HBO has released the first teaser for The Deuce, its latest series from The Wire creator David Simon. Set in 1970s New York, the show takes as its subject the seedy wonderland of pre-Guiliani Times Square, as exemplified in the mulleted, mustachioed face of a leering James Franco. The trailer offers up a few shots of Franco playing twin bartenders working in a Mob-adjacent bar, along with Maggie Gyllenhaal as Candy, an ambitious sex worker looking to move off the street and into the growing world of ’70s porn.
But the teaser’s real value is as a tone and style demo for the series, with the smooth funk rhythms of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up” underscoring the vintage film look. HBO struck out with a similar project last year, with Vinyl dying quietly on the vine. We’ll have to wait until The Deuce debuts on September 10 to see if this second effort at ’70s grit and glitz can hold its own.