If you’re looking for your next TV addiction, look no further. Here it is.
The Deuce is the new show from the creator of The Wire, David Simon, and his long-time writing partner George Pelecanos. Set in 1970s New York city, it revolves around the then fledgling porn industry and features a cast of pimps, hookers and – eventually, we assume – porn trailblazers.
And from what we can gather after the 90-minute pilot episode, this series is going to get every bit as complicated, tragic, frustrating and unmissable as The Wire.
The complication comes from the sprawling cast which is already proving a challenge to stay on top of – but David Simon has never apologised for that. Pay close attention, or fuck off and watch CSI.
The tragedy we are yet to see, but you can feel it in the air. And it doesn’t take a genius to predict things going horribly wrong for some of those involved in the murky world created by the writers.
As for frustration…I mean that not as a slight. The frustration in watching The Wire came from the characters we loved making horrendous decisions, often with the tragic outcomes mentioned above.
Unmissable? You need little explanation for that. Episode 1 was compelling in a way that only HBO and David Simon can serve up. In the UK, of course, we’re a few weeks behind the US, with the show airing on Sky Atlantic.
James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal are the star names attached, with Franco playing a pair of brothers – Vincent and Frankie, who are both hapless but to varying degrees.
Gyllenhaal plays prostitute Candy, who steers clear of pimps and prefers to work as an independent. You sense Candy’s smarts will see her take to porn over turning tricks…but we’ve got so much discovery still to come.
For The Wire obsessives, Lawrence Gilliard Jr, who played D’Angelo Barksdale, appears as a uniform cop with, seemingly, a good heart.
The early signs hint that The Deuce – named for the nickname given to an area of NYC near Times Square – looks potentially like the next great TV series of our time. Bring on episode 2.