The Deuce: Pilot
September 11, 2017 8:27 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino--one a double-shifting bartender with two kids and a wayward wife in Brooklyn, the second an insouciant gambler with piling mob debts--navigate their way through the rough-and-tumble world of 1971 Times Square.

While Vincent plots ways to improve his situation and pay off his brother's debt, he crosses paths with other midtown denizens--including veteran hookers Candy and Ashley, young streetwalkers Darlene and Lori, and smooth-talking pimps C.C., Larry, and Rodney--as they ply their trades under the not-so-watchful eye of the NYPD. Meanwhile, when NYU student Abby is enlisted by friends to buy amphetamines on the street, she ends up in the Times Square precinct, an unlikely starting point for making a bold change to her privileged life.
posted by gladly (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It will be interesting to see where this goes. I have high hopes, though the pilot didn't do much for me.

I'm going to need more than a little forehead cut to tell the Francos apart.
posted by bondcliff at 8:33 AM on September 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Even with the forehead cut, I confused the two Francos. Vincent and Frankie were the least interesting part of the pilot for me, until Vincent goes out to investigate the screams in the hotel hallway. His response, to observe and then turn away, felt genuine for that character, part apathy and fear.

And, as ugly as that violence was, C.C. is still the most interesting of the three pimps so far. His charm is professional, and his interaction with Lori where he recognized that she wasn't a mark was a nice turn.

I liked this so far.
posted by gladly at 8:41 AM on September 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

It seems a lot more grounded than Vinyl, which might turn out to be a plus.

The pilot was a lot heavy on exposure and setting up the characters, so there isn't much else to say.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:08 AM on September 11, 2017

I liked the framing of the episode. We start with C.C. talking about how you don't want to cut one of your women and then we end the episode seeing exactly how convincing he can be in such a scenario. Lori not being a mark was nice, but her character felt a little uneven to me. She's savvy enough to recognize C.C. and reject his clothes, but she uses her real name and doesn't wear any make up when working the street? I didn't buy that at all. She had already seen how most of the other women dressed for the street and she's supposed to be street savvy.

I think my favorite scene was the quiet one of Darlene crying at the end of the movie before running to her pimp. That the intimacy she allows that man, to watch the movie unguarded, was satisfying to him.

I would also like to say that Franco's, uh, 70's pubes are hilarious. The rest of his body is fairly hairless and consistent with contemporary concepts of manscaping, but when he lies on his back you can see the top of his "70s pubes." It struck me as very Austin Powers and all I could think of were the production meetings that probably took place about how do we do 70s pubic hair for men in this series.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:24 AM on September 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I really dug the costumes (and the hair!) and sets. Tried to see if I could dig up any information of where they shot it but only found this:
With the exception of a single hotel room recreated on a soundstage, the entirety of the pilot was shot on location across New York City, with a two-block stretch of shops at the Washington Heights home base standing in for four major locations: 42nd, Seventh and Eighth Avenues, and Times Square itself. “We would redress certain parts of [the set] for when it played different streets,”
My childhood home had the exact same fake wood paneling in the wet bar as the walls of the diner (sans the heavy patina of fry oil and cigarette smoke - the ubiquity of cigarette smoking was another interesting touch).

Not really a fan of the gimmick where the same actor does multiple roles, also seen recently in Fargo season 3 with Ewan McGregor.

Interesting detail in the progressive haggardness of the street walkers' makeup as a proxy for how long they've been in the business. I had to double check to make sure that Lori (Emily Meade) wasn't played by Hannah Murray (Gilly on GoT).
posted by porpoise at 5:10 PM on September 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's rare that TV grabs me like this did. The characters are alive, the dialog crackles, and there are plenty of moving pieces without becoming confusing.

I'll forgive it leaning hard on tropes to get the story rolling; there's only so much world-building you can do without getting mired in it, and the broad-brush approach lets you get to the fine details faster.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:03 AM on September 26, 2017

I watched this a few weeks ago, when they had it online before the on-air premiere. I really liked it - I'm always up for shows that explore sex instead of violence, and the retro-grit of the 70s also speaks to me as someone who was just a kid then but still aware of all that on TV and movies. Main thing I felt was I sure hope Franco's stunt double-casting doesn't overshadow how amazing Maggie Gyllenhaal is, because WOW she's SO GOOD in this. Like, I think Franco is fine, I just don't see why the characters need to be twin brothers.
posted by dnash at 8:11 PM on September 27, 2017

« Older The Orville: Old Wounds (Pilot...   |  BoJack Horseman: The Old Sugar... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments