A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Deuce is a drama about the New York City-based sex industry, and isn't intended for kids. Prostitution and porn are major themes, and nudity, simulated sex acts, and hustling are frequently shown. Violence includes assaults and simulated rape, which sometimes result in bruises and bloody wounds. Drinking, smoking, and drug use (cocaine, amphetamines) are common activities, too.
What's the story?
From the producers of The Wire and Treme comes THE DEUCE, a dramatic series about the rise of America's modern sex industry. It's 1971 in New York City, and Frankie Martino (James Franco) is bartending in Brooklyn and Manhattan to support his family and help pay off the gangsters his twin brother, Vince (also played by Franco), owes. At work he interacts with members of the local sex industry, including pimps like Chris Alston (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.) and C.C. (Gary Carr). While local sex workers like Darlene (Dominique Fishback) and newbie Lori (Emily Meade) hustle to make money for them, Eileen "Candy" Merrell (Maggie Gyllenhaal) works the streets for herself. Meanwhile, an encounter with police eventually connects Abigail "Abbie" Parker (Margarita Levieva) to Martino, and leads to some surprising consequences.
Is it any good?
This gritty series offers an unapologetic interpretation of the sex industry during the 1970s in New York City. It highlights the dark, seedy nature of this complicated world, but manages to do so while humanizing the people connected to it. It doesn't refrain from revealing the pitfalls of the industry, but reminds viewers that in this business, there are no simple reasons for, or solutions to, anything.
Well-written and well-cast, The Deuce offers a solid and unhurried entertainment experience. This allows audiences to appreciate the nuances of each event, many of which aren't what they immediately appear to be. It also makes it easier to appreciate the colorful characters and their day-to-day life experiences, as well as the ambivalence they may feel (or not feel) about what they are doing. If you can handle the overall subject matter, it's a rich series that's well-worth the watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what New York City was like in the 1970s. How has it changed over the decades? Do you think the city is portrayed accurately in The Deuce?
For kids who love drama
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