drama isn't due to begin until September 10th, but HBO have posted the pilot on HBO GO and inevitably it's now everywhere else. I've not seen it yet but I will do soon, and I'm (sexually) excited!

Warning: This does include James Franco playing two separate characters. But by all reports he's actually good in it, and doesn't make you want to repeatedly smash his head in with his Oscar until all that's left is a bloody pulpy sexy mess like he usually does.

Edit: Hollywood Reporter review: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/deuce-review-1032504

Which ends with:

Quote
Simon and Pelecanos are just beginning to put the machinery of The Deuce into motion in these eight episodes. As an opening act, the show's first season is substantive, provocative and entertaining. It's a journey through a certain kind of hell, but I'm already eager to return.

Serge

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2017, 06:56:05 PM »
Is this why George Pelecanos doesn't seem to write books any more?

Funcrusher

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2017, 07:47:53 PM »
Is this why George Pelecanos doesn't seem to write books any more?

Fair play, he was crazy prolific for many years, along with doing tv. I'm sure he'll be back. I am also looking forward to this show, although I don't think I have ant easy means of watching it soon.

DukeDeMondo

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2017, 09:25:27 PM »
Cheers for the heads up SMBH, this sounds like something I should be spending my time with. I might wait till it starts proper before bothering with the pilot though.

Serge

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2017, 09:37:06 PM »
Fair play, he was crazy prolific for many years, along with doing tv. I'm sure he'll be back.

Yeah, I know, but it's been four years since his last book! (I'm not counting 'The Martini Shot', as that was an anthology of older short stories. And also not very good.)

Ja'moke

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 11:26:01 PM »
Anyone watched this yet? I really enjoyed the pilot, definite The Wire vibes with its multiple characters and different shades of bad and good. Lots of shared cast members with The Wire too - D'Angelo as a cop!

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2017, 11:02:04 PM »
I finally got round to watching this today and liked it a lot, the ending was somewhat predictable as events had been a bit too casually breezy up until that point, but it's a strong drama with appealing characters and an insight in to a world I don't know a lot about. I had concerns about Franco but he's not too bad in it, and will hopefully grow on me as the series continues. Plus it turns out that I fancy Emily Meade, which is pleasing.

Ja'moke

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2017, 01:02:04 PM »
James Franco is really good in this. He plays off himself well, maybe it helps that he's so self-obsessed! But sometimes when an actor plays twins there is a tendency to really over-act one of the parts to differentiate the two characters but it ends up coming across forced - especially because if you've ever known identical twins they often are very much alike right down to mannerisms and speech patterns. So I like that Franco is playing both these brothers relatively understated.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is fantastic too. Really liking her character and where her potential arc is going. More appearances from former The Wire cast members this week too. Levy as a cop!

Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2017, 02:07:22 PM »
Enjoying this too, but I can't think of a whole lot to say about it. It's just good in that very HBO way. Ralph Macchio has aged well!

Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2017, 06:58:31 PM »
The end of episode one fucked me right up. Horrible.

Why is this called The Deuce? What is a deuce?

Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2017, 07:49:11 PM »
Why is this called The Deuce? What is a deuce?

It means two. I presume because Franco plays twins.

Ja'moke

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2017, 08:38:52 PM »
The end of episode one fucked me right up. Horrible.

Why is this called The Deuce? What is a deuce?

It's the nickname for 42nd Street in Manhattan. That's the street that had all the x-rated movies, peep shows, and prostitutes. "Forty-deuce" and then shortened to just the Deuce. I think someone in the latest episode refers to it that way.

Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2017, 02:34:13 PM »
Really enjoyed the first 3 episodes of this. It looks beautiful and the production details are all great (though slightly skeptical about $30-40 for half hour, thats like $200 in todays money for a streetworker?).

The script is tight and so far much more the wire, than treme (I enjoyed Treme but it did veer into soap episode drama at points, and underwhelmed when it didn't delve into more interesting threads)

Not convinced by the double Franco role - just throws you a bit and initially I wasn't sure which character was which, even when they purposely put in the head wound scene to differentiate. The good/bad arc for people isn't quite clear and plenty characters seem a bit grey. I find myself fearing what the drop out student is going to get wrapped up in as well. I'm not quite sure why good Franco is so tolerant of his fuck up brother mind.

And Wire actors so far - D'Angelo as a cop, Cheese and Chris Partlow as pimps, Maurice Levy as a sergeant and Slim Charles as the diner chef - I could be missing someone? A few of Sopranos guys popping up for the Mafia roles. Chris without a beard threw me so much I ended up having to pause and IMDB it to get to the bottom. 

hewantstolurkatad

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2017, 03:00:49 PM »
The Franco stuff is really confusing, but other than that I'm loving this so far.


Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2017, 05:59:22 PM »
There's no depth to this at all. It's fun to watch, but it feels like they invested everything in getting it to look good and then pasted in a group of archetypes to flesh it out. The college student feels particularly weak.

non capisco

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2017, 06:17:40 PM »
I'm really enjoying it. The scene between Maggie Gyllenhall and Method Man's characters in this week's one is electric.

Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2017, 12:34:12 AM »
I'm really enjoying it. The scene between Maggie Gyllenhall and Method Man's characters in this week's one is electric.

Just done a binge on all eps ver the past few days and totally agree on Maggie Gyllenhall, her performance throughout this has been outstanding and really captured the mental states and harrowing depths that Candy is going through, even just with a sideways glance.
The show itself is really gripping in the multi story thread format all slowly ravelling together. Not sure if we really need two Francos, but I have faith in this and am sure it will take us where we need to go. The attention to detail in both setting and the script is also very reminiscent of films I watched In my younger days such as Fort Apache- The Bronx, Dirty Harry films and Mean Streets, which really left an impression of the sleaziness and underbelly of big American cities in the 70s.

Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2017, 07:50:55 AM »
I am enjoying this, but it's not one that'll stay with me. With one episode left, I don't really think it's told a particularly satisfying story. It's never just about the story, but the characters / themes (normally a big Simon focus) don't compensate much for this either. It would have perhaps worked as a set up season, but the next one is due to jump forward seven years. I expect this will land us firmly in Boogie Nights territory and I think I can predict where the main characters will be.

Franco is actually doing quite well with his roles, although not sold on the necessity for identical twins. Given the obvious risk of audience distraction, it's not really been used purposefully. I'd been curious to find out why they went down that road. There have been some excellent scenes (Method Man and Gylenhall mentioned) and Slim Charles had a great moment in the latest episode. I also like the French Connection aesthetic, but overall it's probably in B+ territory. Sitting somewhere between Show Me A Hero and The Corner.

Z

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2017, 08:12:17 AM »
I am enjoying this, but it's not one that'll stay with me. With one episode left, I don't really think it's told a particularly satisfying story. It's never just about the story, but the characters / themes (normally a big Simon focus) don't compensate much for this either. It would have perhaps worked as a set up season, but the next one is due to jump forward seven years. I expect this will land us firmly in Boogie Nights territory and I think I can predict where the main characters will be.

Franco is actually doing quite well with his roles, although not sold on the necessity for identical twins. Given the obvious risk of audience distraction, it's not really been used purposefully. I'd been curious to find out why they went down that road. There have been some excellent scenes (Method Man and Gylenhall mentioned) and Slim Charles had a great moment in the latest episode. I also like the French Connection aesthetic, but overall it's probably in B+ territory. Sitting somewhere between Show Me A Hero and The Corner.
I wonder if that kinda implies they regretted started as far back as they did. I like it a lot so far but am not especially enamoured with the setting and feel like there's parts (specifically the main pimps) that they haven't figured out a use for.


RE: the corner and show me a hero, which are you ranking above it? Post-The Wire, I find the Corner a pretty redundant shittier version of similar things.

Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2017, 06:09:58 PM »
I wonder if that kinda implies they regretted started as far back as they did. I like it a lot so far but am not especially enamoured with the setting and feel like there's parts (specifically the main pimps) that they haven't figured out a use for.


RE: the corner and show me a hero, which are you ranking above it? Post-The Wire, I find the Corner a pretty redundant shittier version of similar things.

I think Season 3 again is supposed to jump forward to the 80s, so it looks like he's doing going more in for the Our Friends In the North approach. Showing the evolution of pornography would be difficult to cover in a constricted time period, although I'm not even sure if that's what the show is going for anymore (prostitution is still the bigger Theme and Times Square will be a constant).

The downside of jumping forward is that a lot of cast members will probably drop off. It's not realistic that they will all still be hanging around the 'Deuce' seven years hence. I can see Cop D'Angelo being a mainstay, particularly since he already looks a lot younger than he is, and the gay barman's long term arc has the most potential, although I really don't want it to be an HIV rise and fall. I wouldn't be surprised to see Gyllenhaal step away (if HBO haven't tied her down). I don't mind new characters, but the current crop are underdeveloped for the most part.

The Wire is above The Corner, as is Generation Kill. I still really enjoyed The Corner, but it was a case where reading the book beforehand actually helped my appreciation. Knowing a lot more about Gary McCullough (basically Bubbles) through the context of the book made the whole thing a lot more tragic. I take your point though, in that The Wire covered a similar thing in a more narratively satisfying way. But The Corner is essentially non-fiction.

Z

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2017, 08:32:01 PM »
I'd say they've her tied down, she seems to care a good bit about the quality of things she's in and when it's a David Simon show that gives HBO a lot of leverage to negotiate. I think she's probably got one of the clearest ongoing roles (becoming a pretty well off porn director until the quality drops following VHS and the internet, at which point she becomes a manager of high class escorts).

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2017, 10:41:21 PM »
Finished this now and whilst I enjoyed it I can't help but ultimately feel like it was a bit pointless. I liked Gyllenhaal's character and the black cop but the rest didn't interest me that much, or tell me anything I didn't already know about how grim New York was back then.

Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2017, 12:37:46 PM »
I felt the same. Good, but not great. Felt like when I finished the first season of Boardwalk Empire, which I never went back to and have completely forgotten about. Someone upthread said something about it being good in an HBO way and that hits the nail on the head. Maybe I've just seen too many of these now that it's become overly familiar.

After my last post, I read a good interview with David Simon and discovered it's a lot more non-fiction than I'd thought. This includes the twins, the brother in law, the bar, and a lot of the plot. Makes a bit more sense and I am interested to see where it goes (although that interview had spoilers). Although I'm mostly interested in the police storyline now and the wider corruption, which probably isn't the intention given it wasn't looking to retread The Wire.

Z

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2017, 09:18:03 PM »
Weak ass ending, surprised it was only 8 episodes too.
That being said, I've yet to see a David Simon show that didn't start off kinda weakly. Even Show Me A Hero took 3 episodes to get going and I'm a pretty big critic of season one of the Wire (not a mess like 5, but a total slog compared to 2, 3 and 4)

Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2018, 05:24:11 AM »
Bump.  Anyone still watching this? 

Nowhere near the heights of the Wire (yet) and at times comes very close to just being Boogie Nights style fancy dress, but still very enjoyable.  Faultless acting, writing as taut and realistic as you'd expect from Simon and Pelecanos, and production values up the wazoo.

Franco is even tolerable, the twin conceit feels less silly after a while..

Recomnended particularly for fans of merkins and outlandish prosthetic schlongs



And Rebecca Front is in it.

Marissa

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2018, 05:49:03 AM »
It's very good, thought first series occasionally suffered from putting too much of the research in. Doesn't feel as organic as some other more fictional series currently.

Thanks for the heads up.

the science eel

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2018, 06:35:01 AM »
There's no depth to this at all. It's fun to watch, but it feels like they invested everything in getting it to look good and then pasted in a group of archetypes to flesh it out. The college student feels particularly weak.

Yes, yes, yes.

But still.....I'm really enjoying it.

Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2018, 07:24:17 AM »
I watched all of the first series but found it rather dry as it went on. Was overall bored during first episode of the second series. Finding it tough to summon the appetite for episode two.

Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2018, 11:09:55 AM »
First series I liked but the second doesn't seem to have anything new to say so far. The first couple of episodes are particularly weak and don't really take either the characters or the plot forward.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: The Deuce - New HBO Show from David Simon and George Pelecanos
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2018, 03:53:39 PM »
I watched all of the first series but found it rather dry as it went on. Was overall bored during first episode of the second series. Finding it tough to summon the appetite for episode two.

I only made it through fifteen minutes of the season two opener, just can't summon up any enthusiasm for it and there's so much else on right now I'm not sure I'm going to bother.