loading...

HBO’s ‘The Deuce’ is a throwback to the birth of NYC porn scene USA News Today

loading...

HBO’s ‘The Deuce’ is a throwback to the birth of NYC porn scene USA News Today

CLOSE

An official teaser trailer has just been released for the upcoming HBO drama ‘The Deuce,’ starring James Franco and helmed by showrunner David Simon. ‘The Deuce’ will focus on the rise of the pornography industry in Times Square during the 1970s.
USA TODAY

BEVERLY HILLS — Sex always sold, but it wasn’t always big business.

Premiering Sept. 10 on HBO, The Deuce traces that moment in New York City in the ’70s when sex — and porn — went from “dirty pictures” and “bad behavior” to a billion-dollar industry. The show’s title comes from New York slang for 42nd Street, which in the ’70s was the center of the newly legal big business.

Despite its long-lasting popularity, porn might seem to be an odd choice for an HBO drama. Well, if the topic doesn’t scream “prestige,” the people involved certainly do, starting with co-creators David Simon and George Pelecanos, who gave HBO The Wire and Treme, and including stars James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Franco plays twin brothers — one a hard-working bartender, one a gambler in debt to the mob — while Gyllenhaal plays a veteran prostitute turned would-be filmmaker. Their paths cross in Times Square, and in the burgeoning sex trade.

MORE: What to expect from your favorite TV shows

Simon says he chose 1971 as a starting point because that’s when it became legal to make and distribute sex films. And he chose porn as a subject because the industry changed our culture, and because it allows him to look at larger issues, from capitalism to police corruption to abuse of women..

“The product is really human flesh,” Simon told writers at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Wednesday, “it’s objectified women, and in making it into a billion-dollar industry, there’s something really telling in who gets paid and who gets left out. … It was waiting for us. This is what we consume as a society.”

The Times Square of the ’70s was a much more decadent and dangerous place than it is now, and yet there are people who miss the “gritty” experience Times Square once provided. The appeal, Gyllenhaal thinks, is in the place’s, and the porn industry’s, lawlessness and lack of control. “There is something sexy and appealing always about lawlessness, and there are always consequences to that. And both of them are in the show.”

The prostitute Gyllenhaal plays suffers abuses and sexual assaults that many will find hard to watch, and that’s fine with her. “There is a huge amount of misogyny in the world. I think we thought we were in a better place than we are. Here we have an opportunity to pick it up and put it on the table. … If you don’t put that on the table and take a really hard look at it, nothing will change.”

The show, says Simon, is about the commodification of sex: how we sell it, and how we use it to sell everything else. And there’s no way to tell that story without showing sex, and doing so in ways that will make some people uncomfortable. He’s doing a series about porn stars and prostitutes, and he’s not willing to clean them up or make everything seem softer. 

“You go down that route, and pretty soon, you’re making Pretty Woman.”

 

 

Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2w1LsEE

HBO’s ‘The Deuce’ is a throwback to the birth of NYC porn scene USA News Today

Source link

HBO’s ‘The Deuce’ is a throwback to the birth of NYC porn scene USA News Today

536

loading...
author

Author: 

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!