Created by long-time collaborators George Pelecanos and David Simon (The Wire), The Deuce explores the trials and tribulations of people associated with the 1970s porn industry. Last September, season 1 premiered on HBO and concluded with a series finale that received the lowest amount of viewers over the eight-episode run. HBO renewed the series after two episodes, this coming approximately four months before multiple allegations of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior from women who studied acting under The Deuce’s male lead and co-executive producer, the aforementioned Franco.
Today, HBO released The Deuce’s season 2 teaser trailer, which unsurprisingly doesn’t open with Franco, who portrays the twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino. Instead, the spotlight goes to Maggie Gyllenhaal’s fur coat-wearing Eileen “Candy” Martell, a prostitute turned director who appears to be working on a film called “Red Hot.” The narrative has reportedly been pushed ahead five years to 1977, and both the visuals and character dialogue confirm that “everything has changed” in this “free world.” Throughout the duration of the 55-second clip, featuring Barry White’s “Let the Music Play,” the rapid-fire editing focuses more on images of narrative conflict rather than dialogue that might reveal any specific information about the primary characters, including Franco’s Frankie Martino, who cryptically states that he, or someone else, is “bound for glory.”
Last February, HBO confirmed Franco would indeed return for The Deuce season 2, not long after Simon offered his support by noting that no complaints were made about the actor’s behavior on set. Despite the lackluster season 1 viewership numbers, The Deuce has been positively received by critics. Gyllenhaal received a Golden Globe nomination for her revealing performance, and the acclaimed showrunners will undoubtedly make the appropriate narrative tweaks to ensure a multiple season run at HBO. On Twitter, the network posted the season 2 trailer, and the positive reactions suggest Franco’s involvement won’t derail the series. With that said, Simon himself is known for his outspoken demeanor and was suspended from Twitter in July after posting negative statements about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
For binge-watchers, The Deuce’s narrative themes offer plenty of bold visuals and saucy dialogue to keep viewers intrigued. In addition, the series insightfully explores a specific time and place, and the examination of 1977 New York City will allow for an even more flamboyant approach.
The Deuce season 2 will premiere September 9 on HBO.