“The Deuce,” David Simon and George Pelecanos’ gritty 1970s New York-set drama for HBO, has released a titillating first teaser trailer for its third and final season. “The Deuce” stars Maggie Gyllenhaal (who also produces) as sex worker-turned-filmmaker Eileen “Candy” Merrell, and James Franco as twin brothers. The series dramatizes the legalization and advent of the porn industry as told through a group of sex workers and brothel owners operating in the formerly seedy Times Square. After jumping in time from 1971 to 1977 between the first and second seasons, Season 3 will skip ahead to the mid-1980s.
According to an official logline, Season 3 of “The Deuce” will explore “the rough-and-tumble world that existed there until the rise of HIV, the violence of the cocaine epidemic and the renewed real estate market all ended the bawdy turbulence.” The first trailer promises plenty of ’80s-level partying, backseat seductions, and VHS filmmaking.
While it would be easy to assume that the show’s short run is a reaction to the scandals surrounding Franco, Simon and Pelecanos have been on the record about a three-season plan since the show’s debut in 2017.
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“We’re always conjuring the last scene before we write the first,” Simon tweeted last fall. “So much the better when we work for people who allow us to consistently plan, arc and execute as intended.”
Judging from the trailer, Season 3 begins on New Year’s Eve of 1985, and tracks the changes to the porn industry following the wide availability of the VHS tape. In addition to Gyllenhaal and Franco, the cast features plenty of friendly faces from the Simon/Pelecanos masterpiece “The Wire,” such as Gbenga Akinnagbe, Chris Bauer, and Michael Kostroff. David Krumholtz, Method Man, Zoe Kazan, Ralph Macchio, Dominique Fishback, Michael Rispoli, and Roberta Colindrez also star.
As part of creating a safe and acceptable working environment, “The Deuce” was one of the first shows to hire an intimacy coordinator to facilitate the filming of sex scenes. HBO works with Alicia Rodis, co-founder of Intimacy Directors International, an organization designed to help create a universal starting point for all dramatized sex scenes in theater, film, and television. Rodis has worked on multiple HBO projects, including “Watchmen,” the upcoming “Deadwood” movie, and next year’s teen-centered show “Euphoria.”
Season 3 of “The Deuce” premieres on HBO on September 9. Check out the titillating first trailer below.