The Wire is arguably one of the greatest TV dramas of all time, if not the actual greatest. It managed dozens of “main” characters with aplomb, it never felt cheesy or overwrought, and it was an exciting show without gimmick. On top of all that, it was insanely real; so much so that police made the writing team change the plot. So imagine our excitement when we found out its creator David Simon was going to take those same qualities and splash in a whole lot of Boogie Nights for his new HBO series, The Duece.
Starring mystifying renaissance man James Franco, The Deuce will explore “the thriving porn industry of Times Square during the 1970s and 1980s”.
Franco, who’s done everything from short stories to painting, already has experience with tackling (and truly nailing) 20th Century period dramas. He played Allen Ginsberg during his 1957 obscenity trial in Howl, Harvey Milk’s lover Scott Smith during the 1970s in Milk, and actually played Hugh Hefner in Linda Lovelace’s ‘70s-era biopic Lovelace.
This is only part of a new Simon-HBO deal, by the way. He’s also at work on a series with journalist Carl Bernstein about Capitol Hill and this month debuts his six-part miniseries Show Me a Hero about Yonkers Mayor Nick Wasickso, who fought for the desegregation of public housing.
It’s going to be hard to wait for all this. No one expected David Simon, James Franco, and pornography to ever be in the same story, but now that it’s out there, it’s all we can think about.