Entertainment TV
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • +
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email
SHARE THIS
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email

These days it seems like we have a rotating stable of TV shows that ‘broke the mould.’ The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Breaking Bad and Mad Men. And of course, The Wire.

Talking about that last one, there are more than a few reasons why the David Simoncreated series resonated with viewers. The show’s ability to go in-depth with specific characters and facets of life was unprecedented. Add in the fact that each season changed perspective, and that it was written by Simon, whose own background was in investigative journalism, and that the show captured the gritty realities of the brutality of drugs, policing and project housing (to name only a few of the subjects covered).

This weekend Simon is back with his latest HBO project, The Deuce (Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO Canada) and so far it’s got all of those signature The Wire touches, but with new subject matter (’70s porn and prostitution!), actors and storylines that will have you just as invested — we promise. If you need more than our word though, here are just some of the reasons that, if you loved The Wire, you’re definitely going to love The Deuce.

A flawed lead

Who didn’t love Jimmy McNulty (Domenic West) and his drunk, womanizing ways on The Wire? He was essentially good at his job, which is why we forgave him and his demons, proving, long before Don Draper and Walter White, that we loved messed up leading dudes.

The Deuce stars James Franco — a guy many, many people already love to hate — as not one but two characters, identical twins Vincent and Frankie Martino. The former is a savvy bartender with tons of domestic issues who becomes involved with the mob thanks to his brother’s outrageous gambling debts, while the latter is… well, a bit of an off-the-wall character. And sure, a little James Franco can go a long way, but there’s a reason these roles can be described as his most “grown up” ones yet. Trust us.

This new 70s porn-series is like 'The Wire' only better
HBO

Racy subject matter

Anyone coming to The Wire late might not understand what all the fuss was about, but back in the day wire-tapping was a pretty huge deal. The thing about The Deuce that makes it inherently interesting is that porn and prostitution have always been racy subjects that command attention — especially when dealt with in a thoughtful and provoking way like this series does. Let us back up a second though, shall we?

Our main entry point into the realities of such a world is a self-employed prostitute named Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who becomes fascinated by the art of pornography. Of course, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to this character, but she’s our window into how, once upon a time, people viewed porn as real art, with potential, and not the wham, bam, thank you M’am variety that the Internet has made so popular today.

This new 70s porn-series is like 'The Wire' only better
HBO Canada

Equal nudity

No spoilers, but if you’ve ever been frustrated at the fact that women are always shown buck naked while men get to cover up, this show will definitely alleviate those frustrations. And yes, we thanked the producers on your behalf for this small step towards equality.

This new 70s porn-series is like 'The Wire' only better
Giphy

The social commentary

Like The Wire, this show doesn’t aim to point fingers, or make the world a better place. Instead we’re given insight into that period of time from the ’70s to the ’80s when pornography was growing as a business, and the profits were pretty much insane. We see how the mob is actually terrible at business, and what kinds of repercussions this industry had on New York at the time. And in a slightly less obvious way, the show also begins to set up and answer the question of why porn evolved into the thing that it is today, and why it’s so accessible to millions and millions of people.

This new 70s porn-series is like 'The Wire' only better
HBO Canada

This isn’t gratuitous

We’d just like to take a second and say, that when you’re talking about a show that focuses on sex and the sex trade, it’s easy to make it a wish-fulfillment type series, that has lots of fantastical elements and glorifies the job (or, glorifies the violence that goes along with it). That isn’t the case here, as the writers make sure to take their time getting to know each and every character, from the pimps and the policemen to the ladies of the night and the mafia players that eventually swoop in. That treatment is part of what made The Wire so successful, and it’s bound to do the same here.

This new 70s porn-series is like 'The Wire' only better
HBO Canada

There are tons of ‘Wire’ cameos

Again, we don’t want to spoil anything, but you could certainly make a drinking game out of recognizing actors in The Deuce who also happened to appear on The Wire. Pace yourselves though — you don’t want to get too sauced up before the second episode.

This new 70s porn-series is like 'The Wire' only better
HBO Canada

There’s strong source material

We mentioned that Simon is a former journalist, right? So you can bet that he dug into this time period as much as he could, and came up with some really interesting stories on which to base the show. Even more fascinating is this bit of information: the writer and his longtime collaborator, fellow former journalist George Pelecanos sat down with an anonymous man from the era, on whom Franco’s Vincent character is based. The duo refuse to reveal the man’s identity as he passed away right before production on the series began, but he was a twin who happened to work for the mob in the ’70s and he had a ton of crazy stories. In fact, he left something like 90 hours of tapes behind because he knew that someday, somebody would be interested in what he’d been through.

It looks like that time is now.

The Deuce premieres Sunday, Sept. 10 at 9 p.m., ET on HBO Canada.

COMMENTS