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S01.E02: Show And Prove

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Vincent's failing marriage forces him to move into a seedy Times Square hotel, but his success drawing customers to a struggling Korean bar brings a tempting offer from Mafia capo Rudy Pipilo. Meanwhile, Candy becomes intrigued by the filmmaking process when she fills in for a friend in a pornographic short; C.C. shows Lori the advantages of having a pimp; and the police bust up a peep show that crosses the line.

 

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Things are moving right along. Vinnie's efforts may earn him ownership of a gay bar (will he keep it as one?), and Candy is trying to learn about movie making. I find that I can now tell the twins apart without trouble. And poor Darlene -- her attempt to read A Tale of Two Cities (that's gotta be the book, right?) will surely lead only to trouble for her.

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Why are there discussions and not articles for this show?

At least stop saying "read the full article" if there isn't one.

does Candy's mom know what she does?

how did a girl from a suburban background end up there? I mean ffs why isn't she a secretary or checkout girl or something? It doesn't seem like being a street prostitute is very profitable.

 

i like that she's interested in film but I don't buy it.

 

i hope Darlene got to take the book out.

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6 hours ago, lucindabelle said:

how did a girl from a suburban background end up there? I mean ffs why isn't she a secretary or checkout girl or something? 

That's the sort of thing I expect to be told more about as we continue. (Or maybe it'll always remain a mystery.) I too would like to know how she got from there to here.

6 hours ago, lucindabelle said:

i hope Darlene got to take the book out.

We saw her furtively reading it at the bar later.

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I'm enjoying the show quite a bit and I enjoyed the episode.  I'm middle aged so I remember 1970's NYC as a fairly young kid, but the grubbiness is so authentic. 

I'd be a hopeless mobster I've always been confused by their scams and deals and the whole thing with the construction site paycheck thing had me kind of lost. Except for the no show paychecks, that was pretty straight forward.

Normally I'm annoyed by James Franco but I really am enjoying both of him in this. 

The pimps are repulsive but oddly likeable.

I also hope we get Candy's backstory, she's not an addict and is intelligent so I'm curious how she ended up in this life.

I loved the working girls kicking back eating Chinese with the cops. 

And at the moment my absolute favorite character is Darlene. 

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I like this show. It's like Boardwalk Empire for me, it's not necessarily a must see for me, but I do remember it's on and I am interested and entertained when I watch it.  Unlike the other show that was short lived, I forget the title, about the music industry during this time period, I couldn't get into that one at all. This one, I'm invested in learning about the sex workers, I want to know more about their backgrounds and how they landed up in this life. I really like Candy and Darlene, and I'm happy to see the young actress who plays Darlene in another role. I first saw her in Show Me a Hero, so it's cool that the same writers/producers of that HBO mini series, gave her a role on this series. She's good, she has some acting chops. Every time I see Candy more conservatively dressed, at home her childhood home in the suburbs, visiting her son, I'm like WTF happened?! What?! She loves her son, when she said to her mother to buy him the game Operation, so maybe it it'll inspire him to be a doctor or something else, then she thanked her mother for all that she does for her with a kiss on the cheek, that pulled at my heart strings. I feel her mother knows what she does, or maybe she just knows that where she goes is clearly not a safe environment so she told her to be careful.

Edited by Keepitmoving
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14 minutes ago, Keepitmoving said:

I feel her mother knows what she does, or maybe she just knows that where she goes is clearly not a safe environment so she told her to be careful.

We also heard a phone call with the mother in the pilot, indicating that her father was away on business so it was safe to visit. So that would suggest that Candy's parents know what she does, and her father absolutely won't have her around but her mother (however she dislikes what she does) will let her visit her son.

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17 hours ago, lucindabelle said:

how did a girl from a suburban background end up there? I mean ffs why isn't she a secretary or checkout girl or something? It doesn't seem like being a street prostitute is very profitable.

I'm sure a large percentage of hookers are not from the city. They flee to the city to escape their abusive homes, and their emotional scars (low self-worth) often lead to prostitution, drug abuse and/or stripping. Still, I'd also like to know Candy's particular story. In the pilot, the camera cut to Candy's reaction when Lori said they all have "daddy issues."

Still find it hard to tell the twins apart. Maybe that's intentional, like the writers are keeping the mustaches so the twins can get away with tricking the mobster later on. I'll need to watch each ep twice because there's so much info. The payroll game went right over my head. Was CC's story (about escaping the life with one special girl) just another carrot? I'm blown away by the actor, btw. Didn't know he was a Brit. His accent is perfection ("brefess" instead of breakfast; a hint of Nooyawkese).

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First off the pilot was directed by Michelle McLaren, of Breaking Bad fame. So you know it's gonna be good. Maggie Gyllenhal is fantastic. You have to hang in there in the pilot as they're setting up the characters' back stories, etc. but I think this is going to be really good. Love to see all The Wire alums. A friend said "it's so depressing, I thought it wouldn't be so sad as I loved The Wire". I told him, The Wire isn't exactly Mary Poppins. It's pretty sad at times.

Edited by teddysmom
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Man, that CeCe is good.  The jive he was laying on Lori about wanting to go straight and live a quiet life? But sadly, I need more money to make that happen. 

I always wondered what pimps used to tap ladies in the head to get em to keep going out there and making that money and handing it over to them.

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11 hours ago, Lillith said:

I'd be a hopeless mobster I've always been confused by their scams and deals and the whole thing with the construction site paycheck thing had me kind of lost. Except for the no show paychecks, that was pretty straight forward.

 

I'm with you there. I know he keeps 5% for a service fee to cash the checks, but would that be enough for him? Also, why would the construction company be ok with this? If anyone could explain this, I'd appreciate it!

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Holy Karate Kid sighting, Batman!  It took me a second to place Ralph Macchio as one of those detectives (I think) that Alston and Flanagan were talking to at the beginning.  And then we get two more former Wire guys with Chris Bauer as Frankie and Vincent's brother in-law, and Michael Kostroff (fucking Maurice!) as the police sergeant.  Keep them coming, show!

The pace definitely picked up here, although I'm still learning everyone's names.  Still enjoy Candy and Darlene the most.  Looks like Candy might be considering doing her own porn shoots, which would be interesting to see how that plays out.  I worry for Darlene, since her pimp is clearly not a nice guy (well, none of them are, but he might be the worst of them.)

Even by HBO's standards, Emily Meade/Lori's topless scene was pretty extensive.  Of course, I'm sure everyone knew that was coming with the territory when you're doing a show about prostitution and porn on HBO!

Abby flunks out of college and is now squatting, I think?  I guess she's going to end up becoming part of this seedy world by the end of it.

Only thing I'm a little iffy with his the whole mobster plot, because it reminds me of the one in Vinyl, and how it sidelined the more interesting stories on that show. Still, I have more faith in David Simon, so I'll remain optimistic.

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2 hours ago, Kenz said:

I'm with you there. Does the mob guy keep the withheld taxes for himself? I know he keeps 5% for a service fee to cash the checks, but would that be enough for him? Also, why would the construction company be ok with this? If anyone could explain this, I'd appreciate it!

My impression was that it was set up like those "check cashing" stores are.  They take the check, "cash" it for you by giving you the check amount in cash, minus the 5% fee that they keep.  You leave with cash (less the 5%), they keep the check and deposit/cash it for themselves.  The construction company doesn't really care because they're not paying more or less either way.   

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1 hour ago, thuganomics85 said:

Abby flunks out of college

This was the real credibility gap for me. It's common on multi-plot "tapestry of life" movies and series like this that some stories seem to logically require months to occur, while others are happening within a few days, but it still seems like carelessness to me -- when I notice it. Abby flunking out of NYU would logically take considerable time (it doesn't happen instantly when you miss one exam, you'd have to stop going to all courses for the rest of the semester), but we're still seeing Lori being introduced to her new life.

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20 hours ago, lucindabelle said:

does Candy's mom know what she does?

how did a girl from a suburban background end up there? I mean ffs why isn't she a secretary or checkout girl or something? It doesn't seem like being a street prostitute is very profitable.

I didn't get to finish this episode, but we saw Candy returning to an apartment in a nice-looking building in the pilot and get messages from clients, so I wondered why she doesn't go the expensive "party girl"/call girl/sugar baby route? It seems like the thing to do if one is white, thin, middle-class, and not an obvious addict.

Also, I find it fascinating that this show takes place maybe 10 years out from when Black men in the South were regularly lynched for accusations of looking at a white woman wrong, and a few years post "Loving vs Virginia", but the pimp/ho relationship is completely acceptable in its own way. Granted, it's NYC but the subversion of power is really interesting.

Edited by MCMLXXVII
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4 hours ago, wovenloaf said:

My impression was that it was set up like those "check cashing" stores are.  They take the check, "cash" it for you by giving you the check amount in cash, minus the 5% fee that they keep.  You leave with cash (less the 5%), they keep the check and deposit/cash it for themselves.  The construction company doesn't really care because they're not paying more or less either way.   

Thanks, Wovenloaf. That makes sense. I guess I was looking for more of a more devious deal. I'm sure that there will be more deviousness to come with the mob guy involved with the gay bar that Vince will probably take over and be tangled up with bad stuff that ensues.

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4 hours ago, Rinaldo said:

This was the real credibility gap for me. It's common on multi-plot "tapestry of life" movies and series like this that some stories seem to logically require months to occur, while others are happening within a few days, but it still seems like carelessness to me -- when I notice it. Abby flunking out of NYU would logically take considerable time (it doesn't happen instantly when you miss one exam, you'd have to stop going to all courses for the rest of the semester), but we're still seeing Lori being introduced to her new life.

I took this that she was lying to her mother about it and that she'd really just dropped out. Her Mom seemed to know it was fishy.

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About Candy/Eileen, I'm sure we'll get to know more about her with time to understand her motivations, but the impression I got is that she is "in this life" because she wants it. I see people theorizing about her possible tragic past that led her to become a prostitute, but maybe they're using her to show a different side. Not all of them necessarily come from a opressive background. This episode reinforced that for me. When she is shooting the scene, you can see that she is observing everything around her with some sort of fascination. She is a very smart girl and she saw a opportunity business right there.

 

On another note we were introduced to two new characters: Paul the bartender of the gay bar and the "anthropologist". They're both listed as main characters in the wikipedia page. So their roles will get bigger.

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I am still really liking this, its plot is moving along quickly, but not so quickly that it cant breath. I definitely see The Wire comparisons here, with the cops and the criminals and the average types and how they all intersect with each other, and how they all have a place to fill in the system, even if the place (and the system) really sucks. The sequence with the hookers getting arrested in a super bored manner over and over said a lot about how this goes. Its nothing personal, its just how it is. The main cop and the hookers even eat dinner together! Interesting stuff. 

I also really want to know what Candy's deal is, and how she ended up on the street. She is apparently from a middle class background, does not seem to be an addict, and has a decent relationship with her mom, so what happened? Did she just decide she wanted to be a street walker? Or is there a more tragic backstory here? Her mom seems to know what Candy does, even if she does not approve, but they are still in contact, so who knows whats going on. I guess not ever hooker is a poor abused crack addict, so maybe she will be more of a "I do this because I like it" type. Shes the one woman without a pimp after all.

I like the new characters, the bartender at the gay bar, and the lady who was talking with Darlene at the bar (maybe shes a student or an activist?), and am waiting to see where they go in the show. 

Seriously, this show is so grimy, I love it. Its like a slightly more stable Travis Bickle directed this.  

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On 9/17/2017 at 9:33 PM, Rinaldo said:

And poor Darlene -- her attempt to read A Tale of Two Cities (that's gotta be the book, right?)...

I can tell you have your reasons for thinking this but I don't know what they are. Why do you think this? (I'll probably agree with you when I find out.)

 

59 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

Its like a slightly more stable Travis Bickle directed this.  

Pull quote!

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

I also really want to know what Candy's deal is, and how she ended up on the street. She is apparently from a middle class background, does not seem to be an addict, and has a decent relationship with her mom, so what happened? Did she just decide she wanted to be a street walker? Or is there a more tragic backstory here? Her mom seems to know what Candy does, even if she does not approve, but they are still in contact, so who knows whats going on. I guess not ever hooker is a poor abused crack addict, so maybe she will be more of a "I do this because I like it" type. Shes the one woman without a pimp after all.

I thought our first hint was her mother talking about her playing mystery date. There was probably some guy that figures in there somewhere - the son's father maybe.

1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

the lady who was talking with Darlene at the bar (maybe shes a student or an activist?),

From what she said I thought reporter doing a piece where she interviews prostitutes about their lives etc.

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6 hours ago, Milburn Stone said:

I can tell you have your reasons for thinking this but I don't know what they are. Why do you think this? (I'll probably agree with you when I find out.)

Darlene watched the movie A Tale of Two Cities with a client, and he asked her if she had read the book. She had never heard of the book.

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2 hours ago, Gobi said:

Darlene watched the movie A Tale of Two Cities with a client, and he asked her if she had read the book. She had never heard of the book.

Ah yes. Thanks, Gobi. I remember the scene now, with the intellectual in his undershirt. Makes her desire to "read a book" far more meaningful and moving, so I'm glad to have this filled in.

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Still enjoying this. I'm puzzled by the paycheck scenario because it doesn't seem like enough profit for the lender. There was something about additional and/or fake paychecks that must be the key. Is this ultimately a money laundering operation?

Maybe this will be a nudity equal opportunity series. We saw the two porn guys' genitals. I hate it when only women are shown nude.

That porn theater, with our two characters surrounded by hookers giving blow jobs, gave me the creeps. It was like a BJ assembly line.

Can someone explain what the police meant by "show and prove?"

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Also, I find it fascinating that this show takes place maybe 10 years out from when Black men in the South were regularly lynched for accusations of looking at a white woman wrong,..."

Great perspective. I grew up in the South and have never thought of this.

 

Edited by pasdetrois
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37 minutes ago, pasdetrois said:

Can someone explain what the police meant by "show and prove?"

I'd never heard of it before either, but I think I put it together from context. It's one of those "pragmatic procedures that develop to make official requirements bearable" that Simon and Pelecanos like to show us (there were several in The Wire). The cops are supposed to clean up the streets by arresting all prostitutes they see. But if they really did a complete sweep every day, it would be more paperwork, and require more cellspace and time, than anybody could handle. So if the hookers can show paperwork proving that they've been brought in within the last 2 days (I think that was the time limit), they're excused for today. That keeps the number manageable.

And of course once they're brought in, they can buy takeout to pass the time, and enjoy it out back with the cops, till the top brass shows up (at which point appearances must be preserved).

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The jail time is probably a mini-vacation compared to being on the streets.

I wondered if they were checking for probation violations, but your explanation Rinaldo makes more sense.

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Can someone explain what the police meant by "show and prove?"

And can someone explain to me if this is really the lyric that shows up in many rap songs?!?  (I'm old so it's mainly old school, I think). Have I been saying "Sho' improve" all these years in error and nobody told me??  When D'Angelo the cop said it, something clicked in my brain and I felt a shame come over me and I knew I needed to ask this in the safe anonymity of the internet!  Could it be that I'm not as cool as I think I am? 

Also, I am really loving this show. It's not as slow to engage as Treme and I'm pretty good at keeping all the characters straight.  The only thing that bothers me at this point is all of the smoking. I grew up in the 70s so I know that it's realistic, but ugh!

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Re: the checks -- the mobsters are taking their 5% cut before taxes and union dues, so that's 5% off the top of a gross-pay check, times the 100+ guys all cashing their checks. There's no "risk" to be had (like with bets that you could lose by chance and have to pay out on), so it's pure profit, plus the money they're getting from the no-show payouts.  $5000 from the checks doesn't sound like much, but that's something like $30,000 in 2017 money, and they're gonna clear that each week.  Talk a few of those guys into making a some bets with that money they now have before weekend games? More money.  Show up with a truck full of dubious merchandise or cigarettes that you can buy with that cash? More money.  And so on, and so on...

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The guy playing C.C. is doing really well with the American accent. He only slips every once in a while during very emotional scenes.

Cold potato soup was used as pretend jizz for porn films? That's amazing. And now I'll never be able to enjoy Vichyssoise again...

Flove the music on this show.

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Man, that CeCe is good.  The jive he was laying on Lori about wanting to go straight and live a quiet life? But sadly, I need more money to make that happen.

And then as he was leaving he asked her if she'd ever ever been to France. He even made it seem off-hand. That leaves the girl thinking,  "OMG, he's going to take me to France!" Total b.s. but probably effective for a gullible girl that's never been off the farm or the block.

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Its like a slightly more stable Travis Bickle directed this.   

Heh, hopefully a lot more than slightly.

Edited by Joimiaroxeu
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4 hours ago, pasdetrois said:

Maybe this will be a nudity equal opportunity series. We saw the two porn guys' genitals. I hate it when only women are shown nude.

I was listening to podcast about this and they are trying for equal opportunity there (it's especially nice in the scene where Darlene looking at her bruise after the John hits her and while she's naked, the camera's really focused on him, who is also naked), but full disclosure: when guys are doing full-frontal they're wearing a prosthetic. Presumably because there's some rule about that. I think, actually, the rule has to do with the other people in the scene, like so they don't have to be touching anybody else's penis. But it still means the guys aren't technically doing full nudity the way the women are.

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9 hours ago, pasdetrois said:

Maybe this will be a nudity equal opportunity series. We saw the two porn guys' genitals. I hate it when only women are shown nude.

Yes and no. I mean, I think it will surely provide some sort of equality in terms of nudity. And so far they have been kind of equal. But if we're talking about equality here, I still see a difference. When it comes to male frontal nudity, it usually "random characters", they just hire some extra especifically to do that. It's rarely someone from the cast. In this episode for instance, Ashley was shown fully naked. Do we see male actors from the cast doing the same? And it's not just frontal nudity, but nudity in general. Lori was shown topless for a very, very long time when she was having sex and talking to CC. We didn't see CC naked tho. Do you know what I mean.

 

When it comes to female nudity, the actress on the show have to do it. When it comes to male nudity, the actors usually get away (show some ass once in a while), but it's usually extras doing it. BTW, this is not only in The Deuce, but several other shows and movies. In the whole industry, really.

 

4 hours ago, sistermagpie said:

I was listening to podcast about this and they are trying for equal opportunity there (it's especially nice in the scene where Darlene looking at her bruise after the John hits her and while she's naked, the camera's really focused on him, who is also naked), but full disclosure: when guys are doing full-frontal they're wearing a prosthetic. Presumably because there's some rule about that. I think, actually, the rule has to do with the other people in the scene, like so they don't have to be touching anybody else's penis. But it still means the guys aren't technically doing full nudity the way the women are.

 

I'm not sure if I got what you meant, but I think it's the opposite. Usually, the women use "fake pubic hair" to cover it up, they call it merkin. I don't think men can use prosthetic for frontal nudity (where do they hide ther real thing?). It's only in scenes where there is touch that they use prosthetic, and they're usually wearing pants (to hide the real one). The scene in the pilot where Candy takes her client's penis out is an example of that.

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2 hours ago, planet17 said:

I'm not sure if I got what you meant, but I think it's the opposite. Usually, the women use "fake pubic hair" to cover it up, they call it merkin. I don't think men can use prosthetic for frontal nudity (where do they hide ther real thing?). It's only in scenes where there is touch that they use prosthetic, and they're usually wearing pants (to hide the real one). The scene in the pilot where Candy takes her client's penis out is an example of that.

I can't actually explain what I meant since I was just quoting them. :-) But they were specifically discussing male vs. female nudity on the show and just said that that the prosthetics meant that often even male nude scenes weren't as nude as with the women. Is there a fake penis that goes over the real thing? Because sometimes men do sex scenes where they're not wearing pants.

But they didn't say anything about merkins. Though that's a good point about extras vs. main characters. The test of that will presumably be when they start doing porn. Right now it makes sense, to a certain extent, to have more female nudity because that mirrors the relationships of the characters--the prostitutes are using their bodies for sex and to be seen naked, the pimps are using them for strength and intimidation. (Though if two main characters are having sex it should be equal--although if they're both sitting bare-chested it's not seen as equal because breasts. Maybe when they were talking about prosthetics they were comparing male genitals to female breasts.)

I actually just went back to check the scene where they shoot the movie and there's no nudity for anybody, although the men are supposed to be naked, it seems. (Except for their hats and boots!)

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Also, I find it fascinating that this show takes place maybe 10 years out from when Black men in the South were regularly lynched for accusations of looking at a white woman wrong, and a few years post "Loving vs Virginia", but the pimp/ho relationship is completely acceptable in its own way. Granted, it's NYC but the subversion of power is really interesting.

It's a much different dynamic, and it's kind of a subculture within a subculture.  These aren't "good girls," that people might care about, they are prostitutes.  They are already living outside polite society, and are in a business that "normal, respectable" people want nothing to do with.  The normal social checks are not there, so instead you get the situation you get here.  I did find it fascinating that you see the pimps being abusive and cruel to their women, but you also see situations where the pimps are essentially the only ones looking out for the women.  I mean, I presume whatever her name is would have likely been kidnapped, raped and killed by the fake cop if not for her pimp's intervention.  But you know the second she gets out of line, her pimp would be the first one to physically remind her of her place.   

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1 hour ago, sistermagpie said:

I can't actually explain what I meant since I was just quoting them. :-) But they were specifically discussing male vs. female nudity on the show and just said that that the prosthetics meant that often even male nude scenes weren't as nude as with the women. Is there a fake penis that goes over the real thing? Because sometimes men do sex scenes where they're not wearing pants.

But they didn't say anything about merkins. Though that's a good point about extras vs. main characters. The test of that will presumably be when they start doing porn. Right now it makes sense, to a certain extent, to have more female nudity because that mirrors the relationships of the characters--the prostitutes are using their bodies for sex and to be seen naked, the pimps are using them for strength and intimidation. (Though if two main characters are having sex it should be equal--although if they're both sitting bare-chested it's not seen as equal because breasts. Maybe when they were talking about prosthetics they were comparing male genitals to female breasts.)

I actually just went back to check the scene where they shoot the movie and there's no nudity for anybody, although the men are supposed to be naked, it seems. (Except for their hats and boots!)

 

You mentioned before the use of prosthetics in frontal nudity. I don't think for male frontal nudity they use them, for instance, when the "vikings" are shown naked, or that guy in the pilot that left a bruise on Darlene. Now when there is "touching" involved, they use, but it's not on frontal nudity. For instance when Candy takes her client's penis out or when Vinny catches a woman giving a blowjob for a guy in the street. In both of these scenes there is touching involved, and both of the actors were wearing pants, so they could hide their genitals and use prostetics.

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1 minute ago, planet17 said:

You mentioned before the use of prosthetics in frontal nudity. I don't think for male frontal nudity they use them, for instance, when the "vikings" are shown naked, or that guy in the pilot that left a bruise on Darlene. Now when there is "touching" involved, they use, but it's not on frontal nudity. For instance when Candy takes her client's penis out or when Vinny catches a woman giving a blowjob for a guy in the street. In both of these scenes there is touching involved, and both of the actors were wearing pants, so they could hide their genitals and use prostetics.

In that case the prosthetics shouldn't really make things unequal, which is good. Any scene where a guy's just naked in the room is fine. There's already been scenes of the women just sitting around naked and not touching anybody.

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Pimps are the scum of the earth.

Those porn scenes have definitely put me off any kind of creamy soup forever, and off sex for a least a couple hours. Blech.

I'm grossed out and feel dirty and bleak after this show, but I'm also intrigued and invested in knowing what happens to everyone, so I guess I'm in.

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On the payroll scam, there is a mention at the bar that folks are paid Monday instead of Friday, apparently they are afraid workers will get wrecked during the weekend and not show up on Monday.

I understood the 5% is to get paid on Friday, and then the mob takes the whole payroll on Monday.

What everybody else said makes sense, I just didn't find that detail in the explanations.

I loved Vinyl, I am loving the show so far.

Anyone that was around back then, was NY really that shitty?

The French Connection is one of my all time faves, and every time I watch it I end up surprised a how grim everything looked in the city.

Edited by Mileman

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58 minutes ago, Mileman said:

Anyone that was around back then, was NY really that shitty?

Not everywhere, but they're not painting a false picture. I would travel to NYC to go to the theatre (i.e. the area just north of "the Deuce," Broadway from about 43rd to 48th Streets) and that would have a little urban grime but be negotiable for a visitor. But we visitors tried to avoid turning the corner onto 42nd Street, because all the storefronts were massage parlors, dirty bookstores, and an occasional surviving movie palace playing double bills of action movies. With hookers lining the sidewalks. Each time I got on the bus or train to return to DC, I heaved a sigh of relief at having survived, and being able to relax my guard again.

I understood the payroll scheme to be what others were saying (getting the paycheck on Friday and being unable to do anything with it right then), not what @Mileman describes. But I admit that I didn't follow it well enough to be sure, so I'll be interested to see what others can offer by way of confirmation.

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42 minutes ago, Rinaldo said:

...they're not painting a false picture. I would travel to NYC to go to the theatre (i.e. the area just north of "the Deuce," Broadway from about 43rd to 48th Streets) and that would have a little urban grime but be negotiable for a visitor. But we visitors tried to avoid turning the corner onto 42nd Street, because all the storefronts were massage parlors, dirty bookstores, and an occasional surviving movie palace playing double bills of action movies. With hookers lining the sidewalks.

Supporting what @Rinaldo said, and augmenting it...I remember thinking, "So this is the way it's going to be from now on." Maybe it's human nature, or maybe it's just me, but I have a tendency to think the status quo is the new permanent reality; and if anything, that trends are only going to become more accentuated, not turn around and head in the totally opposite direction. Back in the seventies, few people foresaw how a soon-to-arrive home video revolution would change the consumption of porn, and nobody believed that crime was in the control of a mayor or police department to do anything about. 

Edited by Milburn Stone
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Anyone that was around back then, was NY really that shitty?

My parents have told me that Times Square was definitely that seedy, and you'd have to go through that area if you were coming from the Upper East or West Side to go to the theater.  There was a multitude of porn theaters, trash in the streets and adult entertainment.  My father said he thought it was even worse in the 1980s.   

I also kind of loved the terrified looking family who was trying to just have breakfast in a diner full of belligerent, profane pimps and their ho's.  You know the mom was going to rip the dad a new one the second they were out of there for ever choosing that place to eat. 

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4 hours ago, Mileman said:

Anyone that was around back then, was NY really that shitty?

 

I always find this amusing because I was in NY a lot as a kid then--obviously I wasn't walking around Times Square much!--so every time I see anything set in that time when it was so much dirtier etc. it reminds me of being a kid and seems nice even though it's gross. And some of those were still around for years so I recognize those. 

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Anyone that was around back then, was NY really that shitty?

Lots of big cities were - crime was just rampant, NY was averaging 5 murders a day during this timeperiod.  http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/nycrime.htm

     Also, just a few yrs after this series id set, NYC declared bankruptcy.

 

RE male frontal vs female nudity in films

If a guy goes fully naked in a film  it's literally all hanging out there, IMO, for a female to be equal, it would be for her to spread her legs a la classic beaver shot.

With a few exceptions, that kind of female nudity is not shown in mainstream films

Edited by sheetmoss
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7 hours ago, Mileman said:

On the payroll scam, there is a mention at the bar that folks are paid Monday instead of Friday, apparently they are afraid workers will get wrecked during the weekend and not show up on Monday.

I understood the 5% is to get paid on Friday, and then the mob takes the whole payroll on Monday.

What everybody else said makes sense, I just didn't find that detail in the explanations.

I think it was that they don't get their checks until the end of the day Friday afternoon (the effect of which is that they the banks are closed and they can't cash the check until Monday), instead of getting paid Friday morning when they could potentially go to a bank on lunch break or whatever, because the company doesn't want them just disappearing and getting drunk during the workday Friday.  That's what I thought they said.  

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On 9/18/2017 at 0:05 PM, Kenz said:

I'm with you there. I know he keeps 5% for a service fee to cash the checks, but would that be enough for him? Also, why would the construction company be ok with this? If anyone could explain this, I'd appreciate it!

Some good answers above. I think it's also worth noting that they had the scene in the Pilot with the young guy signing his check over to her for payment, to remind us that this was something people did before ATMs and e-transfers.

So basically it works like this:

  • Construction Company drops off payroll checks on Friday with orders not to release them until end of day.
  • Mobsters show up with cash, and give each guy an envelope for cash worth his paycheck less the 5% of his gross pay in exchange for his signing over his check to them.
  • Construction workers are happy because they have cash for the weekend.
  • Mobsters take the checks to their banker, and deposit them all into their account. 
  • Assuming taxes, union dues etc total around 30% of each workers check, the mobsters have actually made about 7.15% on the money they took out to fund the checks (5/(100-30)

It'll be interesting to see if there's blow back from the workers who start noticing not only less cash overall, but financial strain from it being spent on Friday Night.

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1 hour ago, sheetmoss said:

RE male frontal vs female nudity in films

If a guy goes fully naked in a film  it's literally all hanging out there, IMO, for a female to be equal, it would be for her to spread her legs a la classic beaver shot.

I know this is a fraught topic, but I strongly disagree with this. In societal terms, the female equivalent of a man showing his penis is a woman showing her breasts. In both cases they are revealing the part of the body about which others (i.e., those interested in that gender) are most curious, on whose size and attractiveness the owner feels judged (and often feels inadequate), and whose "quality" is considered to embody the owner's sexuality -- their masculinity or femininity.

And yes, I know women have bared their breasts onscreen for decades now, while relatively few men have unveiled their junk. It's been a tremendously unequal situation, made possible largely by a het-male-dominated film industry (the men in charge both sympathize with the men reluctant to do it, and have no interest in seeing it themselves). If The Deuce can do anything to rebalance the situation at all, good for them.

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12 minutes ago, Rinaldo said:

I know this is a fraught topic, but I strongly disagree with this. In societal terms, the female equivalent of a man showing his penis is a woman showing her breasts. In both cases they are revealing the part of the body about which others (i.e., those interested in that gender) are most curious, on whose size and attractiveness the owner feels judged (and often feels inadequate), and whose "quality" is considered to embody the owner's sexuality -- their masculinity or femininity.

And yes, I know women have bared their breasts onscreen for decades now, while relatively few men have unveiled their junk. It's been a tremendously unequal situation, made possible largely by a het-male-dominated film industry (the men in charge both sympathize with the men reluctant to do it, and have no interest in seeing it themselves). If The Deuce can do anything to rebalance the situation at all, good for them.

 

Unfortunately, I think it comes from a very sexist industry that (still) thinks entertainment as if it was majorly for male audience. Things are changing surely, but slowly. I remember a few years ago when the current Showtime president, David Nevins, said in an interview he wanted to make TV Shows for male audience. To please them. It was just a few years ago and we're talking about a very important premium cable.

 

Ironically, with the exception of Dexter, most of their sucessful shows were led by female characters.

Edited by planet17
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9 hours ago, Mileman said:

Anyone that was around back then, was NY really that shitty?

42nd Street was the porn capitol of the world back then. Think of it as a live version of the  internet.

Edited by Gobi
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