User Reviews (103)

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  • Where do all the lousy reviews come from? Millennials? Never seen the dirt of the seventies ? Just cause you grew up in a sterile world without any idea about history whatsoever does not mean it was always so! So one said : Why make a serie about such a dirty time? Well why make a movie about WWII? Or about Henry the 8th? Just watch and learn about the time I grew up in. And a lot of others. Yeah that is right we survived the gore and the secondhand smoke. The filth and not to forget the best music there was. This is a great serie. The whole setting is real to life and I just love it.
  • njcpace2 October 2018
    10/10
    Superb
    This is a superb series. So informative, impressive, moving, funny, compelling, beautifully written, directed, acted. We also loved The Wire so we're not surprised. (We're on Season 2, Episode 10). If you are not comfortable with the realities of sexuality (and sexuality-and-money), or with the perspectives of poor black (and white) street criminals and victims, please watch this and learn. The first three episodes, explicit on the gritty awful violent demeaning desperate lives of the young and poor and ignorant caught up in the sex trade are hard to take, but staying with the series is so rewarding. Like life, the series is paradoxical, which is where the wonderful wit comes through. I so appreciate the talents assembled here to make this brilliant and worthwhile "long movie" and bring it to life. I have no complaints, only the deepest respect and appreciation for this long all-American story. Can't wait to finish Season 2 and looking forward to many more seasons!
  • reimbolds2 September 2017
    Just watched the pilot and was blown away. It took me back to 1974 New York. I was 23 years old and landed a job at a massage parlor near 54th and Lexington called the Playmate Club. You had to walk up a narrow flight of stairs, just like the hotel in The Deuce, and at the top of the stairs was a narrow door with a big heart on it. I got to work the streets all night passing out promotional cards and touting the benefits of a champagne bath. The girls on the street all wanted to work for the massage parlor because they said it was safer to work indoors and the pimps were not happy to see me. The costumes and street scenes of The Deuce are exactly as I recall. I was paid $5.00 an hour plus free meals at the Taft Hotel. They had an all you can buffet in the basement. I bought this incredibly shimmering pimp shirt that had narrow black and white vertical stripes that was impossible to bring into visual focus. It had very wide collars. I learned a few things that summer. A big bus load of Irish clergymen and nuns pulled up in front of the Waldorf and I gave each one of them a card as they stepped off the bus and I said "welcome to New York." The next day Paula, the lady in charge of the Playmate Club, told me I was doing a great job and wanted to know if I could explain a huge run of Irish customers the night before. I told her what happened and we all, including the girls, had a big laugh. I ended up in some trouble with the law, but nothing a quick flight back to Los Angeles didn't take care of. I am looking forward to the next episodes of this masterpiece.
  • A deep and gritty realism multifaceted narrative take on the evolving of the porn industry on 42nd street and Times Square in New York.

    I have looked at ALL the reviews and literally every single one below 6 stars is the same type of "critique":

    1: Why is Maggie G. in the cast, she is not pretty 2: James Franco is bad he ruins it all 3: There is only sex and drugs and no plot 4: Nothing happens I stopped in episode 3

    The only difference is just the formality of it, how was it formulated and smaller circumstances.

    It seems silly to me, rating a show badly because they didn't cast someone sexy and like-able to play a prostitute on the streets of N.Y.

    If you do not appreciate the shows aesthetics or the actors working on it then these reviews are probably helpful for you - But they are still very misleading and does NOT represent the show at all. The actual craftsmanship and writing on this show is amazing and is on par with the first season of True Detective, the Sopranos or the Wire. Maggie was cast exactly for that reason, that she is not chiseled by Michelangelo himself but has the realistic look to her.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Just watched the pilot. Atmosphere is a bit of '70s glitz, mixed with the grim & seedy - just as I remember Times Square in the early-mid'70s. Music is accurate and, so far, not over-used to establish environment or circumstance. I struggled a little to stay interested for the first 15-20 minutes, but the story's simmer morphed into a slow boil as I got increasingly intrigued by the relationship between the pimps & prostitutes, Candy (Gyllenhaal), the main James Franco character, and several of the working girls. I don't care for the college girl story so far at all, and there may be a few too many 'side' stories, which can be frustrating, at least for now. Certaingly the ending left me frustrated at not being able to watch more! Happy I got to see the pilot early but bummed it's two weeks or more before can watch more - for me, The Deuce is that engaging.

    This looks to be one of HBO's better series, although it's more likely to attract devotees of Deadwood & the Wire than fans of GOT or Westwood -I could be wrong. Nice to see something this interesting that's based on real life & circumstances, rather than another sci fi, futuristic and/or fantasy narrative.
  • inkalicious18 December 2018
    The low reviews are laughable! I can only imagine they are written by young adults who grew up with participation trophies and timeouts and the belief their taking offense at everything actually means something.

    This is a fascinating albeit gritty walk down memory lane. It is well-written and well-acted. It's also interesting to see the juxtaposition of the almost innocent- in-comparison sex industry then compared to what it has become now. It leaves this viewer hankering for simpler times. Add a phenomenal soundtrack, amazing scenery/sets, and complex characters, and it is well-deserving of a high rating. Ignore the low reviews.
  • I lived in Manhattan during this time period and this flick is brutally and amazingly well executed. Times Square, 42nd Avenue (The Deuce, get it?) is so accurately represented it is like like a trip in Sherman's Way Back Machine. The XXX theaters, John Waters films on the Midnight Movie marquees, the peep shows, SROs, adult bookstores, dive bars, the drugs, hookers, pimps. It's all there.

    I was a disco DJ at the Limelight, I was a very bad boy. I get it.

    in 1995 I took my new wife to Manhattan, for my cousin's wedding. We were living in San Diego.Drove in from Newark, parked at the Port Authority. Our first stop was to be the grit and scum of Times Square.

    I did not the memo that Guliani had "cleaned up" Times Square. We were eager to explore. Imagine our disappointment that it was all gone. Scoured, wiped clean, spic and span. I almost cried.

    This film scratched the very old itch. What an amazing job. Yeah, it ain't perfect, but it is an awesome watch. Strong eight of ten.

    Unless you don't like gritty, visual, intelligent, beautifully artistic dramas? Then go watch ya some Kardashians, moron.
  • shippingfromcrimsoncove29 August 2017
    10/10
    Wow!
    Want a replacement for GOT? I watched the pilot for The Deuce last night--it's up on HBOnow, even though it is not scheduled to premier until Sept 9. Wow! If it holds up, it will be a masterpiece. Don't say I didn't tell you. Recreation of the era is mesmerizing for those of us who lived through it. The writing, acting, mise en scene, all jaw dropping. James Franco playing two characters is accomplished simultaneously in a few scenes with special effects that are worth the price of admission alone. Directed by one of the Breaking Bad regulars.
  • So far so good. After i now have finished watching the first season i mostly have only good things to say about this show, but i also feel as if the show lacked a few things.

    First off, while i understand this show might be threading in a gray area, i do feel that a show that is about the rise of the porn industry should show more hardcore sex imagery. I have seen thousands of porn movies, I'm not going to pretend I never had some quality time to myself, or thought about doing so, I'm definitively not going to be one of those that never liked watching porn.

    What have we as a species come to when we allow killing, torture, murder, lying, betrayal and so on be shown to us, but intercourse is forbidden?. This is the doing of religious fanatics, and USA is mainly a very religious country filled with easily offended nutjobs. There, i said it.

    Anyways, the show does most things right. The tone of the era it's representing is very well done. This is what we have come to expect from HBO. The clothing, the cars, the outdoor looks, the music, the politics and so on. They have nailed the feel pretty good.

    The show is about the birth and the rise of the mammoth American porn industry, how it all came to be. And it's a really interesting watch. When i watched porn as i was growing up in the 80's, often i could not but help wondering who these men and women were, that i saw in these films. We memorized their names, we started buying films because certain actors and actresses were in them. They were movie stars, in their own right.

    And the industry had some really big names, like Ron Jeremy, a terrific guy, often called an American icon, played in thousands of porn movies and have had sex with over 5000 women. Some say this is disgusting and filthy, others think it's awesome. I'm one of the guys that think it's awesome, the dude has done well, and had sex with so many gorgeous women.

    Later in my life i started working in the porn industry myself. So i know this business from the inside. Most people have absolutely no clue, what so ever, how it's like, this show is displaying much of what happens very accurately. Simon is not fooling around here, they have done their homework. But i feel the show is lacking in nudity and taking chances, and i feel it is a bit too predictable at times.

    The acting for the most part is really good, overall there are moments where each actor shines, but also times where each actor do not. But the show might need more time for the characters to unfold. And I'm eagerly awaiting season two. But for now i give this show a 8 out of 10. It's a good watch, at times even great, and i do recommend it.

    Though i said it has too little nudity, it does have a lot of it. You will see plenty of penises, vaginas and boobs here. You just won't see much sex being "performed". And that is because we live in an insane world where sex is forbidden and throat slitting in perfectly okay. But for those of you that think sex is a sin, stay away from this show and watch teletubbies or something.
  • rf-3886711 September 2017
    Unlike Barbara Billingsly in "Airplane!" I don't speak"Jive" so I had to keep rewinding to understand some of the dialog between the pimps. The do or die of series like this is character development so it takes more than one episode to see that.The first episode of GoT gave you no clue as to what was in store. Jaimie Lannister alone took several seasons to fully develop. The one thing you do see is the amazing sets and scenes that teleport you back to 1971. Where did they get so many huge smog belching American cars? The panoramic shots of NY streets had to cost a truckload of money. If the actual storyline comes close to the effort put into the visuals we might be in for a wild ride.
  • As someone who grew up in the 70's watching crime shows like Kojack, Baretta etc... that were set in NYC you just knew you weren't getting the true eyeful of what was really happening unless you were old enough to see "R" rated movies like Taxi Driver or the French Connection and even then the time constraints of a 2 hour flick only gave a director and crew enough time to flesh out the main character with other characters just being there in a supporting role. The first episode is always the toughest to get into because it takes time to get know who you like and don't like in the ensemble of characters or whether the story will keep you watching future episodes. The first episode starts pretty much as you'd expect with mostly typical stereotypes of what one would imagine Times Square was like in that era with pimps, hookers and wiseguys and a guy who just trying to make a semi-honest living in the morass. After watching the 1st episode I still wasn't sure about how good this could be but after the 2nd you start seeing more pieces coming to play, by the 3rd you could tell it was definitely going to be a good series.

    The weaknesses of some characters (like the wiseguys) could be tuned up as the show progresses, just like they get tuned up or deleted on any new show. Some say it mimics other great HBO shows of the past, as if that's a negative. There's a reason many of Hollywood's stars are jumping in and doing these type of shows on streaming and cable, it gives them a chance to flesh out a character over 8-10 hours or more, not just the standard 2 hour "Hurry up and get it done, where's my paycheck, I'll be back for the sequel" mentality.

    Yes, there's too much sex, but Times Square didn't become a G-Rated Disney destination because it was the best part of NYC, it's seediness and lack of real estate value is what drew the new commercialization that we see today, something the show starts addressing in the 2nd episode.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I am a big fan of what David Simon does and have watched the Wire close to half a dozen times. It is good to see that some of the familiar faces from the HBO family are still drawing a paycheck and playing solid character roles.

    The pilot was well shot and edited. I really appreciated the vintage footage mixed in. A great example was the exterior of Port Authority Bus Terminal early on in the episode. The location scouts did a fantastic job on this one. The little touches, like the subway elevated train station that looks like it hasn't changed since the 1970s. Or later on in that same sequence the underground subway station with the period Virginia Slims poster.

    As another reviewer alluded to, there are a lot of side stories. I find that to be promising, given the tangled web that Simon and his co-writers have proved adept at weaving. If history is any indicator, this series will be worth at least one or two re-watches just to appreciate how everything evolves, and how far in advance some of the relationships and plot interconnects are established.

    I hope that this attracts a strong following, and that HBO continues to fund it. The costumes, sets and music are extremely engaging. I appreciate that they did not go for the kind of generic 1970s music that you will find on any classic rock radio station. There are some real, obscure pieces in there. Those are the kind of well thought out production touches that create a believable world.

    I don't want to like James Franco. It's a total ego thing on my part, wanting to dislike him for having what appears to be, from the outside at least, an awesome life. He gets to play fun characters, and play make believe in these amazingly constructed temporary worlds. It's completely jealousy inducing. None the less, I'm looking forward to "hanging out" with him and the rest of the cast as they bring to life a fascinating time and place from the history of our culture.

    Thanks in advance to the producers and everyone else who is working to make this series a reality.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    So I just finished watching the pilot episode since HBO was kind enough to release it early for their viewers. I loved it, now by all means it is a pilot so obviously it is a little slower in the beginning but they are just introducing you to the characters and letting you get a glimpse of the setting and atmosphere. It mostly follows our character Vinnie (Franco) who is a good guy bartender that is surrounded by pimps, prostitutes, policeman and every one in between. He is constantly getting harassed by people looking for their money that his twin brother (also played by Franco) owes them without exactly knowing where his twin brother is. I see the other reviewers have a personal vendetta against Franco saying that he doesn't deserve these serious roles because he doesn't act well enough for it. I love Franco as the stoner comedian as much as the next person but I truly think he is a good actor and is capable of doing these roles. He grabs my attention whenever he is in the scene, I fully believe who he is as the character and thinks he does a really good job, plus it's HBO, they know what they are doing so I trust with my heart

    We also get a great look at a couple of the pimps that are running the streets of Manhattan with the prostitutes they own as well as themselves being very wealthy for the time and with the confidence of Gods. A great shout out to Gary Carr (Cici) playing a smooth talking pimp that with in minutes can make a small town girl change her life and work for him. Any time he comes in scene his dialogue and charisma is a complete treat and makes you think he really is a pimp running around New York. The way he holds himself in this show is awesome, makes you respect him even though you know what he is doing is very cynical when fully thought about.

    Another great performance is Maggie Gyllenhaal (Candy) a prostitute that has no pimp because she is strong willed enough herself that she doesn't need someone looking out for her and taking her profits. You feel for character, the loneliness, the moral consciousness, everything. She does a great job in her performance in really selling how the life of a lady like that was when they weren't under the hand of drugs or an abusive person above them, they just were doing what they did to make ends meet.

    Now everything else, such as the setting and back drops, beautiful. gets you completely in the mindset of New York city in the 70's. The music choice is great and they don't overplay it like other shows/movies do in trying to persuade you to get into the setting. The costume department are nailing the 70's era wardrobe from the working man, to the pimps, to the prostitutes they capture the essence of it greatly and it creates a nostalgic feeling for any one that was living in the 70's can remember.

    Storyline, like a said slower in the beginning because they were setting the groundwork and foundation for what the show will become in due time but I still was very interested the entire time. There definitely are quite a bit of characters and plots going on at once but you can already see them link up in the pilot episode and you can tell they will mesh together very nicely being in the city that everyone is constantly running into each other. But all in all i am very pleased with the pilot episode and I have a strong feeling with as each new episode comes out it will only get better and will really have a great story with in the city of Manhattan, New York.

    If you are a fan of HBO series, or want to see a life that we lost, the 70's, or just want to see a show with great wardrobe and music I would definitely recommend watching The Deuce.
  • UPDATE 5/2018: IMDb visitors, you aren't being fair. Check the date of this review. When I initially reviewed it, my like/dislike ratio of the review was lopsidedly positive. Then after that bad press about Franko came out, my review started taking a hit. Not many, but noticeable. That's very uncool.

    I can't rewind our brains to a time before the accusations, but I ask that you take the time to pay attention to what I wrote as a critique, instead of simply disagreeing with the review because you may not appreciate a certain actor any longer. Thanks.

    ---------------------------ORIGINAL REVIEW------------------------------

    The Deuce is one of those shows that defies description, because what you think it's going to be changes and evolves. It's mature, well acted, and completely different than anything I've seen in a long time.

    This show has such a raw feel to it that you feel the grit dripping off the screen. It's real, and filled with colorful characters that leave an impression. A few I began to care about during the first episode. I love when the work is so good, I become invested in a show and there's a strong desire to come back and see what happens.

    Maggie Gyllenhaal, who has consistently impressed me over the years doesn't disappoint here. She's just fantastic. As a matter of fact, most all the actors in this show really seem to give it their all. There are characters galore, and lots of plot points to get involved in. That being said, it doesn't feel too busy. There's just the right amount things going on.

    I really have to admit that I thought it would be something else. I nearly ignored it. I'm glad I watched though, and I can see it becoming one of my favorite new shows.

    There's a lot of nudity as one would probably expect, both male and female, including male genitalia, so if you aren't ready for that sort of thing in your face, be forewarned. It's not gratuitous though, and fits within the flow of the story. I don't consider that a spoiler, as there is other information on IMDb in the "parents guide" that cautions about the nudity.

    The bottom line, this show is worth my time, and you may find it worth yours as well. I get the feeling it will only get better.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Trying to love this but it's a collage without a through story. Is it about the brothers dealing with the mob, the hookers and their pimps, the corrupt cops? A point in all directions is still like having no point at all. Lots of stereotypes. All stereotypes. Sound mix isn't great either. Can't hear the dialogue in noisy bars, restaurants, street scenes, etc. For a show to work, you gotta love somebody, even if they're a cooker like Walter White or a ruthless mob boss like Tony Soprano. Not feelin the love here.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Franco executive producer; Franco playing twins; needless dick shots; six sex scenes in the pilot. The show is gritty enough without making it pornographic. It is okay, but it needs to be more about the art and less about shock value. Franco fancies himself an artist, but he seems to think art only exists in the gutter. I will watch a few more episodes, but I'm not hopeful.
  • If you thought The Wire was genius (which I do) then you may scratch your head watching this.

    NYC in the 70s was dangerous. Money was tight. Hard to believe anyone would be stupid enough to try to rob someone they were staking out AFTER the money was deposited in the night box--they'd at least take his wallet. Showing two pimps hanging out together at the Port Authority is completely unbelievable. Did competing drug dealers hang out in The Wire? Of course not.

    Every scene is off.

    The characters are stereotypes and weak ones at that. Baffling from this writing team. The story is written to setup porn scenes with women who don't have boob jobs-- maybe that's what the creators are most proud of. That and having James Franco play two characters. PLEASE! Do your experimental theater on your own nickle. I pay for HBO! ;)

    Romanticizing street prostitutes in any way during that time is something David Simon should be embarrassed by. Having the first show end with a black pimp cutting up a white prostitute is beyond the pale. Gratuitous violence.

    The show leads one to believe there are many blacks in the police in the 70s; that they would tell a white officer to calm down. That the police would do a stake-out involving a bunch of cars and THEN let someone go free. Of course, it's a little more complicated than that. The cop probably did want to make the girl, but he leaves. The black pimp on the other hand has no such grace apparently.

    As a former reporter I'm surprised David Simon didn't red-line reams and reams of this script for inaccuracies.

    This show could have used the 70s to shed light on our current situation, but it didn't. If you're over the age of 55, and want to get your dander up, watch it. If you're younger, know, it's completely phony. In real life, all those people led the Hobbes' life, "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short"

    In NYC, in 1971, women and blacks were not as free as the show implies. According to this show women are going to bars while their kids sleep at home, blacks have good jobs in the police department, women are making good money as prostitutes and enjoying breakfast with their pimps.

    The creators of this show should know better. It really does disgust me how they have whitewashed the 70s. The problems in the cities in the 70s is the problem TODAY in middle America. David Simon must have had a stroke or he just doesn't care...I'm mystified. How could someone do the best TV of the past 100 years and then lay this "Deuce"?
  • I just endured the pilot episode. I swear I will not watch the rest. The show has great production values. The set, decors, and costumes are all great - the soundtrack totally lacks originality or imagination, though. So if you want to rate the show based on reconstruction ratings, it's doing great. I know the pilot is a teaser supposed to get us to be interested in the characters so we watch the whole series. But the characters are just wafer-thin clichés, the plot is so hokey, unimaginative, it's an insult to any viewer who has any experience of the 70's through real life or good written or screen fiction. I got bored after 10 minutes, and I only forced myself to watch until the end, just to make sure I would not be surprised. A steaming pile of clichés, poorly characterized. what a waste of money and talent. 4/10 for showing off the money on the screen.
  • The show looks great. I wasn't born yet, but it's how I imagine New York City in 1971. But I can always just look at photographs from 1971 if all I want is a picture. I can do it at my own pace, and may not spend an hour and a half doing it. The problem with setting up a story for 84 minutes is that no story gets told. There's nothing to get invested in. It's not necessary to take the Guy Ritchie approach and introduce everyone in flashy nanoseconds of high octane action, but I would have preferred it to this.

    About the nudity. I guess dick is the new pussy. Male full frontal is the only way to come off as edgy, so they made sure to include three or four cock shots. One of them was completely natural, but two of them felt too forced (and fake), just dick for dick's sake. It makes me wonder why they didn't cast Chloë Sevigny instead of Maggie Gyllenhaal.

    The sopranos had a slow buildup, but the Sopranos pulled it off. That chocolate Easter Bunny was high quality chocolate and solid all the way through. The Deuce may come from a great mould and look delicious, but once you sink your teeth into it, there's nothing but air.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There was no story here. Just pimps, sex, and violence. The opening scene was a joke with two schmucks "robbing" someone who they observed had already made the DROP at the bank--just a dumb scene. The writers really need to work on the characters, the story, not just focus on the shock value of showing t,a... & penises.
  • davidrspencer28 November 2018
    Enjoyed first series. Second series trundles along with a load of boring sub plots. Disappointing and ultimately lost interest by episode 6
  • tubezzz22 November 2017
    I made to the middle of episode 2. the "story" (for lack of a better word) goes nowhere. i don't really care about any of the characters. especially the Franco 'twins'. There's little drama, no suspense, not even comedy. i dunno, maybe it's interesting for people who lived on 42nd in the 70's. all the sex scenes had no point, but they did make me horny. then again, if i wanted to get off i'd just watch porn.
  • Halfway through the fifth episode, and I don't think I'm going to finish it.

    The series hasn't gone anywhere since the pilot. There's no real story arc or interesting conflicts, so it's not like you're left wanting to know what's going to happen next.

    There are plenty of likable characters (Gyllenhaal not being one of them) and some slick dialogue, but without any real plot it's not enough to sustain interest. Unless you want to turn every penis sighting into a drinking game.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This review will include what could be construed as SPOILERS

    If this is truly what HBO thinks will replace a multi-layered, convoluted action and sex-filled soap opera like Game of Thrones they are sorely mistaken.

    I can understand the "enthusiasm" of people about "recreating the era", but since unlike them I actually DID hang out in Times Square (and we called 42nd St. "Forty-deuce" not "the deuce"), this show completely misses the mark whether you count "authenticity" (got you on that one, millennials), set and setting, character types, or anything else, and that goes as far as the cars used in the show foreground and background, the clothing and hairstyles.

    Maybe the problem is that most of the geography of the area is so different now it can't be presented properly. Maybe it's that the guy they trumpet as their adviser on the happenings then BS'ed them. Maybe it's that HBO is afraid to show the real thing even if they know it. But let me say, for those of us who were there, WE HAD A LOT OF FUN. You don't see anybody enjoying themselves here; even the johns are in a joyless pursuit. Not the case. We had a ball at Peepland, The Show World, The Melody and a bunch of other places. A lot of fun. I know the "popular" view would have you believe everything was sleazy, grim, filthy, dangerous, chancy...et al. Not true again. I have to say, I'm terribly disappointed. There is a story to be told here, an exciting one. Based on the first episodes, that story won't be told. A shame.
  • Recently finished watching The Wire This is nowhere near the quality of that show. There's so much better TV out there to watch. I couldn't find a character in the show that I cared to see any more about. No McNulty or Omar. Stereotypical characters that appeared to be going nowhere. They didn't care and I didn't care.
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