How “The Deuce” Has Evolved Since Season 1

Deuce Season 3

“The Deuce” just premiered its third and final season and fans are sad to see the HBO series come to an end. The drama premiered on September 10, 2017 and was always only meant to have three seasons. Created by “The Wire’s” David Simon and George Pelicanos, the series is known for its depth of intertwining characters as they move through time in a changing world. Their Times Square neighborhood evolves from the gritty early 1970’s era of pimps and prostitution, police corruption and organized crime in the “Golden Age of Legal Porn” through the late 1970’s disco age of cocaine, continued corruption and changes in prostitution and porn where peep shows are the norm through the mid-1980’s, the cusp of Times Square’s reformation into a corporate Wall Street dream. Here is how “The Deuce” has evolved since Season 1.

Premise

“The Deuce” centers around Times Square in New York City. The area of 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues was once called “The Deuce”. The HBO series revolves around the lives of people living and working in “The Deuce” during evolving times. The first season takes place during the early 1970’s “The Golden Age of Legal Porn”, when the neighborhood was filled with prostitution, pornography, organized crime, police corruption and gritty bars. It’s followed up by Season 2 which takes place during the Disco era of the late 1970’s. Now we see the lives of the characters of “The Deuce” on the brink of major changes to Times Square. The third season picks up in late 1984 and continues through 1985. This is when the neighborhood was famously cleaned up and created into a corporate dream. The series takes place on the cusp of the time that Times Square became a new world filled with symbols of consumerism, money and tourism. In the meantime, we see corruption coming to an end as cocaine, Wall Street and AID’s creep into the culture, and pornography is protested by Women’s Groups and becomes a new industry in Hollywood and on VHS while gay porn is big.

Cast

“The Deuce” has a great cast including some actors from “The Wire”. James Franco stars in two roles as twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino. Vincent is a family man who gives up on his suburban life to become the owner of a bar in “The Deuce”. His brother is a gambler who leads the two into a relationship with organized crime as fronts for their businesses. Frankie eventually becomes a family man but never gives up his hustler ways. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Eileen “Candie” Merell, an independent prostitute who becomes a pornography actress director. She strives to produce artistic pornography but can’t in the changing times. Other members of the cast include George Akinnagbe as pimp Larry Brown, Gary Carr as pimp C.C., Chris Bower as the Martino brothers’ Brother-in-Law, Marguarita Levieva as Vincent’s girlfriend Abby Parker, Gene Goldman as Luke Kirby, Emily Meade as Midwestern Lori who becomes a porn star and many other great actors and actresses who bring depth to their roles. “The Deuce” also does a great job creating the scenery of Times Square being as authentic as possible to the different time periods right down to the marquees.

Season 1

When Season 1 of “The Deuce” premiered in September 2017, fans knew it was going to be a great series. The show opens in 1971 and introduces fans to Vincent and Frankie, Candy, Abby, C.C. and more. We see a Times Square neighborhood filled with prostitution, legal pornography, organized crime, police corruption, drugs and the powerful men versus powerful women. Vince Martino’s business becomes a front for the mob due to his twin brothers’ gambling and hustling. Abby is a wealthy New York University College Student who gets caught buying speed let go and is introduced to Vince who recently left his cheating wife. Lori is a girl from Minnesota who will find fame in the world of pornography after she falls into the clutches of pimp C.C. Candie, an extremely independent prostitute aspires to become a great artistic pornography director.

Season 2

Season 2 of “The Deuce” focuses on the year 1977 through 1978. The Times Square neighborhood is gradually changing and evolving into the disco era. The police presence in “The Deuce” neighborhood continues to tolerate the crime but also become disheartened by it. Vince opens a new nightclub, a disco. Lori eyes Hollywood as she continues to see the money in pornography instead of prostitution, but her cocaine habit becomes an issue as her career grows. Candie continues to pursue art house pornography and a big film “Red Hot” with many of “The Deuce’s” neighbors becoming investors. We first see Officer Goldman, a man who would eventually change the neighborhood. In the meantime, Abby becomes an activist.

Season 3 – Final Season

Each season of “The Deuce” evolves through over a decade and a half. When Season 3 opened up on the cusp of New Years Eve 1984, the show clearly depicts the changing atmosphere to come in the Times Square neighborhood. Changes are coming to the regular character’s lives. It’s now the mid-1980’s where pornography has become a mass produced film industry through VHS and also protested by women’s groups. It’s a time where AID’s is still a mysterious disease, and in a world of pornography and drugs, becomes a danger to many. It’s a world where New York City police are cracking down on organized crime and cleaning up the Times Square neighborhood’s corruption turning it into a corporate dream where money can be made through consumerism and tourism. In the end, will Vince really settle back into suburban life? Will Frankie continue to try to balance his family life with his hustling life? Will Candie ever be able to use her artistic talents in the world of pornography? Will Lori continue to relapse into drug use despite her potential to continue her career?

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