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If you David Simon and George Pelecanos (The Wire, Treme), creators of HBO The Deuce, you follow the money and the people making it, skimming it, and fighting to control it.

Set in 1971, the year a landmark Supreme Court ruling redefined obscenity in a way that helped spur the mainstreaming of the porn industry, The Deuce, named for a once notorious stretch of Manhattan 42nd Street, is one answer to anyone who complained in recent years about the Disneyfication of Times Square, or about furry costumed characters getting handsy.

Maybe the old neighborhood wasn the tourist friendly pedestrian nightmare it become, but The Deuce, premiering Sunday in the time slot lately occupied by dragons, doesn appear to be out to make anyone nostalgic for the days when prostitutes (or their pimps) owned the sidewalks outside adult movie theaters.

Which isn to say that The Deuce isn a lively place, or that you won fall for the women and men who work there.

James Franco plays identical twins Vincent and Frankie Martino.

Candy, a hooker from a middle class background who so far managed to make it on the streets without the dubious protection of a pimp, could easily have been an entertainment industry cliche: the smart, presentable sex worker who just trying to make a living and who nobody victim. The Deuce, and Gyllenhaal, don let the lie stand. Candy life, mundane and terrifying, is worth fleeing, and as the first season unfolds, the burgeoning adult film business begins to look to her like an opportunity to move up in the world.

But like The Wire, another show about a shadow economy both harassed and made possible by officialdom, The Deuce is about more than its big name stars. (Gary Carr), a smooth talker whose ability to manipulate women, keeping them on the street by any means necessary, is his greatest business asset.

Pleasure often found in dialogue that has nothing to do with the business at hand. It also a possibly shrewd bit of political analysis that wouldn feel out of place in 2017.

Police officer Chris Alston (Lawrence Gilliard Jr., The Wire), getting his shoes shined alongside several pimps, gives as good as he gets in a teasing discussion of footwear. Franco twins debate the relative merits of star sightings of brothers Dick and Jerry Van Dyke. And NYU student Abby Parker (Margarita Levieva) explains the objectification of women to bar manager Vincent Martino, who already cashing in on the concept.

The porn scenes in later episodes, quaint by modern standards let just say the women all still look real are deconstructed in ways that make them more interesting than porn, and David Krumholtz (Numbers) is fun as the director who inadvertently becomes Candy mentor.

But if these are the stories we being told, it makes a difference how they being told. Nothing about The Deuce glamorizes prostitution or porn. If anyone objectified, it the johns, a motley crew who exist mostly as a series of ill favored losers feeding their money into a machine they don remotely control.
timberland mens bromilly boots wheat nubuck HBO's 'The Deuce' is a porn story with heart and smarts