‘The Deuce‘ is a semi-fictional drama created by George Pelecanos and David Simon. It transports us to the early 1970s, which witnessed the genesis of the sex-trade industry. Set in Times Square, New York, the show chronicles how the porn business transformed from illegal hubs packed with organized crime to legitimate enterprises. It introduces us to the twins, Vincent and Frankie Martino, who navigate this scene after they meet a well-connected mobster named Rudy Pipilo. We get to see several other characters such as pimps, barkeepers, prostitutes, cops, and nightlife seekers. They also meet Candy, an ambitious and witty prostitute, whose intelligence leads her to secure a more prominent place in the industry.
‘The Deuce’ premiered on HBO on September 10, 2017. Starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, it gives us a glimpse into the Golden Age of Porn while exploring subjects such as political and police corruption, burgeoning violence, and the booming drug trade. The series takes us to the shady underbelly 42nd Street near Times Square and explores how the expanding porn business takes a toll on its participating women. Of course, it’s real. It’s not about pimps who mislead young girls into porn. But it’s about willing women who join the gold rush on their own terms. The show chronicles the downfall of pimps and how the blossoming industry is profitable for everybody involved.
‘The Deuce’ is, without a doubt, an unforgettable experience. In fact, I would even venture to call it a masterpiece. For those of you who have finished watching the show and are looking for series that are thematically and tonally similar to this one, we’ve got you covered. Here’s the list of best shows similar to ‘The Deuce’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these series like ‘The Deuce’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
8. Harlots (2017-)
‘Harlots’, created by Alison Newman and Moira Buffini, is a British-American period drama. Inspired by Hallie Rubenhold’s ‘The Covent Garden Ladies’, it is centered around the protagonist, Margaret Wells, who owns and runs a brothel. Lending us a glimpse into 18th-century England, it chronicles her struggles as she tries to raise her daughters in a chaotic home.
Similar to the set-up of ‘The Deuce’, here, we witness the booming sex industry in London in 1763, when women willingly resort to selling sex so as to earn a living. Among the cunning, cruel businesswomen who run such brothels are Margaret Wells and Lydia Quigley. However, they face their own challenges when a rising wave of morality empowers the police to launch brutal raids. Wells, who is determined to see her business flourish, wishes to move her establishment to the elite neighborhood of Greek Street in Soho. In a bid to secure the required money for the move, she auctions the virginity of her younger daughter, Lucy. Once Margaret moves to Greek Street, she has to face conflicts with her rival, Lydia Quigley. All the episodes of ‘Harlots’ are currently available on Hulu. You can watch them here.