The Deuce

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Kellens101
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Re: The Deuce

Postby Kellens101 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:58 pm

What a wonderful finale. I thought it was simultaneously optimistic and cynical throughout, as it chronicled the fates of the characters towards the very end of the decade. The biggest tragedy of course was Dorothy, whose death I had anticipated last season after she escaped from C.C., but I was relieved when she came back on the scene as a passionate feminist crusader to help all the prostitutes. But, once she got more and more stubborn and obsessed with her crusade, she began to seal her fate and I thought it was heartbreaking and chilling how she met her end. Definitely a very tragic arc for the character. She wanted so much better so she left the life and came back years later to save so many others who were trapped, but it cost her in the end all because the pimps were afraid of losing their control on their women.

I, too, thought C.C. would be the one to kill her and/or Lori by the end of the season. I was gobsmacked when that storyline went in a wildly unexpected direction during the season’s penultimate episode, but in a way that made perfect sense within the narrative. C. C. Spent the entire season struggling to understand the changing times, as Dorothy came back a new free woman to give him and the other pimps and as Lori began to imagine a life without him, even as he was keeping her from her ambitions. Once the mob worked a deal with him to have Lori out in California, he really had no purpose anymore. He still tried to exert his dominance over her before she left, in that really painful scene where they went on their “final date” together and he raped her, thereby terrifying her psychologically so that he would always be in her head no matter how high she soars. I was thankful to see the show finally rid of that monstrous character, even as it was a fascinating character and Gary Carr played him fantastically.

Lori’s storyline was one of the highlights of the overall season, as she struggled to accept that she was being throughly owned by C. C. in every way and therefore was trapped, as illustrated in that amazing scene where she detailed her mental pain to Candy in episode 5. In the pentiltimate season, I knew Lori would have a rough start in her career out in California simply because C. C. fucked her up so much emotionally after their final encounter and, by extension, all those years he was her pimp. At the beginning of the finale, Lori was paranoid and terrified of seeing him and/or him not accepting her departure, all while doing a lot of coke. All this made that scene where Frankie tells her what happened so moving and satisfying. Emily Meade was fantastic throughout the entire season and especially in that scene as she navigated her many complex feelings about her pimp’s demise and the simple truth that she was free from him. I wonder where this will lead Lori now as she can either become even bigger in the porn world during the 1980s and maybe even branch out to more “conservative” areas of film, or Her cocaine addiction could really screw up her mind and career and doom her back to a life as a prostitute. I hope for the former.

Candy’s Story was again exceptional this year, as her ambition and growing success grew and grew with the making of “Red Hot”, which was, in the end, a triumph and failure for most all involved. Candy was glad to finally be known as a female auteur in the porn World, even as she wasn’t going to make very much money for this one film. It hopefully makes her, Lori, and Larry all more famous, even if the mob gets most of the movie’s profits. But Candy’s professional success came at a personal cost and I found that scene at her parent’s house to be incredibly heart-wrenching. Candy has succeeded so much and has come so far compared to when she was exhausted and full of despair about her life as a pimp-less prostitute. Now, she has grown so much in her profession and seems to be on the top of the world, until it all comes crashing down and she realizes she can’t have everything. Maggie Gyllenhaal knocked it out of the park, like always, and she really killed it throughout the season.

The other stories were all mostly interesting, as Darlene acknowledged it was time for her to get out too and Larry calmly accepted her departure, Detective Alston recognizing Dorothy’s corpse as Ashley way back in her days as a prostitute and then reluctantly joining Gene Goldman’s Crusade to clean up Times Square, Abby and Loretta grieving Dorothy’s death and wondering why they bothered trying to repair what was already broken, and Vincent acknowledging that what he does for the mob dooms him morally even as he does not feel comfortable continuing to do so and no matter how hard he rationalizes his actions.

The only complaints I have with the season are that sometimes it was a bit slower-paced and more focused on a slice-of-life examination of these characters rather than a fully engaging story, but even that I can’t fully complain about as it’s a very compelling look at a time and place I am far away from, and the characters are all fascinating individuals. I also thought there were a bit too many subplots this season, as sometimes it felt a little disjointed or messy when the show would try to cram in certain stories in an episode, even as it was also trying to depict the character’s rich inner lives.

But, overall it was a hugely satisfying season and finale, with so many great scenes and performances throughout. This continues to be another great David Simon show and a pretty worthy successor to The Wire. I cannot wait to see what happens in 2019 as the series wraps up and the remaining characters find themselves in the 1980s.

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flipp525
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Re: The Deuce

Postby flipp525 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:31 pm

Kellens101 wrote:Did anyone else watch the remarkable season finale last night?

I did and I thought it was a fantastic conclusion to a strong season. This season started out slow but ultimately had a huge payoff. I always thought that either Lori or Dorothy/Ashley was not going to survive the season. I thought, of course, at the hands of CC. So it was rather ironic that Dorothy met her fate because CC was not there to protect her. A very sad arc for that character. But not unbelievable. No matter how far away she got from “the life,” Dorothy always seemed emotionally and mentally wedded to it which was her eventual demise.

There was a gay porn actor in the 1970s named Wade Nichols who later worked in soap operas under the stage name of “Dennis Parker.” He played Derek Mallory for several seasons on the ABC soap “Edge of Night” before having to leave the show due to illness. He eventually died of AIDS in the mid-80s. I have a feeling that Nichols might be the model for Paul’s new boyfriend (is his name Robert?) Whether he is or not, it seems clear that Paul will be the entryway into how the AIDS crisis will hit the show’s gay community next season. As someone who has written about this subject in this time period, I am very interested in how this will be explored. It seems obvious at this point that AIDS will most likely affect many, if not all, of the characters next season.

Lori’s self-destructive behavior (she’s doing a shit-load of coke) was understandable given her anxiety about CC. Emily Meade knocked it out of the park in that scene at the end where she alternated between grief, hysteria, and laughter when she realized that she was finally free of him. She is kind of getting all she ever wanted now but it seems like she might not be able to handle it.

Similarly, Candy/Eileen gets to enjoy the trappings of the success of Red Hot, but it has cost her a sound relationship with her son. With the advent of VHS porn, Candy’s work is only going to be more available to her son’s teenage friends which will lead to further estrangement.

Next season is going to be very interesting as the horrors of the 1980s begin to bear down on this demimonde.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."

-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Kellens101
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Re: The Deuce

Postby Kellens101 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:51 am

Did anyone else watch the remarkable season finale last night?

Kellens101
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Re: The Deuce

Postby Kellens101 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:52 pm

Last night was the season’s midpoint and I am really enjoying this second season so far. It might be even better than the already fantastic first season. It’s incredibly interesting to watch all the changes that have transformed the characters in 5+ years, as well as the ways that they will always be the same and the ways their lives will still be stuck in the same patterns. My only slight complaint about the series is that sometimes there is an overabundance of subplots in each episode and it can be a little bit disjointed or messy, but even that isn’t too much of a complaint because almost all of these subplots are intriguing and the characters are all endlessly fascinating. I have extreme confidence in David Simon after the Wire, and he always finds an incredible way to tie all his stories and characters together. As for the season’s performances so far, Maggie Gyllenhaal remains the MVP. She is just phenomenal and her character arc is so wonderfully developed and fascinating throughout. But, Emily Meade is slowly gaining on her. Her work this season has been terrific and her story just as good. I’m incredibly incurious to see where her character, Gyllenhaal’s and most of the others end up throughout the second half of the season. Everyone is fantastic in the cast though: James Franco, Maragarita Levieva, Gary Carr, Dominique Fishback, Jamie Neumann, etc. This really is a fantastic show and another masterwork by David Simon and company.

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flipp525
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Re: The Deuce

Postby flipp525 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:24 pm

I’m definitely tuning in tonight. Earlier today, I watched the season finale to refresh myself. I’m excited for the time jump. It’s the year before I came on the scene!
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Kellens101
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Re: The Deuce

Postby Kellens101 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:19 pm

Is anyone planning to watch season 2 of this? The premiere is tomorrow night and there is a 5 year time jump to 1977.

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Re: The Deuce

Postby Kellens101 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:18 am

Wow, what a fantastic ending to a great debut season. It's definitely one of my favorite shows of this year. I really hope this gets major Emmy consideration next year, especially for Maggie Gyllenhaal. But, sadly, David Simon shows tend to get ignored.

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Re: The Deuce

Postby Kellens101 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:51 pm

That scene with Method Man towards the end of Sunday's episode was incredible, one of the highlights of the series so far. Fantastic work from both actors, but Gyllenhaal especially. That would be a sensational Emmy submission for her. But that's nearly every episode. Also, I agree the actress playing Darlene is great.

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flipp525
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Re: The Deuce

Postby flipp525 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:26 am

I'm so glad that there is a thread about this show. After the disastrous Vinyl, I was worried about it prior to its premiere. I think it's just fantastic. And I agree that Maggie Gyllenhaal is turning in career-best work as the world-weary Eileen/Candy (her harrowing episode last week should be her Emmy submission, without question. Especially that scene at the end with Method Man).

I also think the actress playing Darlene is a real find. I'm really interested in her character arc as well. James Franco is working for me as Vincent but the twin brother Frankie seems fairly useless as a character (so far).

Chris Coy as the gay surrogate seems set to have a pretty interesting ride throughout the life of the series.

Apparently this show is planned as a three season story with this season taking place in 1971, second season set in 1978, and third season in 1984.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Re: The Deuce

Postby danfrank » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:11 pm

Yes, I'm watching it and enjoying the heck out of it. The look of it is just stunning, and the series does a great balancing act of depicting the exploitation of women without exploiting them itself. James Franco (who looks great in a 1970s pornstache) is quite good in his main role (he also plays his twin in a role that is thus-far one dimensional). I agree that Maggie Gyllenhall is in top form in a role that appears will have the most compelling character arc. I highly recommend that folks check this out.

Kellens101
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The Deuce

Postby Kellens101 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:13 pm

Is anyone else watching this on HBO? Interested in hearing other' opinions. I think it's a fantastic new show from the genius David Simon, with Maggie Gyllenhaal as the MVP with her brave and fearless work, the clear high point of her career so far. But everyone else is wonderful too. I'm really loving this show so far.
Last edited by Kellens101 on Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.


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