“Once upon a time in America, pleasure became a business.” So goes the tagline of The Deuce, HBO’s upcoming series on the rise of porn and prostitution in seedy 1970s New York. Starring James Franco (in two capacities – he plays twins) and Maggie Gyllenhaal as working girl Candy (the actress is also a producer on the series), The Deuce revolves around the netherworld that was Times Square and the prostitutes, pimps, porn purveyors, and patrons that were drawn to it. In fact, the show’s moniker is an old term for the stretch of 42nd Street between 6th and 8th Avenues.
Beyond the double-dose of Franco and Maggie-as-Candy, there’s a lot to look forward to. Take the sheer attention to detail for example: The Deuce went as far as to actually recreate some of the era’s most notorious establishments. Second Avenue’s Village East Cinema became West 49th Street’s World Theater, where Deep Throat premiered in 1972. Entire pockets of of Washington Heights were transformed into Times Square of old, complete with iconic businesses like seedy arcade Playland. The Deuce team even acquired a fleet of vintage cars and lined the streets with ’70s-style phone booths and mailboxes.
You can catch a special advance premiere streaming on HBO NOW, although the show officially airs September 10 at 9 p.m. In the meantime, watch the trailer above to get a taste of the ’70s hustle where everyone was out for their own piece of the action.
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