The Deuce (TV series)

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The Deuce
The Deuce.png
Genre Period drama
Created by
Opening theme "(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go" by Curtis Mayfield
Ending theme "Assume the Position" by Lafayette Gilchrist
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 8 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Jessica Levin
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Mark Henry Johnson
Location(s) New York City
Cinematography Pepe Avila del Pino
Editor(s) Alex Hall
Running time
  • 59–84 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network HBO
Original release September 10, 2017 (2017-09-10) – present
External links

The Deuce is an American drama television series set in and around Times Square, New York City in the early 1970s. Created and written by author and former police reporter David Simon and his frequent collaborator George Pelecanos, the series pilot began shooting in October 2015, it was picked up to series in January 2016.[1] It is broadcast by the premium cable network HBO in the United States, the first season consists of eight episodes. HBO made the pilot available through its video on demand services and affiliate portals on August 25, 2017,[2] the series premiered on September 10, 2017.[3][4]

The Deuce tells the story of the legalization and ensuing rise of the porn industry in New York beginning in the 1970s. Themes explored include the violence of the drug epidemic and the resulting real estate booms and busts that coincided with the change, the show's title is derived from the nickname for 42nd Street between Seventh Avenue and Eighth Avenue.[5][6]

On September 19, 2017, HBO renewed the series for a second season,[7] which will premiere on September 9, 2018.[8]


In New York, the violence of the drug epidemic is worsening. Twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino become fronts for the Mafia while operating out of Times Square, which is also the home of "Candy," a sex worker who turns to the now legal emerging porn industry.


Marc Henry Johnson, an assistant locations manager on Treme, introduced Simon and Pelecanos to a man in New York who told them vivid accounts from his stint as a mob front for bars and massage parlors in 1970s Manhattan. "The characters were so rich, and that's what it all comes down to," said Pelecanos. Inspired by these stories, the producers set out to present a fictional account of the era. "Some of it happened," said Simon. "Some of it didn't happen. Some of it might have happened, but all of it could have happened."[9]




  • Pernell Walker as Ruby "Thunder Thighs", a thoughtful and opinionated sex worker who embodies her unorthodox aesthetics. Walker has stated that she appreciates the care taken in writing for the character, whose inclusion in the show is not just for sensationalism.[15]
  • Method Man as Rodney, a pimp
  • Tariq Trotter as Reggie Love, a pimp
  • Daniel Sauli as Tommy Longo
  • David Krumholtz as Harvey Wasserman, a director of pornographic movies[16]
  • Don Harvey as Danny Flanagan, a NYC patrolman and Alston's partner[4]
  • Michael Kostroff as Rizzi, a desk sergeant in Alston and Flanagan's precinct.
  • Ralph Macchio as Officer Haddix, a jaded vice cop.
  • Mustafa Shakir as Big Mike, a man of few words, a physically imposing loner who becomes Vincent’s primary muscle and fiercely devoted friend.[12]
  • Anwan Glover as Leon, who runs a diner the characters frequent[1]
  • Jamie Neumann as Ashley, a prostitute who works for C.C.[17]
  • Zoe Kazan as Andrea Martino, Vincent's wife[18]
  • James Ciccone as Carmine Patriccia, a mob underboss who works out of a Mulberry Street social club in Little Italy and is one rung above Rudy Pipilo.
  • Garry Pastore as Matthew Ianniello, the Genovese Family crime boss who ran the Times Square porn industry during the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Carolyn Mignini as Joan Merrell, Candy's mother who lives in the suburbs.
  • Finn Robbins as Adam, Candy's son who lives with Candy's mother.
  • Gino Vento as Carlos, driver and bodyguard for mobster Rudy Pipilo.
  • Aaron Dean Eisenberg as Todd Lang, a classically trained but starving actor with little success in acting. To make ends meet, he starts acting in a few porn films, and quickly finds a home.


Season 1 (2017)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
11"Pilot"Michelle MacLarenGeorge Pelecanos & David SimonAugust 25, 2017 (2017-08-25) (online)
September 10, 2017 (2017-09-10) (HBO)
22"Show and Prove"Ernest DickersonRichard Price & George PelecanosSeptember 17, 2017 (2017-09-17)0.839[20]
33"The Principle Is All"James FrancoDavid Simon & Richard PriceSeptember 24, 2017 (2017-09-24)0.992[21]
44"I See Money"Alex HallStory by : George Pelecanos and Lisa Lutz
Teleplay by : Lisa Lutz
October 1, 2017 (2017-10-01)0.941[22]
55"What Kind of Bad?"Uta BriesewitzStory by : Richard Price
Teleplay by : Will Ralston & Chris Yakaitis
October 8, 2017 (2017-10-08)0.888[23]
66"Why Me?"Roxann DawsonStory by : Richard Price and Marc Henry Johnson
Teleplay by : Marc Henry Johnson
October 15, 2017 (2017-10-15)0.812[24]
77"Au Reservoir"James FrancoStory by : David Simon and Megan Abbott
Teleplay by : Megan Abbott
October 22, 2017 (2017-10-22)0.953[25]
88"My Name Is Ruby"Michelle MacLarenDavid Simon & George PelecanosOctober 29, 2017 (2017-10-29)0.771[26]
It was important to me that we don't ever shoot in a way that isn't real, or how it would actually look. If you put a camera on two people having sex, it's not necessarily going to look beautiful and romantic.

... Sometimes there's a beauty in the ugliness of the truth. To me, when you are authentic and real to what something looks like, it brings a different kind of beauty in the honesty of it.

  — Director of The Deuce pilot, Michelle MacLaren, The Ringer, September 6, 2017[27]


Critical response[edit]

The Deuce received critical acclaim. On Metacritic, it has a score of 86 out of 100 based on 34 reviews,[28] on Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 93% approval rating with an average rating of 8.66 out of 10 based on 72 reviews. The site's critical consensus is, "The Deuce again demonstrates David Simon's masterful grasp of urban grit, while never losing detailed sight of its colorful characters."[29]

Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter gave it a highly positive review, praising its ensemble cast, and wrote in conclusion, "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."[30] Charles Bramesco of The Guardian gave it a five star review and wrote, "Simon has created his most accessible work of humanism to date, and he's done so without sacrificing his loftier ambitions of societal critique."[31]


The premiere episode received 830,000 viewers on HBO for its initial airing and an additional 342,000 viewers for its encore later that night, on September 10, 2017, the episode was previously made available online through on-demand and HBO Go on August 25 and received 1.1 million viewers. Cumulatively, through all platforms, the episode received 2.2 million viewers.[19]


Year Award Category Recipients Result Ref.
2017 75th Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Maggie Gyllenhaal Nominated [32]
Location Managers Guild Awards Outstanding Locations in Period Television Chris George, Pat Weber Sones Nominated [33]
22nd Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Drama / Genre Series Maggie Gyllenhaal Nominated [34]
70th Writers Guild of America Awards Best New Series Megan Abbott, Marc Henry Johnson, Lisa Lutz, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, Will Ralston, David Simon, Chris Yakaitis Nominated [35]


  1. ^ a b c d Goldberg, Lesley (January 19, 2016). "David Simon's HBO Porn Drama Starring James Franco Picked Up to Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  2. ^ Malone, Michael (August 24, 2017). "HBO Offers 'The Deuce' Early for Subscribers". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved September 2, 2017. 
  3. ^ Offenhartz, Jake (August 26, 2017). "HBO Drops 'The Deuce' Series Premiere Two Weeks Ahead Of Schedule". Gothamist. Archived from the original on August 26, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c "James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal Star in HBO Drama Series "The Deuce," Created by David Simon and George Pelecanos, Debuting Sept. 10" (Press release). HBO. July 26, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2017. 
  5. ^ Jerilou Hammett; Kingsley Hammett, eds. (2007). Suburbanization of New York: Is the World's Greatest City Becoming Just Another Town?. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 9781568986784. 
  6. ^ Rose, Lacey (August 6, 2015). "HBO Orders Two David Simon Pilots, James Franco to Star In Porn Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  7. ^ Petski, Denise (September 19, 2017). "'The Deuce' Renewed For Season 2 At HBO". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 19, 2017. 
  8. ^ Petski, Denise (July 9, 2018). "'The Deuce' Season 2 Premiere Date Set On HBO". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 9, 2018. 
  9. ^ Barry, Dan (August 24, 2017). "'The Deuce' Recalls Sex and Sleaze in 1970s Times Square". The New York Times. Retrieved September 2, 2017. 
  10. ^ Rose, Lacey (September 24, 2015). "Maggie Gyllenhaal to Star in David Simon's HBO Porn Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Petski, Denise (June 21, 2016). "'The Deuce' HBO Series Adds Chris Bauer & Gbenga Akinnagbe As Regulars". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (June 16, 2016). "'The Deuce' HBO Series Adds Chris Coy As Regular". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (October 1, 2015). "Margarita Levieva To Star In HBO Drama Pilot 'The Deuce'; Two Others Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  14. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (June 8, 2016). "Michael Rispoli & Natalie Paul Join HBO New Drama Series 'Deuce' As Regulars". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Meet Pernell Walker aka Thunder Thighs". YouTube. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  16. ^ Suri, Sameer (September 4, 2016). "Maggie Gyllenhaal films James Franco's HBO series The Deuce in NYC". Mail Online. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  17. ^ Petski, Denise (June 24, 2016). "'Scream Queens' Casts James Earl; 'The Deuce' Adds Ralph Macchio". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 11, 2015). "Zoe Kazan To Star In Lena Dunham HBO Comedy Pilot 'Max' In Recasting". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  19. ^ a b Porter, Rick (September 13, 2017). "Sunday cable ratings: 'The Deuce' starts off on par with 'The Night Of'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 13, 2017. 
  20. ^ Porter, Rick (September 19, 2017). "Sunday cable ratings: 'Outlander' and 'The Deuce' steady with second episodes". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 19, 2017. 
  21. ^ Porter, Rick (September 26, 2017). "Sunday cable ratings: 'Outlander' hits total-viewer high, 'Fear the Walking Dead' ticks up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 26, 2017. 
  22. ^ Porter, Rick (October 3, 2017). "Sunday cable ratings: 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' returns, 'Outlander' ticks up again". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 3, 2017. 
  23. ^ Porter, Rick (October 10, 2017). "Sunday cable ratings: 'Outlander' keeps improving, MLB playoffs on top". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 10, 2017. 
  24. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (October 17, 2017). "SHOWBUZZDAILY'S Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.15.2017". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved October 17, 2017. 
  25. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (October 24, 2017). "SHOWBUZZDAILY'S Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.22.2017". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved October 24, 2017. 
  26. ^ Porter, Rick (October 31, 2017). "Sunday cable ratings: 'The Walking Dead' stumbles to 5-year low". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 31, 2017. 
  27. ^ Herman, Alison (June 9, 2017). "How Michelle MacLaren Brought 'The Deuce' to Life". The Ringer. Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  28. ^ "The Deuce : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved September 8, 2017. 
  29. ^ "The Deuce: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 8, 2017. 
  30. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (August 25, 2017). "'The Deuce': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 1, 2017. 
  31. ^ Bramesco, Charles (August 28, 2017). "The Deuce review – David Simon's 70s porn saga is a dazzling achievement". The Guardian. Retrieved September 1, 2017. 
  32. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 11, 2017). "Golden Globes: Big Little Lies, FEUD, Fargo, This Is Us and The Handmaid's Tale Lead TV Nominations". TVLine. Retrieved December 12, 2017. 
  33. ^ Sandberg, Bryn Elise (February 22, 2018). "'The Crown,' 'Dunkirk' Among Locations Managers Guild International Awards Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 23, 2018. 
  34. ^ Pond, Steve (November 29, 2017). "'Dunkirk,' 'The Shape of Water' Lead Satellite Award Nominations". IndieWire. Retrieved December 12, 2017. 
  35. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (December 7, 2017). "Writers Guild Award TV Nominations: 'The Americans,' 'Handmaid's Tale,' 'GLOW' Grab Multiple Mentions". Vatiety. Retrieved December 12, 2017. 

External links[edit]