Hi everyone and welcome back to The Deuce, where everyone is pimpin', hewering or placing bets on nimble-legged beasts of burden: welcome to New York in the seventies! Rolling E2 Show and Prove after the break.
We open with the cops point of view, first Officer Chris (Lawrence Gilliard) brings us over to a very drunk Office Flanagan (Don Harvey of the oh-so-interesting face) talking to Ralph Macchio!!!!!!! Ralph Macchio!!
Sorry, sorry, then the drunk Flanagan drives the Vice wagon over to the hooker stroll and rounds up our girls while pimps Rodney (Method Man) and Larry Brown (Gbenga Akinnagbe) watch and heckle. The cops shout "show and prove, ladies" because if they were rounded up in the last two days then won't go to jail tonight. Thunder Thighs makes an arse outta Flanagan for knowing the calendar better than him (in his defense, he IS super drunk) so he grabs a handful of another ladies' bum to feel better about himself and reinstate his manliness. Plus she mentioned his wife, so clearly she needed a brushback pitch. Or bushback? You decide.
Ashley's having nudie pictures taken, hey, she has pubic hair! Wut?? Yay! She's also got a scar under her left arm because her pimp didn't like her rainy day workethic, maybe we won't photograph that angle. She's getting promo shots done (40 bucks!!) so she can act in movies, oy vey. PLUS photographer Bernie Wolfe (Stephen Gevedon) thinks getting it doggy style on camera is a good life goal so now I think he means DOGGY style.
Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and Thunder Thighs (MY KINGDOM FOR A NAME IMDB) head in to see Vinnie (James Franco) at Kim's bar, they gotta keep it discreet, right? Unlike the waitresses walking around in dance leotards having cash stuffed in uncomfortable places by the office crowd. Thunder thinks Vinnie's got some pimp in him and that is supposed to be a compliment.
Later on the street, the women get caught up, ah, it was Darlene (Dominique Fishback) in that movie the photographer was talking about! Candy explains the problem with that kind of work: every time someone pays to view that film, someone else is making money off what they do, but they only get paid once.
Candy is ahead of her time, she's gonna be standing on her desk with a UNION sign any minute. Well, if she had a desk.
Chris takes orders for Chinese food from the women behind bars, I dig the little interaction between working girl Barb (Kayla Foster) and cop Rizzi (Michael Kostroff) but dig Chris taking food orders more.
Darlene storms off to see Fat Mooney (E. J. Carroll) about her movie, he's only got two under the counter, she's very popular! She gets $10 and one of the movies, Shay (Kim Director) drops off one of her nekkid pics for film work, she got hers for free!
Woo hoo Ralph Macchio is there too, he's Officer Haddix and is still very drunk.
This is jail:
You can tell, because of the unattached handcuffs! And then it's time to pack up, are Flanagan and Chris in for raiding some bookstores? Yeah they are!
It's family time everywhere else, with Candy as Eileen visiting her kiddo and mother Joan (Caroline Mignini) whom I adore but who can't stop throwing in jabs. She's right, though, Candy's whole life is just like Mystery Date but with more communicable diseases.
Vinnie and brother Frankie (James Franco) fighting over who served the most important Van Dyke ever at their sister's house and a pal that is probably related.
I know James Franco is enjoying playing two roles AND directing himself in both roles to boot
This pal of theirs works construction just down the block from Kim's, YEAH he'll come see the T&A on his lunch break!
He brings a couple of pals to enjoy the view as well and all of a sudden I'm struck by how hard it is to be a guy in this world too. There are all these rules about when and who you can have sex with and how you should feel about those that will have sex with you and they're totally willing to pay too much money just to be around a hint of it. This is considered a socially acceptable way to deal with those conflicting feelings. It fetishizes women's sexuality and makes it separate from the men and it's so, so very sad.
Sorry, sorry, back to the plot; the three construction guys wanna cash their cheques at the bar. They point out Tommy Longo (Daniel Sauli) as a mobbed up guy, but there's not much Vinnie can do about it since his brother still owes Tommy a lot of money.
CC (Gary Carr) is finding out why his latest girl Lori (Emily Meade) has been making bank all week, I'm sad because I know we're gonna see everyone's privates but I think I knew her from The Leftovers and all I can see is a kid.
Post-banging, they snort some coke, read the paper and now CC wants to talk about his feelings.
Plus all the other pimps just wanna "shanghai your stable." He wants to settle down, have some babies, see the world (WHICH ONE? No way you're doing both), he just needs a bunch of scratch first. Off her vagina, fanks.
A quick go over of john etiquette (save some wear and tear on that thing! No poxy dicks) and then CC's mad because Lori's brought up her old pimp again. He's her manpimp!
They're almost impossible to watch, drugs making them tic constantly, but CC slows down to ask her if she's ever been to France. Him neither.
Vinnie's set up a meet with Tommy and a total mob stereotype called Rudy Pipilo (Michael Rispoli) who is interested in Vinnie's plan with his brother-in-law Bobby (Chris Bauer - that's the construction guy!) about payroll. Vinnie sells himself as the manager, he takes care of everything he's ever touched.
They come to an arrangement, time for Vinnie to walk Rudy to his car. Go for the kiss and bum grab combo, Vinnie!
Rudy does not like what he sees, hookers and drug addicts all over the street, garbage everywhere and vacant buildings.
That somebody might even be him, he's got some action around here.
Gentle Richie (Matthew James Ballinger) is the worst pimp ever, for real. One of his pros wants to move up a few streets, but he's not really to make such an aggressive move, they'll both get cut. Larry Brown interrupts to see if Gentle Richie needs any help with his "bitch" but he's got this. He's gonna try whining next!
A family in that same diner is horrified, they are surrounded by hookers and pimps and surely have the worst sense of atmosphere ever. Ashley's started to pick on Lori openly, I wonder how long CC will put up with that.
Larry slides over to make his pitch to Candy, who isn't buying. Darlene interrupts and gets a face full of anger; Larry turns back to Candy with a "Rodney ain't got no sensitivity to him" as we snort. The cook doesn't like Larry yelling at the young ladies in his joint, Larry stands down (coz the guy is seven feet tall) but Larry's mean as a snake and probably carrying, so I'd watch out, Stretch.
Loretta (Sepideh Moafi) with the shiner is next to take a run at Candy, asking her to cover shooting a blue movie downtown while she goes to court.
Rich kiddo Abby Parker (Margarita Levieva) flunked everything possible at NYU and is going home in disgrace. Or is she? Her mom was expecting her daughter to rabbit and knowing Abby's dad isn't going to understand, she's already put aside a wad of cash for her to live on.
I know Abby is our privileged member of this ensemble, not just from the cash but the fact that she gets THREE names in IMDb. Everyone else is lucky to get ONE.
Payroll switching is going well, Rudy wants to take Vinnie for a ride even! That's not usually a good thing, Vinnie and I aren't too sure about this. I'll keep an eye out for a cornfield!!
They're taking Vinnie to a gay bar called Penny Lane in The Mark hotel, Rudy wants Vinnie to run it for him. It's like 7-11 offering money for school programs, Vinnie: don't do it! You aren't going to like the vig.
Vinnie does his due diligence, talking to bartender Paul Hendrickson (Chris Coy from The Walking Dead! I wonder if him and Bob hang out) who is rocking the worst wig ever but knows the skinny. The bar is dead because they got raided (homosexuality used to be illegal, public or otherwise - I KNOW, it's crazy!) and decided to call in chits from their married patrons. Bad move, BadWig. Paul's still there coz they pay him, which is a pretty good reason when you think about it. It's also why I'm at work!
CC and Lori are on a movie date, but at a softcore flick, where they don't show penetration but everyone around them is getting their seedy, seedy rocks off. CC is warning Lori that this could be the Ghost of Hooking Future for her, if she doesn't stay good with him. Lori is totally chill and ehh, his insistence on her loyalty is probably gonna have her looking at the other less insecure pimps. Carefully, out of reach of the knife.
And another excruciating scene between the Martino brothers as acted by James Franco and James Franco. They look like they are really enjoying themselves, if that counts for anything, and hey! They figured out how to do this!
but I don't think JF has the chops. Sorry, y'all. Painful.
Fat Mooney's joint is getting raided by the only 4 cops in New York.
Candy's ready for her movie debut! She's going to need a wig, check Penny Lane. A couple of minutes later and we're at The Great Dane Revolution with Tracey (Alyssa Kempinski) and the vikings are coming! Some great direction: "act scared. And aroused. Don't look at the camera" but Candy's freaking out a little.
People think hooking and making pornography are the same things and they just aren't. There's intercourse and a performance aspect to both, but a porn actor has to develop much more on the performance side than whatever Candy's doing in those $10 hotel rooms.
Candy isn't wigging at all, she's clocking every single thing going on, from the lighting to the props (canned cream of potato soup for...decoration) and asking production assistant Naomi (Haley Rawson) about the whys and wherefores of a porno shoot. First, get two guys in viking helmets. She steals the uncut film (9 hours equals only 8 minutes of screen time) and leaves.
Candy will own this joint, you watch. She's a smart cookie. She gave them one movie, now the rest of the money made offa her privates will be hers, just as she likes it.
CC watches in dismay while Lori is led out of a hotel in handcuffs by a cop? Or not cop? CC and I aren't so sure, this guy isn't flashing a badge and he's loaded Lori into a stationwagon. CC is so smooth (paraphrasing):
"That's my wife!"
"Your wife is a f*cking whore"
"Yeah it's a heartbreak to the whole family but I'll post her bail right now."
I love watching his scenes, it's like the shoot above: scared but... ANYWAY, CC asks which precinct he can retrieve his wife from and stabs the fake cop immediately after: there ain't no 1-5.
There is a rape kit in this guy's car, though, and CC takes his time going through the guys things but Lori and I are a little freaked out by the moaning guy with a knife sticking out of his belly. Where's the cuff key?
Darlene went to the library and got out a book (I've got a tenner on Great Expectations!) earlier, a professional-looking woman finds her reading it at the bar and sits to visit. Larry Brown senses something different than a comeon and jumps in the middle, anthropologist Sandra Washington (Natalie Paul) won't be taking any oral histories today. He sends Darlene packing then comes back to make sure Ms. Washington won't be bothering his girls any more.
All the pimps are parasitic psychopaths, but Larry Brown is the.worst. He constantly manhandles Darlene and she's TINY. Not that smacking around a giant would be better, but her size highlights how brutal he is with her.
Candy watches the uncut film later, which means we getta see full penetration and oral sex as well, I'm surprised.
Rizzi debriefs the night cops on what's shaking, our fake cop was a real biology teacher, there was a strangling and two rapes (one was a known prostitute, so Rizzi puts a verbal asterisk next the that one), no descriptions of any perps. I'm surprised there are only two deaths, this must be before guns were a huge thing in America. Someone hit me back in comments? If you can wade through to the front that is.
I get the sense that Officer Chris would like to do detecting, but it's not exactly encouraged by Rizzi. Instead, Chris is back on the street with the ladies Showing and Proving. Ashley gets picked up first, then Rodney heckling from the rear pissing Chris off enough.
I still liked The Deuce this week, but I find myself wincing whenever James Franco is onscreen in any iteration. He's the only one one who seems as though he's acting, and it's some AMDram from Scarberia up in here. Emily Meade also stands out as just that slight bit TOO bright eyed and bushy tailed for someone hooking since she was 16. Perhaps it will grow on me. At any rate, the very last scene made it all fun again, so I will be back. Until next time! Cheers