March 9, 2021

The Deuce: In the backstage of the porn industry | TV

The Deuce: In the backstage of the porn industry | TV


The first season of The Deuce I proposed a tour of eight stops on the wildest and most ruthless side of New York in the mid-seventies through a gallery of characters entrenched in their bad streets. A detailed chronicle about that period in which the vicinity of Times Square was the Sodom and Gomorrah of capitalism, instead of the current Disneyland. The second (already complete in HBO Spain) continues to scrutinize the same dramatic paths, immersed in the choral story of those passersby beaten by life, the tightrope walkers of the lost souls alley. However, the stage has been displaced, moving from the dirty streets to the X cinema sets.

There has also been a shift in the main focus: imbued or not by the clamor of #MeToo and its direct effect on one of the assets of the serial (James Franco), George Pelecanos and David Simon give more space to the female struggle of those pioneers circulating on the wild side. The greater attention paid to the reality of the female gender during those years is evidenced by the increasingly well-known presence of the character of Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal), as well as her promotion – in a long-distance obstacle course – as director in a industry as sexist as porn.

In the backstage of the porn industry

But it is not the only one that gains prominence, the slab of the pimps exerting physical or psychological aggression as a desperate weapon to avoid losing their sexual catalog, before the threat of prostitutes who have found in the adult cinema a safe conduct of life limit on the paving stones, is another one of the algid subframes. Already the first season equitably distributed the minute between male and female characters, but the last highlights the arc of transformation in them -with reflections with the present time, a way forward in a sordid and discouraging world, regulated by sexist exploitation and the dirty money.

Like any work from the creator of The Corner, The Deuce, in his naturalistic will, he creates a detailed diegetic microcosm. A rigorous fresco of a time and a specific place that under the microscope of the laboratories Simon not only acquires its own life, but in its most remote layers, it explores one of its obsessions: the failures of the capitalist system and the fallen ones in these. In that sense, the second season has taken a leap in quality. His fictional universe now flows more organically: the interrelation of all the estates that make up the work (prostitution, pornography and mafia industry and satellite business vs police persecution, with slight brushstrokes on the political strata seeking to clean the area for its revaluation ), as well as the full achievement of choral story through the "crossed lives" of his characters transiting through a shared place, New York circa 1977, underpin that feeling. It is as if that fictitious universe took on a life of its own, without that little spot of a first season excessively pending its plausibility on the screen. Concerned that the production / artistic design apparatus fits without striations, in modulating a realistic atmosphere Inspired by great classics of the seventh art (with Taxi Driver Y Midnight Cowboy as some of its main references. In the new one, the shadow of Boogie Nights).

In the backstage of the porn industry

Assuming the approval of its formal solvency, and away from the exclusionary artificiality of Vinyl, the series has gained ground in the portrait of that New York, but especially in the deep drawing of characters that distill the goodness and baseness of the human being. Because again, as it happens in the fiction with the seal of David Simon, the important thing is not so much the plots or the subplots, as the interaction of the characters by these and the resulting environments without judgments of value on the part of their creators. And in that sense, The Deuce, and his multinarrative ambition, he begins to have little to envy Treme or The Wire. One treads its bad streets and loses sight of the reality of the present.

If the first laid the foundation for the construction of a naturalist artifact that captured the climate and dramas of that New York of fascinating sordidness, the second expands the universe, and delves into it, freed by the invisibility of its seams, imbued in a flow much more natural, a more agile narrative and with an appreciation for their characters proportional to the growing charisma of these. The radiographic and 360º vision of the television Zola has taken over all the layers of this monumental fiction. His fictional world is beating again close to a reality that aspires to capture and dissect with respect.

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