In 1971, Brooklyn bartender Vincent "Vinnie" Martino (James Franco) is beaten by muggers while he is performing drops. Vinnie's identical twin brother, reckless gambler Frankie (James Franco), owes money to several mobsters and bookies. Fed up with his unfaithful wife, Andrea (Zoe Kazan), he leaves his family and decides to focus on his bar. Pimp C.C. (Gary Carr) recruits Lori (Emily Meade), a new arrival from Minnesota, as a prostitute. C.C's prized possession is Ashley (Jamie Neumann), who is in love with C.C. and becomes jealous of Lori. Another pimp, Larry Brown (Gbenga Akinnagbe), is abusive towards his prostitutes, one of whom is the sweet-natured Darlene (Dominique Fishback). Eileen "Candy" Merrell (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a prostitute and single mother, chooses to work without a pimp and becomes introduced in the ascendant pornography industry. College student Abigail "Abby" Parker (Margarita Levieva) is arrested for buying drugs. At the police station, she meets officer Chris ...Written by
At some point while watching this you ask yourself... why am I subjecting myself to this. I made it about 60% the way through before I finally had it.
The whole thing is flat. Just one persistent depressing note droning on and on. I am not sure if the problem is in the script, the direction, acting... maybe everyone had food poisoning. I don't know.
I expected more. This came from the writers of the Wire and Treme. Between them they had writing credits on Homicide, generation kill and Bosch. The director had worked on game of thrones (some good episodes) and breaking bad.
As the pilot relentlessly trudged on... I wondered why I didn't like it. The complete lack of humour perhaps.
Then I realized it didn't matter. It was just not good.
It's not terrible but it's the kind of thing actors seem to do every so often to show they can be "gritty and real" that they then inflict on the poor audiences many of whom will convince themselves they like it because they are supposed to for some reason.
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