Too Many TV Shows Use Music to Glorify ’70s New York. “The Deuce” Is Different.
HBO’s new ensemble drama “The Deuce” is, among other things, an unflinching show about the sex work industry in 1970s New York. But its most intimate exchange to date takes place in a moment of postcoital vulnerability between lovers. A bedside radio plays the white rocker Johnny Rivers’ cover of the Four Tops’ Motown hit “Baby I Need Your Loving” as Vincent Martino (James Franco), a thirtysomething bar proprietor, and his college-dropout bartender, Abby Parker (Margarita Levieva), lie in each other’s arms. “Do you like this music?” he asks, and her condescending laugh says it all. When he presses her about what she listens to, Abby turns the radio’s dial until she hears “Pale Blue Eyes” by the Velvet Underground. When she starts to tell a story about seeing the band at Max’s Kansas City, Vincent shushes her: “I’m listening.”
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