"We are thrilled to continue our creative collaboration with master storytellers David Simon and George Pelecanos," Casey Bloys, head of HBO programming, said. "Their unique gift for immersing the audience in their dark and edgy worlds brings a brilliant verisimilitude unlike any other. With the remarkably talented Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco leading an exceptional cast, we look forward to delving deeper as this captivating story evolves."
The move doesn't exactly come as a surprise. Pelecanos and Simon are, without a doubt, master storytellers, and The Deuce feels like a more audience-focused distillation of everything the duo has done in the past. There's the complex sociological character web of The Wire and the period accuracy of Show Me a Hero without the exceedingly slow pacing that turned people off to Treme. The Deuce even has one weak subplot about journalism to prove that it's a Simon show.
Though the series is only two episodes into its first season, it's already being lauded by critics for its "kaleidoscopic" storytelling, artful directing, and, bafflingly, for James Franco's starring role as twin brothers with matching mustaches. Around 2.2 million people watched the show's premiere, and that number will likely only grow as the buzz keeps coming.
"Everyone involved with this project is genuinely grateful to HBO for the chance to take the narrative where it needs to go," Simon said about the season two announcement. "We knew the theme and purpose of the story, but there are many people in the entertainment industry who might not have it told, or worse, would have told it for the wrong reasons. HBO is a serious outfit. And they don't scare."
The first season of The Deuce is only eight episodes long, but don't worry—it looks like there will be more unhappy sex, Times Square grime, and dueling Francos for seasons to come.