Bad news good news for HBO: “Veep” is ending. “The Deuce” is starting.
Julia Louis Dreyfus and pals will film just one more season of “Veep” and call it a day. Presumably Selina Meyer will somehow end up back in the White House after spending a funny but frustrating season in exile. “Veep” reaped a huge amount of awards but was not a ratings success– partially because of its late time — 10:30pm–and also because it was a hard R in the real world for language especially. It was one of the funniest shows in history, however. I so looked forward to it every week! We will savor every one of the final episodes.
Meanwhile, “The Deuce” begins on HBO this weekend with an excellent if rambling pilot episode. David Simon and George Pelecanos have recreated Times Square and all of New York in 1971 to show how seedy it was. James Franco plays twin brothers (why, I have no idea)– one runs a dive bar in Times Square, the other is hustling everything. Maggie Gyllenhaal is sublime as a prostitute with a heart of gold and a head for money. There are dozens of characters and I guess in time we will see how they fit together. For right now, just meet all of them and get the pace and tone. “The Deuce” is eminently watchable.