Back in the days when Times Square and 42nd Street were still part of the dirty, seedy universe that Travis Bickle drove through, we find David Simon’s new HBO series The Deuce. Meet Candy, portrayed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, the savvy prostitute with all the good speeches. Candy is the strong center of the show and seems very aware that she’s being exploited – on a series that’s centered around exploitation. Seems like HBO got the memo that they have a penchant for portraying violence against women and gratuitous female-focused nudity and brought us something very different with The Deuce.
Simon, known for his work on The Wire, is now turning his eye to the sex trade in the 70s when things really began to change in that universe. 42nd Street was never tame as famously memorialized in the Dubin and Warren song: its “naughty, bawdy, gaudy, sporty” -ness was infamous even back in 1932. But in the 1970s it was… naughty, bawdy, dirty, sleazy? (the forgotten dwarves)
Sleazy works, right?
Gyllenhaal and co-star James Franco are bringing their indie vibe to that sleaziness and it totally works. Loads to look at here and you’ll want to watch for more of this (prediction coming) new tv darling.
Really, really short review: Maggie and James have always had a 70s vibe scent-fuming off them so let’s see how The Deuce makes use of that essence.