PW: The Deuce
NPR mentions The Deuce as one of the best shows of 2017.
There are so many ways a TV show about the genesis of the porn industry could have gone wrong. But David Simon, creator of The Wire, brought his eye for authenticity to a surprisingly compelling story: how X-rated films moved from under-the-counter illegality to a multi-million-dollar business. James Franco got loads of attention playing twin brothers at the center of the prostitution and bar scene in 1970s-era Manhattan, but it’s Maggie Gyllenhaal’s work as a pimp-less streetwalker determined to become a porn director that gives the show its beating heart. — Eric
“Thunder Thighs” aka “Ruby” aka Pernell Walker!
When the great crime novelist Megan Abbott signed up as a writer on this HBO series about the sex trade in 1970s Times Square, her immediate reaction to this sex worker, only being referred to in the script as “Thunder Thighs,” was “You need to give her a real name.” In a vacuum, this seems like one more anecdote about the obvious value of including women when you write about women, but it’s also key to what makes Ruby (Pernell Walker) the beating heart of “The Deuce.”…
…There are numerous other sex workers walking the stretch of 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues that gives the show its name, but Ruby embodies one of the series’ biggest themes: just how easy it is for the obvious fact of these women’s humanity, hopes, and dreams to get lost in the shuffle, once their bodies are part of the capitalist system. Without spoiling anything, the reason why the season finale is titled “My Name is Ruby” will, at the risk of sounding like Upworthy, break your heart.
From IndieWire, 2 amazing clients are featured:
Pernell Walker in “The Deuce,” Season 1, Episode 8, “My Name Is Ruby”
Roberta Colindrez in “I love Dick,” Season 1, Episode 5, “A Short History of Weird Girls”
Sometimes an episode title says it all. The Season 1 finale of “The Deuce” wasn’t a solo hour dedicated to Ruby (Pernell Walker), a prostitute who calls herself “Thunder Thighs” and had been struggling to compete with the new police-protected, mob-built brothels. Vincent (James Franco) and Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) played as big a role as ever, as did the rest of David Simon and George Pellecanos’ stellar ensemble.
But the ending brought it all together, and not just the episode arc about realities separated by class, but the season as a whole. “The Deuce” features quite a few graphic scenes of women being abused or taken advantage of, and it consistently drives home both why this keeps happening and how America institutionalizes discrimination. “My Name Is Ruby” forces the mirror back on its audience in compelling fashion. For a period piece with plenty of modern parallels, it’s easy to get caught up in the series’ relevance. The finale puts a human face on the issues. It gives them a name. And it’s a name that won’t soon be forgotten.
“I Love Dick,” as a series, had its fascinating moments, but Episode 5, “A Short History of Weird Girls,” was perhaps the most impactful installment overall. A series of vignettes spotlighting the show’s female energy serves as a complete breakout from the main series, but invokes the show’s fascination with legendary female artists. It pays tribute to creators who had come before while also developing the women of the series beyond (the always awesome) Kathryn Hahn. “A Short History of Weird Girls,” on its own, is a fascinating experiment. But it’s also a vital part of one of 2017’s most intriguing series.
Read the interview here