Titled after the local slang for New York’s fabled 42nd Street and starring James Franco (Oscar nominee for “127 Hours”) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (Oscar nominee for “Crazy Heart”), The Deuce began its eight-episode season on Monday, September 11. The series is available for streaming exclusively on HBO GO, with new episodes premiering same time as the U.S. every Monday at 9am.

 

The show chronicles the rise of the porn culture in New York from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s, exploring the rough-and-tumble world of the sex trade from the moment when both a liberalising cultural revolution in American sexuality and new legal definitions of obscenity created a billion-dollar industry that is now an elemental component of the American cultural landscape. It follows a cast of barkeeps, prostitutes, pimps, police and nightlife denizens as they swirl through a world of sex, crime, high times and violence, and the porn business begins its climb from Mafia-backed massage parlors and film labs to legitimacy and cultural permanence.

 

Among the early critical raves, the New Yorker hailed the series as “a clear-eyed portrait of a lost universe of Manhattan decadence, neither sentimental and glamorising nor disapproving and didactic,” while the New York Times called The Deuce “relentlessly interesting” and the Wall Street Journal described it as a “smashing work all around.”Entertainment Weekly praised the show as “an absorbing, resonant chronicle,” and TIME said it is “a triumph, and, better yet, a pleasure.”

 

Season one credits: The Deuce was created by George Pelecanos and David Simon; executive producers, George Pelecanos, David Simon, Nina Kostroff Noble, James Franco; co-executive producer, Richard Price; producers, Marc Henry Johnson, Maggie Gyllenhaal.