=Borrowed Tides= and =Alpha Centauri= right here

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Deuce Is Back - Still without Cellphones and that's a Good Thing

The Deuce is back on HBO for its second season.  As was the case with first season, the most enjoyable aspect of this series is its deft capturing of the New York City sleaze ambience of the 1970s.   I remember it quite well - no, not because I was a part of it - but because I walked those streets often, first as a singer/songwriter going in and out of recording studios (which resulted in Twice Upon a Rhyme), later as graduate student at The New School and NYU.

Season 2 zooms in more than half a decade after Season 1.  Koch is now Mayor - as cops debate whether or not he was a "homo," and take figurative shots at Abe Beame, admittedly the most boring Mayor in New York history.  The pimp business is now thoroughly appreciative of the monetary opportunities of porn, and a much slimmer Harvey is still making movies, while Candy continues to push their creative boundaries.

As with the first season, the centerpiece is Vincent Martino (James Franco) and his twin brother Frank (of course also played by Franco).  In a different kind of narrative, Frankie could well be an invention of Vincent's brain.   He flits in and out of scenes, and is often barely seen.   But since he is indeed seen and interacted with by characters other than his brother, chances are Frankie is real.  Certainly Abby acts as if he's real, and the decisive moment in 2.1 is the love she sees in Vincent for his brother when Vincent forgives his debt.   This fans the attraction and love she feels for Vincent, and provides a nice bed for the two of them in bed together at the end.

Something I also liked in the first season, which continues in the second, is how everyone manages to live personal lives and do whatever business with no cell phones.  The 1970s would be the last decade without even a hint of one in the streets or in a car, and the same is true for personal computers.    Given the enormous degree to which all of us in 2018 depend upon those devices, it's almost gratifying to see how well our people did without them back in the 1970s.

So I'd keep watching The Deuce, even if it wasn't about porn and all of that.  See you here next week with more.

See also The Deuce: NYC 1971 By Way of The Wire and "Working with Marshall McLuhan" ... Marilyn Monroe on the Deuce 1.7 ... The Deuce Season 1 Finale: Hitchcock and Truffaut 

It all starts in the hot summer of 1960, when Marilyn walks off the set
of The Misfits and begins to hear a haunting song in her head,
"Goodbye Norma Jean" ..

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