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HBO: THE DEUCE
Well, it's the final season, so if they are "dumping" it in an act of unconfidence, at least it can do nothing to negatively impact the show.
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It just feels like HBO never really pushed this show. I'm not sure if it's the subject matter or the James Franco 'ick' factor, but it almost feels like they're putting this out there to fulfill a contract vs putting out a show that they care about. That's a shame as this is really a quality effort with some truly first rate acting from everyone.
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Wow, up against the Monday Night Football double-header? Who'd they piss off?
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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It wouldn't shock me if keeping David Simon satisfied was a partial motive for HBO to greenlight this show and see it through, but so be it.
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I don't care how it happened. I'm just happy that David Simon gets to complete his vision. The first two seasons were the closest I've seen to a novel on TV. They are great.
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Great premier. Just like past seasons, it's a slow start laying the groundwork for the season to come and to catch us up on what everyone is up to. It was a little jarring to see a show whose first two seasons being set in the swinging 70's make the transition to the 80's. I think that's intentional and a tad melancholic in a weird sort of way. There are no signs of pimps in the premier and the prostitutes on stroll are clearly on their way out. It's a far cry from where everything started back in season 1 and I have a feeling when this is finished, it will be quite the masterpiece. So happy it's back.

EDIT: Where's my boy, Larry? I hope they have plans for him this season. His arc was one of the highlights from last season.
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I feel like my clothes smell like stale cigarettes after I watch this show.
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(09-10-2019, 09:16 AM)schwartz Wrote: I feel like my clothes smell like stale cigarettes after I watch this show.

Same!  When Vincent brought his ex-wife Drea up to his apartment, you could see the haze in the air from the chain smoking.  

Very solid episode with the usual high standards of acting from everyone.  Some thoughts:
- AIDS is going to be a heavier factor in this than I suspected.  The heterosexual angle is looking to be tackled with Bobby and his promiscuity, based upon foreshadowing.
- The street crime element (the wolf packs) is new.  I liked that subplot because I like seeing how things actually get done, so I hope they follow through on this plotline.
- We're getting into the era where I was growing up (I was 15 in 1985), and I remember the rise of the video rental store.  I'll be interested to see how they handle the porn rental business because, as I understand it, that is what made porn go huge.
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While the show has been mostly great, I'd argue that it's the wrong time for it to be popular...at least here in the U.S.

When you are subjected to daily reminders in the media of all the actual scumbags and assholes that exist in the real world, the last thing that people want to watch is a show about scumbags and assholes. People want to escape what could be considered the more ugly parts of society and not be reminded that such creepiness exists.
I think Deadwood suffered a bit from this in the beginning as the language and questionably moral characters turned a lot of people off.

It also doesn't help that the amount of streaming TV shows/movies has become so ridiculously huge as to be overwhelming. And it's not enough to get people to start watching, you also have to hold peoples attention. This is tougher than it's ever been.

Admittedly, the show isn't for everyone but the timing of it's existence is off. I might become more popular as people discover it via streaming.

All that said, I have been enjoying watching Mindhunters and it's a pretty bleak show, so.....?!
I used to be with "it", but then they changed what "it" was. Now, what I'm with isn't "it", and what's "it" seems weird and scary to me.   -Grandpa Simpson
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Apparently Jack Maple is a real person who dramatically changed how police work was done not only in NYC but the rest of the United States as well. So I can totally see them digging into his story quite a bit. Looks like the Disneyfication of Times Square is going to be a big part of this season. Also interesting. It seems like Rudy is not quite the powerful figure he once was judging by his underlings doing side hustles and Times Square going to the dumps.

Finally, I'm pretty happy that it looks like they didn't introduce Paul just to give him AIDS. I'm curious if this still holds with his boyfriend clearly having the disease but it would feel cheap if Paul gets the disease after being so proactive in its prevention.
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I think HBO is smart enough (or used to be -- it remains to be seen how much of tradition the new AT&T overlords will uphold) to know that a quality Simon/Pelecanos joint is to the benefit of their brand and catalog.  It may not be a contemporary phenomenon, but it has bankable value in the long term.

I am not suggesting that HBO finances shows on principle, just that quality is a part of their calculus.  Shows like ROME, CARNIVALE, and VINYL had too gargantuan a per-season price tag to justify letting those shows go the distance (I'm sure they were all intended to run at least five seasons by their creators) based on quality alone once they proved to be modest performers.  A show like THE DEUCE, which had a three season plan from the outset, can make a better case for being granted completion.  They don't always get it right (DEADWOOD) but you can see the logic behind some of these decisions.

Anyway, solid premiere to what an exceedingly mature friend of mine calls the Everybody Gots AIDS season of THE DEUCE.  Chris Bauer is definitely doomed, as Chris Bauer always is.
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I think The Deuce is one of those shows that will be like Deadwood or the The Wire. Not popular in their time but they build a solid fanbase over the years that pays dividends. I'm a late comer to The Deuce having only caught up with it two weeks ago and I'm utterly amazed at the scope of this series. Over two seasons, we went from Pimps and prostitutes to a multimillion dollar industry with some of those prostitutes being moguls. I'm very interested in seeing how it wraps up and glad that HBO let David Simon fulfill his vision.
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From the pilot episode I took it for granted that one of the Franco twins would eventually bite it.  Frankie was always the obvious candidate, now more than ever due to his active antagonism of the mob.  Which just makes me all the more sure it will end up being Vincent.

And with Larry absent three episodes in, I guess his arc really did conclude in Season 2.  Maybe he will show up in the inevitable THE WIRE style montage that will close this saga out.
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yeah, they're definitely setting it up for Frankie to get taken out. I'm figuring that somebody who doesn't know that he's a twin takes out Vincent by mistake, kinda a callback to the very first episode.

I'm loving the acting on this show. This is career best work from everyone, down to the smallest parts.
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David Morse!
If you're happy, you're not paying attention.

Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny: 
Glad that you guys worked that out amongst yourselves.

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He was GREAT.

I have a hunch that that storyline will end badly. I suspect that it'll come out that he was sexually abusing his daughter back in Michigan and that's why she left. I also suspect that it'll end tragically...he's been sober for 2 years and I bet he goes out for a bender and comes back to assault her again.

I am really digging the storyline with Eileen/Candy. I liked and respected her response to the monetary offer from Corey Stoll. While I believe that his intentions were completely from a business point of view, I get that she doesn't ever want to accept money from him; that would cross a line in her mind.
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I would love it if Larry shows up as a televangelist. That may expand the scope of a season that's meant to be winding down things though. I do hope he shows up for a cameo just to check in on him. I'm glad Paul wasn't being introduced in this show just to die of AIDS. I hope he has a better outcome than that and I have faith this show won't do that.

One of the Martino brothers is probably not making it out of this series but I don't think Rudy Pipillo will be the trigger man. He's a mafia guy but he seems to be the most reasonable and business like of any mafia character I've seen. In fact, I think Rudy is not making it out of this series alive. You don't bring up the rise of John Gotti and do nothing with it. I can't wait to rewatch all this when it's done. It'll be an amazing journey.
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Whelp, so much for my prediction about a certain fatality. Only four episodes of this fine show remain.
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It’s been a long time coming.

It’ll be interesting to see how Rudy responds. Per the previews, it looks like Vincent gets him involved in finding out who killed Frankie, so there’s gonna be a lot of fallout.

Great episode. I had an issue with the Frankie/Vincent doubling in the opening scene (the lighting on Frankie was off when they were all sitting on that couch on the curb) but that was it. From an acting point of view, this was typically excellent with James Franco giving a particularly strong showing. I’m going to miss his Frankie.
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Official synopses of the final four episodes of THE DEUCE are online, and you probably shouldn't read them.  I peeked to see the director list, and was disappointed to find that Michelle MacLaren didn't helm the finale.  On the other hand, it's not terribly uncommon for the director of the pilot to leave permanently after the first season.  See also: Walter Hill and DEADWOOD, David Fincher and HOUSE OF CARDS, Tim Van Patten and GAME OF THRONES, Scorsese and both of his HBO shows, Stephen Hopkins and 24, etc.
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I expected that death, but not the way it went down.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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Gonna miss this show when it's gone. I wonder if we're going to see John Gotti before this is over.
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This is so not going to end well.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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Nope. But the performances and direction have been top notch this season.
If you're happy, you're not paying attention.

Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny: 
Glad that you guys worked that out amongst yourselves.

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I don't see Rudy making it out alive. Pretty sure it ends with Gotti taking over New York and Pipillo gets whacked. I'm not feeling good about Lori Madisson. Even if she survives the show, she's in for a rough ride if the previews for next week are any indication.
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I think that Lori is done as well.
If you're happy, you're not paying attention.

Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny: 
Glad that you guys worked that out amongst yourselves.

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Rest in Peace Rudy. Nicest mob boss ever.
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Rudy did actually really impress me by sticking with Vince due to his status as an earner and loyalty.
If you're happy, you're not paying attention.

Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny: 
Glad that you guys worked that out amongst yourselves.

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(10-15-2019, 05:20 PM)Neil Spurn Wrote: Rudy did actually really impress me by sticking with Vince due to his status as an earner and loyalty.

Same.  Honestly, I hated seeing him go and I was very surprised that Longo took him out.  I figured that Rudy was gonna give up Longo as the shooter of Pasquale and get Vincent off of the hook.  Now, I'm thinking that it'll come out that Longo cut a deal with Carmine (or maybe even Gotti) to take out Rudy.  After all, Rudy put his ass on the line for Vincent when it was made clear to him to give him up.

Maggie G earned an Emmy nomination with her autobiographical speech to that actress auditioning for the part in her new movie.
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That was easily the best episode of a very strong season. My heart just broke for Lori. Lots of deaths on this show but that one hurt.
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Goddamnit, Lori. Sort of upset about Eileen as well. I feel like the character could've done a little more for Lori (other than throw money at her) to help.
If you're happy, you're not paying attention.

Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny: 
Glad that you guys worked that out amongst yourselves.

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I didn't think that's where Lori's story was going. Well, the ending, yes, but not the manner. Damn that was brutal.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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That ending worked for me beautifully. Great show, one of the best that HBO's produced.
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Wow. That was faaar more sentimental than I expected. Quite moving.
If you're happy, you're not paying attention.

Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny: 
Glad that you guys worked that out amongst yourselves.

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That ending was just sublime.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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