Critics are calling HBO’s new drama “The Deuce,” starring James Franco as identical twins and Maggie Gyllenhaal as an experienced hooker who doesn’t need a pimp, a masterpiece. It is not. Instead, it is a canny, unsubtle recreation of the sleazy ’70’s, a film that makes “Boogie Nights” look timid in terms of content but far superior in terms of character and story/ Basically, if you are looking for racial stereotypes, gratuitous references to “A Tale of Two Cities,” and nude scene after nude scene, then the 84 minute pilot is for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking for something gripping and intellectually challenging, look elsewhere. The acting is good but it’s hard to care about sleaze. That said, it is perfect for GROIN because it is full of sex, so we will continue to monitor this show and let everyone know if it gets any better. As art, so far, it fails, but as trash, it succeeds!
This is something of a golden age for the horror on television, with the likes of “American Horror Story” and “The Walking Dead” scaring millions As a result, it was probably inevitable that “The Exorcist” would be revived on TV. After all, it is one of the scariest and absolutely the most popular horror film of all time. Given the fact that only “Exorcist 3” has been scary out of all four previous “Exorcist” follow-ups, I approached the show with low expectations but I was pleasantly surprised by the pilot. What do we have here? A reboot that acknowledges the events of the original film but looks like it will be able to stand on its own. This show is well-written, acted, and paced. It is very mysterious and suspenseful and Geena Davis is very well cast. I hear the ratings are low, which is too bad because it’s a good spooky time.
I must confess, on the other hand, that I am getting a little tired of “Ash vs. Evil Dead.” It had a great first season, and in episode 1 of season 2 he goes home and meets up with his dad before all hell breaks loose Bruce Campbell is still great and the show is funny. I would like to see, however, more danger and horror, and perhaps more wild departures from the basic formula. How about Ash in love or Ash in space? Endless fighting scenes of Ash and his friends fighting the Deadites are wearing out their welcome.
This is, of course, a sampling of one episode from each show and I will reassess them as they develop. In the meantime, get out your crucifixes and chainsaws and hail to the king, baby! Rumor has it that Exorcist is cancelled after just two shows ( despite high marks from viewers). This is the typical pattern we see in society these days. The better art withers on the vine. Meanwhile, crass commercial shows multiply like a Mogwai in the fridge eating (after midnight). –CoolAC