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The Deuce: Season One

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by TravisR, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    The finale was the best episode of the entire series. The fantastic scenes of Darlene leaving Larry (who they've manged to make me root for despite his monstrous behavior), Lori's reaction to finding out that C.C. was dead and Eileen going to her parents' house. Also, I never thought I'd see
    The Karate Kid take out a member of the Wu Tang Clan.
     
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  2. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    LOL re Macchio. Yeah, great finale. And looking forward to the last season skipping forward into the 80s.

    Poor Vince.
    That last shot of him staring into the dancing throngs and looking lost. His dream of a house and wife in the suburbs going up like so much coke up the nose.
     
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  3. Message #23 of 43 Feb 14, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
    The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    Huge fan of HBO's The Deuce. I've re-edited my review of S01-S02 (that I wrote after I saw each season in 2017 & 2018) & will post them here. Note that there is no dedicated thread for S02 of the show (other than the official Blu release thread), but since this thread also discusses S02 I'll include my review for that season as well:

    Season 01:

    -This series is extremely compelling. I'm a huge fan of any & all HBO series I've seen, and this is no exception. Superb.

    -The 1971 NYC setting is fantastic; they really pulled out all of the stops to recreate this era & specific place. The clothing, hairstyles, frequency of smoking, cars, stores/shops, etc. seem like they were pulled straight out of this time period. The setting & era is another character in the story. The marquees with the early 1970's film The Conformist and The Bird with Crystal Plumage (a film I never heard about until recently) were great, as well as the two The Omega Man posters in another scene.

    -Also cool was in episode 5, when the college kids were trying to decide whether to go see "Straw Dogs" or "Play Misty For Me", both 1971 films. Going along with this, I'm a huge fan of 1970's films - especially films set in NYC - and, this series had elements of: Mean Streets; Taxi Driver; Born to Win; Midnight Cowboy (late 1960's, but still the same era); The French Connection; Fingers; etc.

    -The same crowd(s) meeting in the same diner for breakfast each morning was a nice touch, and definitely reminded me of similar scenes in the great Al Pacino drama, Panic in Needle Park.

    -The scenes with the LE officers being told to just "let things go" in the area between certain blocks felt true to life. Also appreciated the scenes with the occasional "rousting", which was more of a formality and "just for show" than anything else, since everyone knew the women would be back on the streets not long after.

    -Maggie Gylenhall is sublime on this show; excellent acting on her part, and I also see that she's one of the show's producers. My favorite scene was after she got beaten up & the pimp was trying to convince her to work for him. She was crying at first, but then got angry with him & walked away. Great stuff here; I can easily see her winning (or at least being nominated for) an award re: this series.

    -Franco did a convincing job playing two roles here as twin brothers. The personalities of each are slightly different, which I'm sure was difficult to pull off well - but, was well-done here.

    S02:

    -I like how the characters have progressed from S01.

    -The new opening theme song & images are great - Elvis Costello's "This Year's Girl" (1978) & the late '70's?! footage of Times Square, etc. really encapsulates the era, just like the S01 opening theme/song encapsulated the early '70's era. And, the fact that the show starts in '77 & features a '78 song is not a big deal at all. The point is that the music signifies an era instead of a specific year.

    -It's obvious that times have changed considerably re: what we saw in the first season. The adult film industry is booming (we saw the beginnings of this towards the end of S01), and women are going to "work" there in a safer, controlled, and much more lucrative environment - without having to deal with the dangers/hassle of dealing with anonymous "johns", potentially dangerous & definitely greedy pimps, etc.

    -One of my favorite scenes in this season is when one of the pimps goes to the bus station in an attempt to "pick up" young women who are coming to the big city for the first time, so they can "work" for him (obviously, this had worked successfully for him in the past). After he focuses on one young woman (fresh off the bus) & goes into his regular "routine", she ignores his come-ons and asks him directions to an adult film location....he is then dumbfounded, and realizes that he is speaking to deaf ears...and then yells after her that she will be exploited, etc. - while she just ignores him and quickly walks away....great sequence, that spoke volumes [​IMG]

    -We also saw the early beginnings of the clean-up of Times Square in this season, re: the investigation of the tourist's death that we see in Episodes 1-2 here. Obviously, this won't happen on any great scale until later.

    -One of my favorite sequences in this series was towards the end, when the young blonde woman - who was on her way to being a big adult film star - was worried that her former pimp was going to prevent her from going to LA. He was still hassling her (even though he had been bought off), and she was still justifiably terrified of what he would do to her. So, when Franco told her he was sure the pimp was not around anymore, her crying with what initially looked like sadness - but then was obviously joy/elation/relief - was quite impressive. Great acting here. I especially liked the ending scene when she walked off the plane & into the LA sunshine.

    Really looking forward to S03, but I know it will probably be the grimmest/most disturbing of the series. I suspect it will come out sometime in Fall 2019.

    I'm in my late 40's, and would have to agree with you on this. AR is not drop-dead gorgeous, but definitely has a sexy quality that is hard to put your finger on. She is also fantastic in the Netflix drama Orange is the New Black.

    -Going along with my review of the show, here are some personal comments about Times Square & the series:

    Though I was born in the early '70's (so didn't experience the TS depicted in The Deuce firsthand), this series definitely seems to depict the era & sleazy/seedy locale down to a T, based on what I've seen in NYC-based films from that time period.

    When I first went to Times Square back in the early-mid '80's (as a kid, with family), I noticed the sleaze, but it also seemed "safer" than what had been seen in the '70's. That being said, obviously there was a lot of crime in NYC (and not just in Times Square) in the '70's & into the '80's, to some extent.

    I was in TS most recently in Summer 2016, and definitely agree that the area was unrecognizable when compared to what it had been like 30-40 years earlier. There was some "commercialized" nudity (women with painted chests who wanted to pose with you, for a nominal fee, of course - LOL), but this wasn't even close to being as "edgy" & dangerous as what had been seen years earlier.

    I did feel a lot safer walking around most parts of NYC late at night than I suspect I would have been in the '70's. Hell, I felt safer walking around NYC late @ night than I do walking around most other places (including where I live) during the day. In fact, I was surprised by how cleaned-up everything was in 2016 (not just in TS, but in most of the tourist spots). I didn't even see any aggressive panhandling, which I typically run into in other, smaller U.S. cities. That being said, there were the ubiquitous scammers/buskers, however - LOL.
     
  4. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Yeah, the last season is set in 1985. By that time, HIV had taken hold, the porn industry had switched over to garbage video tape and the city was a deadly toilet so no, I don't expect a happy ending. :)
     
  5. Message #25 of 43 Oct 11, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
    The Drifter

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    Surprised there is not more buzz/discussion on The Deuce S03. Like the previous seasons, this final one is both disturbing & compelling - very well done.

    However, there is a grimness here that was somewhat absent in previous seasons. I.e., there is a real sense that the party is over at this point. The sleaze & crime of Times Square is being cracked down on much more than before due to pressure from above to do a justifiable "cleaning up" of these seedy elements; characters are dying off; and the adult film industry is becoming more "legitimate", etc.

    Blondie's iconic track Dreaming is perfect for this final season's theme song. Though this is from 1979, I find that it really fits the late 1984/1985 time period. In fact, I can't think of a better song to encapsulate what we're seeing this season.. And, it's obvious this is the remastered version, not the original:

     
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  6. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    Don't know if anyone else has been watching the final season three of The Deuce but it's been excellent and I've never been more invested in these characters, which is why it has also been so damn depressing. I mean, this show lately has a bigger body count than an entire season of The Sopranos. And is there anyone... anyone headed for an okay ending? Not likely.
     
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  7. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I haven't seen last night's episode but my guess is that Candy does OK by the end. Well, as OK as you could be after going through what she's endured.
     
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  8. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    She may get out of the 'world' but her relationship with her son and family is still tragically gone. And Vince better just head for the hills. The detective may escape with his compromised soul (he went to the dark side on the arson) and his girlfriend. But I guess we should chalk it up to a David Simon project. How many on The Wire ever escaped unscathed? Or even Treme.
     
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  9. Message #29 of 43 Oct 23, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
    The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    Just saw Episode 07 - Wow. Very rough - obviously some of these characters are on their last legs.

    The scene when Vince went to visit a very ill Mike in the cabin (to bring food, supplies) was both depressing & poignant.

    What really got me was the scene when Lori unexpectedly shot herself in the head - I didn't see that coming. Sad.

    Interesting scene when those running the "parlors" were realizing that the women that used to work there were making easier money & more of it, by working the hotels in the area....than they had been dealing with these "managers" ;) This is obviously the beginning of the end for places like this.

    Very good scene when LE was meeting with the local Times Square community/business owners to outline the clean-up of the area - and strongly implying that some of the people in the room could be arrested if they themselves didn't clean up their act - LOL. The bartender's railing against this (because many of her customers were the elements that were being targeted) was very heartfelt & drew cheers from the audience, but obviously fell on deaf ears re: the powers that be - i.e., this clean-up was going to (and did) happen whether people wanted it to or not.

    Going along with this, I feel that the NYC Times Square clean-up by LE (and others) was one of the best things to ever happen to the city - and this is coming from someone who has never lived there. Prior to this, as is seen on the show (and from doing research & seeing news footage of the area in the '60'/'70's/much of the '80's) that part of NYC was a dangerous sewer/cesspool with numerous criminal & sleazy elements. I.e., in many cases you were literally putting your life at risk just by walking down the street (especially at night).
     
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  10. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Producer

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    This show continues to have the most beautiful ugly sequences.

    Nobody captures a time and a place like David Simon and his team.
     
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  11. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Definitely. Even their mini-series like The Corner, Generation Kill and Show Me A Hero manage do it remarkably well in a handful of episodes. And while I'm aware of inner cities and the bad old days of NYC, Treme introduced me to music that I had never heard and places that I never knew existed.
     
  12. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    I enjoyed the series finale which was surprisingly up for a David Simon project. The flash forward walk down Times Square was very rewarding.

    So, thirty-some odd years later, the only ones that survive are Vince's mustache and Abby. That was Abby randomly passing by doing business on her cell phone in that last shot, I assume. At least she got a new 'do.' Vince still had the same hairstyle and mustache, but I suppose they needed to preserve that to contrast with the Frankie reunion. Though Vince going down the dark stairs arm and arm with his brother at the end suggests his end is also near, metaphorically speaking. Eileen got her movie but not her man.

    The sentiment of the whole enterprise basically suggested New York sold its soul to gentrify the Deuce, and sacrificed its character(s), as well. Definitely not the Disney ending, but authentic to those affected.

    What's next, David Simon? I'm aboard.
     
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  13. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Producer

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  14. Message #34 of 43 Oct 30, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
    The Drifter

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    The S03, EP08 series finale of The Deuce was stellar. One of the best finales for a TV series I've ever seen. Sad - but not surprising - to see the sick characters pass on....or on the verge of dying.

    I never thought that Eileen's relationship (with the wealthy businessman) would work out, so wasn't surprised by it ending; nor did I find this unfortunate. Her lifestyle/career didn't lend itself to having a long-term relationship.

    Interesting to see Vince's nephew & his buddy get arrested for insider trading. This was ripped straight from the headlines back in the '80's, and brought to mind the iconic film Wall Street (1987).

    The finale with Vince going back to NYC in 2019 was fantastic; I initially didn't like the idea of a "flash forward" since I felt the show should have ended in the '80's. However, after seeing how this final scene was handled I found it very touching & poignant - and find this the perfect ending to the series:

    -Good scene when Vince was reading the newspaper in the bar, and saw that Eileen had passed....the obituary mentioned that her obscure "art film" from the '80's had been restored by the Criterion Collection. Nice reference for all of us film buffs - especially those of us who still enjoy physical media ;)

    - Vince seeing (and in some cases talking with) many of the people he knew who had passed - while walking down the street - was a grim reminder of the passage of time. The final scene of him walking down the subway steps with his brother's arm around his shoulders was very fitting.

    -The only comedic element to this final scene was that Vince was in NYC for his nephew's 3rd wedding, and the reference that the nephew was in trouble, presumably for insider trading - again! LOL.

    Also, on a personal note: I went to NYC on vacation several years ago, and did enjoy walking around Times Square. It was interesting & there is no other place quite like this (at least not that I've been). And, I have no problems with the way TS (and the whole area) was cleaned up - I think it's nice to be able to walk down the street without worrying about being shot or stabbed.

    Sure, the city administration didn't do this mass clean-up of the area for altruistic reasons, it was because they were losing $; tourists & city residents didn't want to visit/live in the area because of the crime & sleaze. However, I think gentrification can be a great thing - if handled properly. I don't like the idea of hard working & honest poor people being driven out of an area because some yuppies want to move in & drive the prices up, etc. However, if criminals, homeless junkies/alcoholics, and prostitutes are driven out of an area to make way for nicer & safer living conditions - I'm all for this. Hell, I wish some areas in my city would be cleaned up like this. I've got a very conservative attitude towards crime & feel it should be cracked down on harshly - and I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels this way.
     
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  15. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

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    I have a slightly different take. The series itself was mostly good if not a little uneven here and there. The way they dealt with Lori in the previous episode was shocking if not expected and filmed in a way that enhanced the shock. The soundtrack was the best part of the series.

    The finale was good up until the overly sappy walk through times square. They should've ended right before that. I thought it was done then. When "May 2019" flashed on the screen, I thought this can not be good. I had serious eye rolls when he was walking through the streets seeing and even interacting with long gone characters. I also did not buy his aging makeup or his old man mannerisms.

    What was it's point? We know Times Square has been Disneyfied. Guiliani had a big part in cleaning that and the rest of the city up. If you haven't been in a while, it is on it's way back to becoming its seedier, littered, filthy self under the current mayor which is a shame.
     
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  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  17. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    That interview was all about the sexual harassment issues with Franco, so I'm just adding a link here to the one where Simon talks nostalgically about shooting that entire last scene on Times Square. Just found it more fun and interesting.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-features/deuce-finale-epilogue-david-simon-interview-903622/
     
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  18. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Producer

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    Personally I thought Simon took Sepinwall (and the LA times, and many 2019 journalists) to task in that interview.
     
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  19. Message #39 of 43 Oct 30, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
    Chelsearicky

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    I think this series, which I watched in its entirety, never rose above competent on its best day. It was the beneficiary of what I term 'HBO glow'.......a pedestrian effort discussed and praised far beyond its worth simply because it was produced by HBO. It probably would have been ignored or even vilified had it been on Starz or Showtime.
     
  20. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    It's not about the Disneyifcation of Times Square, it's about how Vince still remembers how it was back in his heyday and that he still remembers the people that have been forgotten by almost everyone else now.


    Maybe I'm just getting more sentimental as I get older but I loved the end. How could Vince walk around the Deuce today and not see all the 'ghosts' of the people that he used to know? The place has changed but the people who've been dead and gone for decades in some cases still left some small mark there. I expected the usual David Simon season/series ending music montage and instead got something really sweet and sad. The exchange between him and Frankie ("You look like shit!") was funny and moving.
     
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