This will be HBOs second attempt at a '70s New York-set prestige drama in as many years, after the spectacular flop of Vinyl, the Winter/Scorsese/Jagger rock vanity project that mostly served to remind viewers that, yes, there is such a thing as too much Bobby Canavale. Way, way too much.
But where Vinyl was a cliche mess of coke, a struggle for "authenticity," fallen starlettes and, again, way too much Canavale, The Deuce looks like the fully realized, rich 1970s New York that, on paper, should make for great fucking television. It looks as subtle and nuanced as that setting can possibly look, with the exception of Method Man's glorious pimp hair, which was hopefully a stipulation in his contract. You've got Good James Franco talking about "the vig" in hushed tones, Maggie Gyllenhaal with that wry smile trying to transition from hooking to porn, and at least one scene with the Lawrence Gillard Jr., who was one of the best parts of the first couple seasons of The Wire as the conflicted D'Angelo Barksdale.
We also get the sense of a (Gasp!, Winter) multi-faceted storyline, with what looks like plots involving crime, business, journalism, and whatever Franco's doing. In short, it sounds like The Wire set in New York 45 years ago, and we're not about to complain about that concept.
Check out the trailer below.