Series Review: THE DEUCE
Star Rating (out of 5): ****
The Deuce follows the rise of the porn industry in 1970’s New York, and twin brothers (James Franco) who run a bar while fronting for the mob. It’s got that classic “The Wire” feel that producers Simon and Pelecanos bring, where everything is super grounded yet never too predictable. But this time, it’s not about street crime – although there’s still some in this show. This time it’s all about sex, and what happens when you turn it into a business.
The shows great strengths are really well developed characters and a unique tone. While the excellent cinematography and soundtrack add to the feel, the strong acting and realistic dialogue add to the depth of the characters. Speaking of acting, James Franco knocks it out of the park playing twin brothers. The brothers differ hugely and it’s quite intriguing to watch. The show also maintains consistency in all of its narrative arcs. It never drops anything and keeps fleshing out the world we’re in.
The Deuce follows some tropes and although it’s fairly consistent, it’s not unpredictable. Also, and this is more of a disclaimer than a criticism, this show is never afraid to hold its punches. It can get very grimy at times and you may need the right kind of stomach to watch it. I even ended up skipping a few sections, but the characters had me hooked so I stayed invested. I’d say it was worth it, but not everyone else might.
The Deuce is a strong entry in the HBO run. Grounded to the bone, it’s a wildly effective ride that certainly hooks you in.