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Female characters are now taking center stage, both in the show and in their own lives. Seizing that agency doesn’t come easily, of course, but it’s their struggle for it and even just their awakening to its possibility that it is gratifying to watch. ... The empowerment of these women makes the show’s study of masculinity all the richer, complicating the pimp characters and the work of their performers. ... A highlight of this fall’s dizzying TV lineup.
The second season pays dividends to the viewer in the form of taut and lively performances. ... If you’re not already invested in this drama, you may find this season to be shinier, brighter and more seductive than before. The Deuce was already an excellent drama. Now it’s definitively one of the best shows on TV.
I cannot deny that Franco is a wonderful performer; he always has been...But his presence is not good for The Deuce. It seems to be a betrayal of the show’s characters—or a misunderstanding of its central appeal—to continue to double-bill him in the drama.