First off, I love David Simon. He created “The Wire” which may be the greatest television show of all time. So he gets a lot of rope from me. Throw in George Pelicanos and you have the makings of a great show.
I can’t tell you everything about the pilot, was half following, but just from watching, the pilot did everything its supposed to do. Introduces characters… starts with 3 pimps, having punchy, clever dialog, introduces the place… it’s Port Authority and it looks like hell, and introduces the time, they are talking Nixon, they are dressed like Superfly… Immediately you are there and you are hooked. Sure, for anyone who grew up in that time and remembers real Times Square, nothing ever captures what it was. If you want that, watch Taxi Driver, but they do a decent copy.
There are all sorts of characters flying in… a working man, with a dead beat twin brother (gag), local mob crews, a couple of cops, several hookers doing their work (the excellent Maggie Gyllenhaal) and the young downtown ingenue who gets caught uptown coping drugs. They are all mingled in with the streets, the pimps and the bars… It just hums.
A big what the fuck at the fact that James Franco is playing his twin brother. I don’t know why anyone lets an actor play more than one character in a show…. (see Fargo Season 3 and Ewan McGregor) Just get two different actors?
Thankfully it doesn’t ruin the show but I am in.
I’d recommend checking it out.