Review of 'The Deuce' 3.1


Review of 'The Deuce' 3.1

The Deuce was back last night with its final season on HBO with another step into the future: New Year's Eve 1985, that is, the last day and evening of 1984. The big villain, at this point, is AIDS. Bobby's afraid he has it (he likely doesn't, at least yet). Gene seems set up to get it. And a lot of people, including Abby on the East Coast and Lori on the West Coast, aren't feeling too well.

Well, Lori's just getting out of rehab, and she's soon on her way to going back, i.e., hooked on some other substance. Candy and Harvey seem physically ok, but they're at odds, as always, on the porn business they helped bring into being the previous decade. Harvey, always concerned about "the p and a," as he says (meaning, what? profits and ass?), wants Candy to be less arty, and she, of course, resists.

The New York City scenes, as always, are gritty and right. The LA scenes look right, too, but I wasn't out there in the mid-80s so I don't know from first-hand experience. The acting is outstanding. James Franco has aged his twin parts well. David Krumholtz, now pretty much the same weight as his character Harvey, is also totally believable in that part, and the same for Maggie Gyllenhaal as Candy.

I do miss Elvis Costello's opening music from Season Two, but otherwise I'm looking forward to seeing how our surviving characters fare in the brave new technological world of the mid-1980s. No early Macs or IBM PCs in sight, as yet, but I'm guessing we'll see some of those as this season progresses. Porn had not yet migrated to the Internet—that would be at least a decade away—but there was lots of book-keeping done on those early computer beasts, and book-keeping was always essential to mob and porn activities.

See you back here next week.

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Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson's novels include The Silk Code (winner Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel of 1999) & The Plot To Save Socrates. His nonfiction including Fake News in Real Context has been translated into 15 languages. 

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