The Deuce

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3 seasons

Watch it for...

A look at the gritty Times Square of the ‘70s, the go-go boot-bedecked denizens, and how cultural shifts shaped the evolution of anti-obscenity laws.

Synopsis

An ensemble cast of pimps and prostitutes, strippers and strung-outs, and mobsters and muscle swirl in and out of a dingy bar called The Hi-Hat that anchors the show. In one sense, The Hi-Hat makes The Deuce a workplace drama, but in another sense, it’s a process––the birth of pornography as a legal enterprise––its wobbly, new wheels spinning into a cultural frontier fraught with competing interests and tentative alliances. Though most members of the cast get equal stage time, one prostitute in particular, “Candy,” emerges as the character whose arc steers the story. Mostly estranged from her parents, who are raising her young son, Candy is smart and independent but scarred by childhood trauma. As pornography becomes more ubiquitous, Candy, like a lot of prostitutes at the time, takes on safer, indoor work in front of the camera. It’s here she discovers a talent for writing and directing that ultimately helps her heal. The large, star-studded cast is extraordinary and the setting and costuming add to the gritty and authentic glamor of the time period.

Robyn 's thoughts

I was first drawn to The Deuce when I learned its showrunners also created The Wire, a show I enjoyed. Indeed, the two series have a lot in common. Both center cities and their institutions, including both above-board businesses and municipal bodies alongside counterparts that operate in the shadows. Though I’m a big fan of The Wire, I would sometimes wish while watching that the show offered more female perspectives. If this was the case for you, check out The Deuce. While men dominated The Wire’s writers’ room, women wrote and/or directed most episodes of The Deuce––and it shows! The show’s perspective on what’s happening as far as culture shifts go is definitely female, and the story arcs feel authentic to a woman’s experience at the time. Even though it’s a bit of a gritty underworld, I loved this world and how it portrayed this time period and the cultural shifts that were happening.

Find The Deuce on HBO Max!