Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Close  
  • share this
SNEAK PREVIEW

Unflinching look at porn and prostitution in ‘The Deuce’s’ sophomore season

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 12:15 AM September 05, 2018

James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal in “The Deuce”

In the ’70s, while the groundbreaking movies of Filipino film practitioners led to the rebirth of the so-called Golden Age of Philippine cinema, New York City’s Times Square area bore witness to a different kind of “second coming.”

Jump-started by Andy Warhol’s “Blue Movie” and Bill Osco’s “Mona,” the Golden Age of Porn gave rise (no pun intended) to the dauntless likes of Linda Lovelace (“Deep Throat”), Marilyn Chambers (“Behind the Green Door”) and their “irrepressible” male counterparts, John Holmes, Harry Reems and Ron Jeremy, who still appears in mainstream flicks these days.

ADVERTISEMENT

At the time, even Pulitzer-winning film critic Roger Ebert jumped on the “porn chic” bandwagon and gave “The Devil in Miss Jones” a favorable review.

Vincent (Franco) operates mob-backed establishments on “The Deuce.”

HBO’s throwback to the birth of the New York City porn scene, “The Deuce,” whose nine-episode second season premieres on Sept. 10 at 9 a.m. It is now set in 1977, five years after the events of Season 1.

FEATURED STORIES

The title refers to the Forty-Deuce, the nickname given to the block on West 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues that is known for its low-rent movie theaters that specialized in pornographic films in the 1970s and ’80s.

The garish disco-and-punk scene in New York’s midtown demimonde is now in full swing, and is made to thrive further by rampant police corruption and a volatile political environment.

James Franco in a dual role—as identical twins, Vincent and Frank

While the triple X-rated film industry continues to rise on the West Coast, the East is holding its own in a neon-lit city flush with movies, music and art, as drugs-and-sex-fueled parties rage on.

Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) has stopped turning tricks after she has successfully transmogrified into a different kind of “triple threat.” She’s now a porn actress, producer and director raring to helm “more artful” adult films. But, she soon realizes that aiming for “legitimacy” in an industry that commodifies sex is an illusory battle that can’t be won.

Vincent (James Franco) now operates the mob-backed disco joint Club 366 with the help of his girlfriend Abby (Margarita Levieva), but his twin brother Frankie (also played by James) remains a problem, “borrowing” money from Show Land, the sex emporium he manages, to pay off his gambling debts.

Maggie Gyllenhaal (top and right) plays hooker-turned-porn director Candy.

Lori (Emily Mead) envisions a financially lucrative future for herself when she attends the annual Erotica adult film awards in Los Angeles—and wins best supporting actress!

For his part, Paul (Chris Coy) wants to sever his ties with the mob as he plans to launch a more upscale gay bar with his lover, Kenneth (Michael Stahl-David).

ADVERTISEMENT

Confronted by the fast-changing realities of prostitution, pimping and porn, CC (Gary Carr) doubles down on his assets, while fellow pimp Larry (Gbenga Akkinagbe) and Darlene (Dominique Fishback) eye a new moneymaking venture—as porn actors.

Problem is, Larry, while physically “gifted,” is too embarrassed to tell Candy, his director, that he can’t read!

There’s trouble in the offing, however: Gene Goldman (Luke Kirby) has been approached by Ed Koch, who served as mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989, to clean up Times Square with the help of police officers like Alston (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) and Haddix (Ralph Macchio).

“The Deuce” does not fall victim to a sophomoric slump as it spins a compelling yarn that tracks down the lives of its colorful denizens. But, we must also warn viewers that the show  features adult themes, violence and graphic nudity, often “flashing” not just breasts and beaver shots. In fact, there are more penis sightings here than in an episode of “Oz.”

So, yes, while the series tackles pertinent issues that merit intellectual discourse, it is a strictly for-adults-only affair.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: James Franco, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Margarita Levieva, The Deuce
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
newsinfo

How cats get clean, stay cool

November 21, 2018 05:42 AM

newsinfo

Palace assures Jalandoni he won’t be arrested

November 21, 2018 05:34 AM

entertainment

‘Ang Probinsyano’ brouhaha: PNP to stop lending equipment

November 21, 2018 05:32 AM

business

3rd telco player: Senate sets nat’l security probe

November 21, 2018 05:30 AM

newsinfo

Duterte urged to hear power consumers’ complaints

November 21, 2018 05:29 AM



© Copyright 1997-2018 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.