For all of the classic stories already told in and about New York City in the 1970s, writers and filmmakers continue to trace so many of modern America’s politics and vices back to that pivotal moment in culture. One such story is that of the porn boom of the time, back when adult theaters could operate in every major city with legal impunity and parties from every corner of entertainment and crime came together to make millions of dollars on the nation’s newest favorite curiosity.
And when you need to tell that kind of a story with a careful eye for meticulous cultural details, and tell it on HBO, you bring in David Simon. The creator of The Wire has re-teamed with detective fiction novelist George Pelecanos for The Deuce, an upcoming period drama about New York’s burgeoning porn scene. Simon most recently explored NYC in the late ’80s with Show Me a Hero, and HBO’s brief teaser trailer for The Deuce teases a similar interest in the multi-level machinations of the city’s police, criminals, artists, and politicians.
James Franco stars as both Vincent and Frankie Martino, twin brothers and mob operators (and, we assume, the titular “Deuce”) working in Times Square right as a new kind of business blows into town, and Maggie Gyllenhaal co-stars as a local sex worker who ends up finding her way into the industry. The Deuce will begin its eight-episode first season on September 10th, and will hopefully last longer than the thematically similar Vinyl.