There's only two episodes left in the inaugural season of David Simon and George Pelecanos' dive into the rise of the sex trade in NYC during the '70s, and the twelve of us who actually watch the show are incredibly sad to see it go. Right now, there's really nothing on television quite like it - an expensive hang out work of art that spends more time reveling in the exquisitely detailed recreation of a long lost time in a city's grimy history than it does moving the narrative forward. In an era where propulsive story is valued infinitely more than insightful observation, The Deuce is a breath of fresh air, and this writer has had the time of his life covering it week in and week out.
We already know that HBO has renewed the series for a second season, and in an utterly fantastic interview with Collider's Christina Radish, the series masterminds have outlined brief details for their three chapter plan for the rest of this historical experiment:
Have you thought about how much more story you’d like to tell?SIMON: Assuming that all the critics in the world don’t come down on our heads and it finds an audience of some sort, it’s planned for two more seasons. The ensuing season will be in the late’70s, after these characters have been around, in this world, for about four or five years. And then, the final season we’ve planned for is ‘85/’86, which is when Times Square came crashing down around their heads. That would conclude it.
Are you looking to follow the same characters?
SIMON: The same core characters will last, I think, although in this life, there’s obviously a lot of attrition. Not everyone will be where we left them, five years later.
While pure greed bums me out (as 24 episodes still doesn't seem like enough for all the stories you could tell in the Big Apple during the '70s/'80s), this master design sounds fascinating, as we get to see how time affects both the characters and their environment. Plus, the emergence of AIDS and exploitation filmmaking will no doubt cross over into the universe, ending with Reagan and crack (thus dovetailing the series with Simon's previous masterpiece, The Wire). Things will no doubt get incredibly bleak by the end, but it's difficult not to get excited to see what these two geniuses do with such an engrossing epoch of American chronicle.
In the meantime, head over and check that full interview out, as its a great read, covering everything from the real life inspiration for the Hi-Hat boys (Frankie/Vincent Martino), as well as what it's like to work with James Franco. And for the love of God, start watching The Deuce. You won't regret it.