Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Round Two: The Deuce

The Deuce: Season 1, Episode 2 “Show and Prove” (C+)

Well, a second shot at this show didn’t turn out to be enlightening at all, with more of a foray into the porn industry proving to be less than engaging. Sure, this show has its moments, like Candy’s naïve guess that the movie they were filming would be nine hours long instead of eight minutes, and Darlene’s realization that a movie she thought she filmed for a private audience of one was actually being sold in a store, which was promptly raided by some amused policemen looking to give the owner a really hard time. Overall, however, this show is still hopelessly dense, and its access points aren’t appealing. James Franco is an undeniably charismatic actor, who handed in a career-best performance in “127 Hours,” but he’s just too casual here in his dual roles, which are becoming much more clearly intertwined with the mob, especially as Vincent got an offer he couldn’t refuse to own his own business with only a minor monthly debt to his investor-realtors. I knew I recognized Rudy from somewhere, and I mistakenly thought he might be Adam Ferrara from “Rescue Me.” It turns out that he’s one of the more influential if infrequently-seen figures from “The Sopranos,” Jackie Aprile portrayer Michael Rispoli. This show isn’t afraid to be violent, as evidenced by the stabbing of the fake cop by one quick-thinking pimp. I don’t think there’s much more to be gleaned from watching this show, which has already been renewed for a second season, and while I’m sure I’ll regret it if it ends up being an awards juggernaut, something tells me this show will go the way of his predecessors “Treme” and “The Wire” and earn precious little Emmy attention.

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