TV Talk: Part II: The Deuce, Mr. Inbetween, Queen of the South, Grand Hotel, Harlots, and Younger
The Deuce (HBO)
Created by George Pelecanos and David Simon, who also collaborated on HBO’s “The Wire” and “Treme,” the semifictional drama series “The Deuce” tells of the germination of the sex-trade industry in the heart of New York’s Times Square. It’s the early 1970s, and the porn business begins a shift from organized crime-backed parlors to a legitimate, culturally accepted enterprise. A cast of barkeeps, prostitutes, pimps, police and nightlife seekers centers around twins Vincent and Frankie Martino (James Franco, in a dual role), who navigate the sex business after meeting well-connected mobster Rudy Pipilo. Their storyline, among others, merges with that of prostitute Candy, whose ambition and intelligence lead her to a more prominent role in the industry.
Mr. Inbetween (FX)
“Mr Inbetween” is a half-hour comedy series inspired by the cult film “The Magician” and centers around Ray Shoesmith. Juggling a relationship, parental responsibilities, friendships and a sick brother while earning a living would be difficult for anyone, but it’s particularly difficult for Ray since he’s a criminal for hire. Ray “takes care of people” — collecting debts, relieving them of drugs and guns, and often taking care of them on a more permanent basis. Ray demands respect and does not tolerate it when someone disregards his very clear code of ethics.
Queen of the South (USA)
While living in the barrio of Jalisco, Mexico, poor Teresa Mendoza falls in love with a member of a successful drug cartel, hoping the love will help her rise above the hopelessness she feels in her life. When it doesn’t happen, she is forced to flee the country after her boyfriend is murdered. She seeks refuge in America, where she teams up with an unlikely person from her past to take down the leader of the drug ring that is after her. Teresa ends up starting her own drug empire, becoming one of the world’s wealthiest women in the process. With her success, she discovers that money doesn’t fix all of her problems, and she can only depend on herself if she wants to stay one step ahead of others and stay alive.
Grand Hotel (ABC)
Eva Longoria executive produces this bold, provocative drama set at the last family-owned hotel in multicultural Miami Beach. Charismatic Santiago Mendoza owns the hotel, while his glamorous second wife, Gigi, and their adult children enjoy the spoils of success.The hotel’s loyal staff round out a contemporary, fresh take on an upstairs/downstairs story. Wealthy and beautiful guests bask in luxury, but scandals, escalating debt and explosive secrets hide beneath the picture-perfect exterior. The show is based on the Spanish series.
In this drama set in 18th century London, Samantha Morton stars as Margaret Wells, a brothel owner and mother to two daughters, Charlotte and Lucy. When Margaret’s business is attacked by Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville), a ruthless rival madam, a war breaks out over the city’s most profitable commercial activity — sex. Margaret is determined to fight back and protect her business, even if it puts everything else at risk, including her family. Creators Moira Buffini and Alison Newman also serve as executive producers.
Younger (TV Land)
Trying to start a new career gets more difficult as you age, which suddenly single-mom Liza realizes when she tries to re-enter the working world at 40. After a young tattoo artist convinces her she looks younger, Liza decides to do something about it. Her solution revolves around trying to pass herself off as 26, courtesy of a makeover by her best friend, Maggie. The newfound confidence helps get her a job assisting temperamental Diana. Teaming with 20-something co-worker Kelsey, Liza hopes to make it a dream career — while no one discovers her secret. She later has to deal with the fallout of the truth after revealing her secret to Kelsey.