Trailer park

New James Franco project to explore seedy ’70s gay scene in NYC

While a full-grown man dressed in an Elmo costume attempting to hug you is indeed a slimy experience, Times Square today is nothing like the seedy adult playground of yesteryear.

A new HBO show called The Deuce will explore the rise of that Times Square, and with it the history of New York City’s ’70s porn scene — gay and straight. And who wouldn’t want to watch that? Well Rudy Guiliani probably won’t be live-Tweeting the premiere.

Add to the mix a stellar production team — The Wire’s David Simon and George Pelecanos, as well as a pilot and finale directed by Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones regular Michelle MacLaren — and we’re already setting our DVRs.

Related: Tom Holland always wore a thong underneath his Spider-Man costume

James Franco is also involved, starring in the series as well as executive producing, and directing one episode. He sports some major ’70s stache, which we must say is looking better than Max Greenfield’s on the set of American Crime Story.

Maggie Gyllenhaal features heavily in the teaser trailer, which is light on plot but serves a hearty does of ’70s pulp realness.

Check it out below:

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #entertainment #davidsimon #hbo stories and more


  • Donston

    Franco is another megalomaniac attention whore who is only interested in the “gay lifestyle” because the stereotypical debauchery, narcissism and sense of being subversive. However, David Simon’s and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s involvement does interest me. I’ll probably watch if the reviews are on point. But we already have a Boogie Nights and tons of movies and shows about the “wild 70s”.

    • novelist74

      100% agree! I find James Franco to be self-indulgent and after that disastrous co-hosting gig at the Oscars, flaky. I don’t understand his fixation with sleazy elements that depict the “gay lifestyle.” if he isn’t doing the sleazy thing, then he’s portraying a conflicted ex-gay.

  • jayceecook

    No way does Franco’s stache look better than Max Greenfield’s. No. Way.

  • Kieran

    Another uplifting HBO special. I can’t wait.

  • Richard 55

    Porn is prostitution. I don’t want prostitution in the gay scene.

    Besides, didn’t Cruising – starring Al Pacino – show the sleaze of the gay 70’s? It did it in real time too

    • Sluggo2007

      Excuse me, but I don’t think HBO cares what you don’t want.

    • Seth

      Good. More prostitution for me.

    • FnameLname

      Cruising was about a serial murderer who killed gay men in the 70’s, certainly not an accurate depiction of the gay scene. The leather bar is just one facet of the community. There were plenty of “gay” scenes in the 70’s that have not been focused on and if Franco continues he might just spotlight each one.

  • Richard 55

    Is HBO homophobic or something? The trailer seems to avoid depictions of male-male erotic interactions.

    I suspect this show is just a celebration of female prostitution – which is what straight porn actually is – rather than an examination of male homosexual erotica. Female prostitution and male homosexuality don’t mix as women are extremely homophobic towards male homosexuality when they are trying to sell their bodies to men.

    The “gay” sub-plot seems to have been inserted to make us guys feel “included”. Included, my foot.

    • RIGay

      I got the same vibe from watching the trailer, too. There was nothing at all compelling about watching this series.

      After the absolute drivel that was HBO’s “Vinyl”, which was supposed to have such high-caliber talent as well… I can take a pass on “Deuce”.

  • Paul

    There was nothing “seedy” about gay life in 1970s New York City. If you weren’t there for it, and still feel entitled to make judgmental comments about it, II ask you to look at your own internalized homophobia. It may not be what you believe you woud have wanted for yourself, but if you condemn everyone who did want it, then that says more about you than the gay community of the 1970s.

    • Donston

      Well, it was “seedy”. There’s no way around that. But it’s tiresome to see a constant representation of “gay life”, particularly from the 70’s and 80’s, in entertainment that involves drugs, orgies, prostitution, general over-indulgence, self-obsession and carelessness. Many are tired of seeing that redundant, one-sided representation. And the fact that apparently heterosexual James Franco- though he’s another one who loves to play around with his public “identity” while refusing to speak on his sexual attractions- is involved gives me more pause. Everything gay he’s done post Milk (though that movie was incredibly overrated) has offered nothing but a sea of shallow stereotypes in boring projects. He doesn’t seem to care about gay people. He’s just obsessed with the supposedly subversive nature of the “gay lifestyle”. It feeds his narcissism and need to feel “different”. If he wasn’t involved I’d be looking forward to this project based on David Simon and Gyllennhall alone.

    • Russell1947

      Certainly wasn’t seedy, I was there. The porn was ground breaking, both gay & straight, since it was just legalized. & Times Square, (pre Trumpette Giuliani) was a blast.

  • radiooutmike

    I wish Franco would be a little forthcoming with his motivations.

    I watched his movie about remaking the ‘lost’ scene in Cruising, which was interesting distraction. But all he could say about it, was that it was cool to see and have freedom as an artist.

    • Donston

      He says he sees himself as gay in his “art”, and that he wants to show the world something that’s not “hetero-normal”, which to him always equates to gay men who do nothing but indulge orgies, do drugs, have secret hook-ups and deal with depression and/or self-hate. No matter what his actual sexual attractions or sexual behavior is it’s apparent he sees homosexuality as merely something “different” and “cool”, and indulging it in some type of way allows him to feel different as well. It’s basic narcissism.

  • Terrycloth

    Here’s a great idea..why don’t James Franco & Andrew Garfield go and not be gay together…

  • Kangol

    At first I thought of James Franco as an ally, but he seems to feed off gay male history and culture, in a kind of cultural appropriation that’s become pretty disturbing. Maybe Queerty will interview him and ask him why he so often chooses gay-themed subject matter. I’m curious to know his thoughts and answers.

    In terms of “seediness,” New York gay life in the 1970s wasn’t “seedy” from everyone’s perspective, though it might have been from homophobes’ and homonormative types. It was the era of Gay Liberation. That might be another thing for Queerty to focus on: Gay Liberation. It was a very powerful movement that fought for freedom even for the very conservative types who now want to mimic a narrow puritanical version of heterosexuality that doesn’t exist anywhere in the US.

    • ErikO

      Yaaaaaaaawn not more BS from the overrated James Franco. He only cares about LGBT people when it comes to promoting his sh!tty films that are all about porn, drugs, self destruction, negative stereotypes, etc.

Add your Comment

Please log in to add your comment
Need an account? Register *It's free and easy.