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From The Creator Of THE WIRE!! Herc Loves HBO’s Franco-Gyllenhaal Sex-Trade Series THE DEUCE!!

I am – Hercules!!

Created by “The Wire” mastermind David Simon and “Wire” writer George Pelecanos, HBO’s terrific new drama “The Deuce” uses loads of computer-generated imagery to reproduce “McCloud”-era Manhattan in the months leading up to the release of porn blockbuster “Deep Throat.”

Like “The Wire,” “The Deuce” (named for a couple of very special blocks of 42nd Street) follows a multiracial army of characters, some superficially on the side of law, many others not. The CGI allows James Franco (“11.22.63”) to play two of the characters – an ambitious bartender and his ne’er-do-well gambler twin. Zoe Kazan (“The Big Sick”) pops up now and again as the wife drifting out of the bartender’s life.

The fabulous Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Honourable Woman”) gets naked early and often as a comely prostitute who prefers (quite understandably) to work pimp-free before deciding to dip her painted toe into pornography.

From “The Wire,” producers have repurposed Method Man as a pimp determined to expand his portfolio, Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as an officer in a notoriously corrupt NYPD and Chris Bauer as an opportunistic brother-in-law.

If you’re asking me? “The Deuce” is far more fun than the Louisiana-based “Treme” and certainly my favorite David Simon enterprise since “The Wire” ended. “The Wire” never earned “Game of Thrones” ratings but HBO kept bringing it back for five years; hopefully the channel will be as kind to fans of “The Deuce.”

USA Today says:

... the kind of smart, well-written and character-driven series that won’t be overwhelmed by its sex-heavy concept…

Time says:

... It's a triumph, and, better yet, a pleasure. …

Uproxx says:

... fantastic … It in many ways resembles the Hamsterdam season of The Wire — what if certain criminal activities in a major city were unofficially decriminalized? — only this one’s loosely based on real events. …

The New York Times says:

... That macro idea makes “The Deuce” smart. Its micro detail — a Studs Terkelesque catalog of the million ways to chase a hustle — makes it art. … “The Deuce” is more than human interest. But it is human above all, and it’s relentlessly interesting.

The Washington Post says:

… serious and provocative … As soon as you meet someone like Darlene (Dominique Fishback), Ashley (Jamie Neumann), Ruby (Pernell Walker) or fresh-off-the-bus Lori (Emily Meade), you’ll want to know everything about them, including how they arrived at sex work. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... a great story and even greater storytelling. …

CNN says:

... After a slow start, this engrossing, characteristically nuanced HBO drama mostly serves up aces. …

Variety says:

... a worthy heir to the sprawling sociopolitics of “The Wire.” Indeed, it’s the closest thing to “The Wire” that Simon has produced in the 15 years since that show debuted — an immersive drama of life in a city, centered on the bleeding edge where crime meets culture. …

The Hollywood Reporter says:

... As an opening act, the show's first season is substantive, provocative and entertaining. It's a journey through a certain kind of hell, but I'm already eager to return. …

9 p.m. Sunday. HBO.

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