Sunday, June 16, 2024

Bad News, Good News: HBO is Ending “Veep” But Starting “The Deuce” with James Franco, Maggie Gyllenhaal


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.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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