Hustlers, sex and the city: Here’s why to watch ‘The Deuce’ S3
The third and final season of The Deuce on HBO has started, and if you haven’t tuned in before then, you owe it to yourself to catch up.
The show was created by George Pelecanos and David Simon, both notable for The Wire. The Deuce features a staggeringly good ensemble cast including Maggie Gyllenhaal as self-made sex worker Candy, who eyes up a new career in the booming porn industry.
The Deuce’s first season was set between 1971 and 1972, providing a realistic depiction of a world full of sex, crime, and violence as porn is gradually legislated and politicians fight to clean up Times Square.
Season 2 picked up on the same cast of characters in the same location, five years later: full swing in the Golden Age of Porn. The shift in the time period sparked a shift in tone, when being a major player in the adult film industry was no longer a dream but a credible reality.
The third season promises police corruption, mafia involvement in the porn industry, and political tolerance for sex work against a backdrop of disco and punk scenes. And if that doesn’t pique your interest, here are five more reasons to watch.
The Deuce is a honest, feminist depiction of sex work
The Deuce is one of the best and most feminist depictions of sex work and the porn industry we’ve ever seen on screen, and we can’t get enough of it.
For a show based during the Golden Age of Porn, The Deuce never depicts the adult content industry in a glamorized or fetishized way. More than that, the HBO show brought in sex workers and advocates to the writing room, such as organizers Crystal DeBoise and Melissa Broudo, to help with the production of the show.
The Deuce covers a branch of history rarely examined
Sex work in America is not something often taught in schools. It has been ignored, glossed over, or rewritten entirely to make it more appealing to a widespread audience.
The Deuce shines on every branch of sex work, from pimps to prostitutes to Escorts & Babes without glamorizing the profession. It has also detailed how consumption of pornography has changed over the years, such as with the introduction of home videos. (If only they knew what was coming with the internet!)
The Deuce’s third season promises to explore that history in even greater detail, with the ideology of anti-pornography feminists and activists such as Andrea Dworkin, compared with sex workers and ex-sex workers such as Candy who have made a career from both sex work and pornography.
The Deuce’s playlist. Oh my God, the playlist.
The Deuce’s first two seasons gifted us with earworm after earworm spanning 1970s punk, disco, and rock. It fit perfectly in the environment they created for the show: a gritty New York City before gentrification and Wall Street. In the third season, the hits keep coming: Blondie, Grace Jones, T. Rex, Hall & Oates, and more.
Now that we’re properly in the 1980s, we’re ready for glitter and synth and neon, both on the show and soundtrack. The premiere on September 9th plunged us headfirst into an 80s dreamland, scored by the likes of Blondie and Grace Jones, and we’re hoping the rest of the season gives us all pop and new wave our heart desires.
We all have our favorite The Deuce characters and we need to know they end up okay
We’ve been watching this show for Candy, Darlene (Dominique Fishback), Lori (Emily Meade), and all of the women who’ve appeared in any way, shape, or form on The Deuce. It’s been fascinating to watch their characters evolve over the course of the series, and we need to make sure they come out alright.
The Deuce’s third season has switched up the format
The third season is promising a change in tempo for The Deuce. The gang even got to go on a porn-filled trip to glitzy Las Vegas, as opposed to the same run-down New York neighborhood the past two seasons have been focused on (and after which the series was named).
The Deuce S3 also introduces new adversaries outside of the porn industry that threaten the way of life for the original cast of characters. Anti-porn protestors from the feminist movement are picketing, Mayor Ed Koch is following his ambition to clean up Times Square, and on the fringes of their world, the AIDS crisis looms.