The Deuce (TV series)
"(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go" by Curtis Mayfield (season 1)|
"This Year's Girl" by Elvis Costello (season 2)
|Ending theme||"Assume the Position" by Lafayette Gilchrist|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||10 (list of episodes)|
|Production location(s)||New York City|
Pepe Avila del Pino|
|Original release||September 10, 2017– present|
The Deuce is an American drama television series created by David Simon and George Pelecanos. The series' pilot began filming in October 2015 and was greenlighted in January 2016. It is broadcast by the premium cable network HBO in the United States and premiered on September 10, 2017. HBO made the pilot available through its video-on-demand services and affiliate portals on August 25, 2017.
The Deuce features an ensemble cast that includes James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal. It tells the story of the legalization and ensuing rise of the porn industry in New York City beginning in the 1970s. Themes explored include government and police corruption, 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.
Set during the 1970s 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 street-level sex worker who exits the dangers of the street by entering the now-legal emerging porn industry as an actress and director. The first season takes place between 1971 and 1972, while the second season jumps five years ahead to 1977.
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."
- James Franco as Vincent Martino and Frankie Martino, twin brothers from Brooklyn operating out of Times Square who become fronts for the Mob.
- Maggie Gyllenhaal as Eileen "Candy" Merrell, a Times Square sex worker with an entrepreneurial spirit who sees opportunity in the emerging pornography industry.
- Chris Coy as Paul Hendrickson, a kindred spirit to Vincent Martino and a veteran bartender who pursues his own personal and professional ambitions in the emerging gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community of '70s New York.
- Dominique Fishback as Darlene, a young, sweet-natured sex worker who relies on her savvy and intellect to create a life for herself while navigating a volatile, violent pimp.
- Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Chris Alston, an NYPD patrolman who discovers corruption in the police department.
- Margarita Levieva as Abigail "Abby" Parker, a college student who rejects the confines of her wealthy upbringing by embracing feminist politics and striking up a relationship with Vincent.
- Emily Meade as Lori, an impressionable young woman newly arrived to New York City from Minnesota who becomes a sex worker.
- Gbenga Akinnagbe as Larry Brown, an intense and demanding pimp who physically intimidates the women he commands, but also has moments that portray a conflicted, underlying humanity.
- Gary Carr as C.C., an affable but ruthless pimp.
- Chris Bauer as Bobby Dwyer, Vincent and Frankie Martino’s brother-in-law, a construction foreman and family man whose eyes are opened by their adventures along the Deuce.
- Natalie Paul as Sandra Washington, a newspaper reporter who's investigating the Times Square sex industry. (season 1)
- Michael Rispoli as Rudy Pipilo, a Gambino family capo who oversees the Mob's financial interests in the sex business.
- Jamie Neumann as Ashley, a sex worker who works for C.C. that later quits the sex trade and becomes an activist with the help of Abby. (recurring season 1, main season 2)
- Luke Kirby as Gene Goldman, an incoming Koch administration official bent on reform. (season 2)
- David Krumholtz as Harvey Wasserman, a director of pornographic movies
- Pernell Walker as Ruby "Thunder Thighs", a thoughtful and opinionated sex worker who unapologetically 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.
- Method Man as Rodney, a pimp
- Tariq Trotter as Reggie Love, a pimp
- Daniel Sauli as Tommy Longo
- Don Harvey as Danny Flanagan, a NYPD patrolman and Alston's partner
- Michael Kostroff as Rizzi, a desk sergeant in Alston and Flanagan's precinct.
- Mustafa Shakir as Big Mike, a physically imposing man of few words who becomes Vincent’s primary muscle and fiercely devoted friend.
- Anwan Glover as Leon, who runs a diner the characters frequent
- Sepideh Moafi as Loretta
- Ralph Macchio as Officer Haddix, a jaded vice cop patrolling Times Square in the corrupt police force of 1970s New York.
- Zoe Kazan as Andrea Martino, Vincent's wife
- 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 unkind and judgmental 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.
- Kim Director as Shay, a sex worker who works for Rodney and struggles with heroin addiction.
- Olivia Luccardi as Melissa, a young and immature sex worker who worked for Reggie Love. Since his murder, she works for C.C.
- Matthew James Ballinger as Gentle Richie, a young white pimp who has not been as successful as the others on The Deuce.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||8||September 10, 2017||October 29, 2017|
|2||9||September 9, 2018||November 4, 2018|
Season 1 (2017)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||1||"Pilot"||Michelle MacLaren||George Pelecanos & David Simon||August 25, 2017(online) |
September 10, 2017 (HBO)
|In 1971, Brooklyn bartender Vince is working seven days a week to provide for his family. Vince's identical twin brother, reckless gambler Frankie, owes money to several mobsters and bookies. Fed up with his unfaithful wife, Andrea, Vince leaves his family and decides to focus on his bar. Pimp C.C. recruits Lori, a new arrival from Minnesota, as a sex worker. C.C's prized possession is Ashley, who is in love with C.C. and becomes jealous of Lori. Another pimp, Larry Brown, is abusive towards the sex workers who work for him, one of whom is the sweet-natured Darlene. Eileen, whose street name is "Candy", is a sex worker and single mother, chooses to work without a pimp and becomes introduced in the ascendant pornography industry. College student Abby is arrested for buying drugs. At the station, she meets officer Chris Alston, who is versed on the players in the streets. The arresting officer, Flanagan, lets her go without charge and takes her to Vince's bar, but Abby becomes attracted to Vince. She arrives for her exam the following morning, but leaves the building. At his hotel, Vince witnesses C.C. wounding Ashley with a knife after she refuses to work in the rain.|
|2||2||"Show and Prove"||Ernest Dickerson||Richard Price & George Pelecanos||September 17, 2017||0.839|
|Vince begins to work with mob capo Rudy Pipilo. Vince, Frankie, and their brother-in-law Bobby, a Brooklyn construction foreman, come up with a money-making scheme at Bobby's construction site involving the worker's paychecks. Since the workers receive their paychecks on Friday, they have to wait until Monday to cash them at the bank, or they can receive cash on Friday, although at a slightly reduced pay. Because Vince was able to successfully draw customers to a struggling Korean bar, Rudy gives Vince the chance to rebuild a failing bar and to take it as his own. Abby drops out of school and moves into the city. C.C. continues to educate Lori about the streets and the advantages of having a pimp. Later, C.C. stabs a man who is impersonating a police officer and was trying to arrest Lori and kidnap her. Sandra Washington, a reporter, tries to talk to Darlene at a bar, but Larry intervenes. Candy fills in for a friend at a porno shoot and becomes interested in the filmmaking process.|
|3||3||"The Principle Is All"||James Franco||David Simon & Richard Price||September 24, 2017||0.992|
|Candy goes to lunch with porn director Harvey Wasserman where she pitches herself for a job in the filmmaking business. Bobby has a heart attack on his construction site and ends up in the hospital. Rudy and his associate Tommy Longo meet with their lawyer about wanting to purchase real estate in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan. The NYC patrolmen, including Alston and Flanagan, are told about certain "no-go areas" for arrests. Darlene, after spending extra time with one of her regulars (who she just watches movies with), works overtime to compensate Larry. Lori is told by C.C. to play the long-game, by gaining regular customers. Sandra interviews another sex worker, but has to pay her. Abby quits her telemarketing job and goes to work at Vince's bar, the Hi-Hat, which is having its opening night. During a successful opening night at the bar, a drifter named Big Mike stops an angry man from pulling a gun; Vince then hires him for security at the bar.|
|4||4||"I See Money"||Alex Hall||Story by : George Pelecanos and Lisa Lutz |
Teleplay by : Lisa Lutz
|October 1, 2017||0.941|
|Eileen is asked out by a man named Jack at a record store and she later goes on a date with him. Paul, a gay bartender who work's with Vince, goes out for dinner with his relatively closeted boyfriend. Paul also wishes to open his own bar, but Vince likes running the Hi-Hat with him. Sandra, while interviewing sex workers on the street, accidentally gets round up with them by the police. However, at the station, Alston recognizes she isn't one of them, and she introduces herself as a journalist. Sandra and Alston later go out together; while Alston thinks it's more of a date, Sandra is scouting for her report. Alston later tests the "no-go zone" by arresting a man for drug possession; but he is told to let the offender go by his bosses. Andrea expresses to Vince that she and the kids miss him and wants to get back together. Abby continues to bond with Darlene, and later buys her a bus ticket back home, wanting her to get out of the sex trade. A fight breaks out in the bar, which leads Vince to hire more security in the form of a gunman: an ex-Vietnam vet named "Black" Frankie. Rudy and Tommy have a worker at Bobby's site beaten up and used an example after he denies their cash payment method over waiting to cash the paycheck. Vince and Abby continue their attraction and have sex in the bar after work. Rudy and Tommy take Vince to an empty building, which will be his next business.|
|5||5||"What Kind of Bad?"||Uta Briesewitz||Story by : Richard Price |
Teleplay by : Will Ralston & Chris Yakaitis
|October 8, 2017||0.888|
|After spending time back home in North Carolina, Darlene returns to New York City with Bernice, a young woman from her home town. Larry believes Bernice is too young and not street-ready, so he "trades" her to Rodney, another pimp. Abby hangs out with her old friends from college, but soon realizes it's not her scene anymore and returns to the Hi-Hat. Eileen continues her relationship with Jack. Vince mulls over Rudy's offer regarding the empty building, that will become a brothel. Bobby convinces Vince to let him take care of it, so Vince can continue focusing on the bar. Rudy has an agreement with the police regarding the whorehouse, because they want that activity off the streets as much as possible. Paul, after exiting a gay porn theater, is arrested by cops for "soliciting", and is later bailed out by Big Mike, who was sent by Vince. Alston and Sandra continue working together, and he sets up an interview with pimp Reggie Love for Sandra. Candy is brutally beaten and robbed by one of her johns. Later, after Candy touches herself up and is back on the street, Rodney offers his services again, but she denies it. Fed up with her job, Candy goes to Harvey, where they'll be starting work in a few weeks.|
|6||6||"Why Me?"||Roxann Dawson||Story by : Richard Price and Marc Henry Johnson |
Teleplay by : Marc Henry Johnson
|October 15, 2017||0.812|
|With the New Year approaching, the NYC patrolman are told to crack down on illegal activity in their precinct and to arrest every sex worker and pimp on the streets. Vince's brothel, run by Bobby, opens up. Vince comes to an agreement with several pimps, including Larry, Rodney and Reggie, to use their girls in his brothel. It will get the girls off the streets and they will be provided with safety and security, and the pimps will still get their money. Since obscenity laws are becoming more loose, Harvey returns to making porno films, with Eileen co-starring in it. When one of the girls can't make the shoot, Eileen gets Lori to fill in for her. However, C.C. shows up and demands more money from everyone for Lori's involvement in the film. Alston tells Sandra he doesn't want to be her source, and they later go on a date. Rudy enlists the help of Frankie and Big Mike to confirm if some of his men are skimming. Big Mike sketches a design for a partitioned version of a peep show. Eileen learns from Harvey that the next film shoot won't be for another month, but Eileen needs to make money and doesn't want to go back on the streets. Feeling bad, Harvey visits Eileen at her apartment and sets her up with a female pimp (madam), where the clientele is vetted and more upscale.|
|7||7||"Au Reservoir"||James Franco||Story by : David Simon and Megan Abbott |
Teleplay by : Megan Abbott
|October 22, 2017||0.953|
|It is now 1972. Alston reveals to Sandra about the NYPD's plan of running the sex workers off the streets and into the parlors, and that the police are getting paid by the parlors for their protection. Ashley is sick of being treated poorly by C.C. and ditches work. Ashley meets Frankie at the Hi-Hat and they are invited by Paul to movie screening that stars Paul's friend Todd. Unbeknownst to Frankie, it's a gay porn film called Boys in the Sand. Ashley and Frankie spend the night together at a hotel and he reveals he doesn't have a home. Later, Ashley hides out at Abby's apartment. Bobby deals with several issues at the parlor regarding the girls: Shay collapses from a drug overdose, Melissa and Barbara are caught robbing a customer, and Bernice suffers a mental breakdown. Bobby also shows favoritism to one of girls who he pays so she doesn't have to see customers. The pimps, C.C., Larry, and Rodney begin to feel extraneous regarding their jobs since the girls are working in the parlors. Reggie is continually abusive to Melissa and Reggie is shot dead because of it by Leon, who runs the diner people frequent. Eileen works with Harvey on his next porn film where she showcase her talents as an artist behind-the-scenes. Abby takes Vince to Connecticut to meet her family at a big party, solely to upset them. Vince tells Abby's father she's a good worker at the Hi-Hat. Abby gives Ashley a check her father gave her and Abby takes Ashley to the Port Authority and she leaves New York.|
|8||8||"My Name Is Ruby"||Michelle MacLaren||David Simon & George Pelecanos||October 29, 2017||0.771|
|Rudy shows Vince, Frankie, and Bobby a three-story building that will be their next parlor. Vince has become appalled by his involvement in this type of business and says he's out. Abby and Paul bring live music to the Hi-Hat. Vince suggests to Abby that they should move in together, but maintain an open relationship. Vince beats up a man who has been physically abusing his ex-wife Andrea. C.C. talks with an old mentor of his, Ace, a former pimp, and sees what his possible future could be. One of Larry's girls, Barbara, is arrested by undercover cops while trying to buy drugs on Larry's behalf. Sandra is informed by her editor that they will not run her story about police corruption without a named source. The precinct's new Captain promises Alston he will "clean house", but Alston has to keep silent; and in exchange, offers Alston a detective position. Alston breaks the news to Sandra and she storms off. Sandra's story is published as a human interest story, instead of revealing the city's corruption. Eileen visits her gay brother in the hospital, who was sent there by their father to receive electroshock therapy. Eileen tells him that the world is changing regarding the LGBT community. When Harvey can't show up for work, Eileen takes over as director. Later, Eileen and Harvey go the red carpet premiere of Deep Throat. Abby tells Vince that Paul wants to open his own gay bar in the Village. Ruby, a sex worker, gets into an argument with one of her johns after he tries taking back his money. He pushes her out the window, killing her.|
Season 2 (2018)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|9||1||"Our Raison d'Etre"||Alex Hall||David Simon & George Pelecanos||September 9, 2018||0.636|
|It is now 1977. Vincent is the owner of the successful and mob-backed disco called Club 366. Vincent and Abby are still together, and she is managing the Hi-Hat. Frankie is running Show Land, a peep show establishment with real woman instead of videos. Frankie takes $10,000 from the safe and disappears, angering Vincent who tries to track him down. Frankie returns, and reveals to Vincent that he is married and used the money to buy a ring. Vincent eventually forgives Frankie and forgoes his debt, calling it a wedding present. Eileen and Harvey clash over her editing techniques on their latest adult film, which he believes to be too "artistic". Lori is also a porn star, and C.C. hustles the director to get more money. Darlene got her GED, unbeknownst to Larry. Paul is managing a gay bar, but wants to open his establishment, without the mob's involvement. Alston is now a homicide detective and is dating a nurse. Alston is approached at a crime scene by Gene Goldman, an aide for Ed Koch who is leading the Midtown Enforcement Project.|
|10||2||"There's an Art to This"||Alex Hall||Richard Price||September 16, 2018||0.605|
|Eileen is frustrated with the type of porn films they're making and wants to make ones with better stories. Eileen is introduced to Genevieve Furie by Harvey, a former porn director who gives her advice. Eileen has breakfast with her son and she discusses the idea of buying a bigger apartment for them. Lori and Harvey receive nominations from the Adult Film Association of America. Lori meets with Kiki Rains, who wants to manage her and she tells Lori that C.C. will drag her down. Vince and Abby go for a trip to Coney Island. After a man is assaulted outside Paul's bar, a rival mobster offers his protection to Paul, who is currently paying Rudy Pipilo for his protection. Paul continues to search for a location for his new club. Alston solves his homicide case; a young male sex worker stabbed a tourist, but in self-dense. Larry asks Eileen is he could perform in one of her films, but she believes he won't be able to give up control. Bobby continues his affair with Tiffany, one of the women from the massage parlor, and has a child with her. Abby goes to meeting held by former sex worker Ashley, who is now an activist helping other women.|
|11||3||"Seven-Fifty"||Steph Green||Chris Yakaitis||September 23, 2018||TBD|
|12||4||"What Big Ideas"||Uta Briesewitz||Anya Epstein||September 30, 2018||TBD|
|13||5||"All You'll Be Eating is Cannibals"||Zetna Fuentes||Richard Price & Carl Capotorto||October 7, 2018||TBD|
|14||6||"We're All Beasts"||Susanna White||Megan Abbott & Stephani DeLuca||October 14, 2018||TBD|
|15||7||"The Feminism Part"||Tricia Brock||Will Ralston||October 21, 2018||TBD|
|16||8||"Nobody Has to Get Hurt"||Tanya Hamilton||George Pelecanos||October 28, 2018||TBD|
The Deuce has received critical acclaim. On Metacritic, the first season has a score of 85 out of 100 based on 35 reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 93% approval rating with an average rating of 8.64 out of 10 based on 84 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." 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." 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."
The second season has received continued critical acclaim. On Metacritic, it has a score of 86 out of 100 based on 13 reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an 100% approval rating with an average rating of 8.43 out of 10 based on 23 reviews. The site's critical consensus is, "The Deuce's excellent character-driven drama returns with even more immersive world-building and a welcome focus on its leading ladies, carried by a tour de force performance from Maggie Gyllenhaal." Allison Shoemaker for RogerEbert.com gave it a highly positive review, and wrote "Simon and Pelecanos seem to have hit their stride with this particular story, expertly balancing character-driven storytelling with a wide-angle view of the social, economic, political, cultural, sexual, and gendered dynamics of the era."
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.
|2017||75th Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress – Television Series Drama||Maggie Gyllenhaal||Nominated|||
|Location Managers Guild Awards||Outstanding Locations in Period Television||Chris George, Pat Weber Sones||Nominated|||
|22nd Satellite Awards||Best Actress in a Drama / Genre Series||Maggie Gyllenhaal||Nominated|||
|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|||
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