The season two premiere of The Deuce ended with a shot of Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) considering an adult film she had edited, then edited again after a male director told her capturing the female orgasm through a collection of artfully collected images was not what male viewers want. The focus on a female porn director teases what the HBO show, and much of the hype around it, has been suggesting from the beginning. This is a series about women, specifically sex workers, taking power.
The Deuce could quickly distinguish itself in a TV landscape that often starts a countdown clock on betrayal and backstabbing once two or more powerful women enter a frame.
As the ladies on the streets, in the booths and in front of and behind the camera gain more control, the men, particularly the pimps, are getting angsty in a way that makes it hard not to draw comparisons to the many groups of men in 2018 who range from unnerved to furious that women are making gains in politics. As The Deuce’s second season unfurls more truly hideous polyester, the men of the show and modern-day viewers alike should take note—sisterhood is powerful.