The story of the legalisation and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York's Times Square from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s, exploring the rough-and-tumble world at the pioneering moments of what would become the billion-dollar American sex industry.
Beginning in 1971, barkeeps, prostitutes, pimps, police and nightlife denizens swirl through a world of sex, crime, high times and violence and the porn business begins its climb from Mafia-backed massage parlours and film labs to legitimacy and cultural permanence.
Brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino navigate their way through the rough-and-tumble world of 1971 Times Square. Vincent crosses paths with other midtown denizens while plotting to improve his situation. Elsewhere, NYU student Abby gets enlisted to buy amphetamines.
Vincent moves into a seedy hotel and contemplates an offer from mob capo Rudy Pipilo. Bobby hopes to take advantage of Vincent's new connections. Candy gets a first-hand look at porno filmmaking. C.C. shows Lori the benefits of having a pimp.
The appearance of an unexpected partner surprises Vincent. Rudy buys into a rival's plan to reconfigure the Deuce. Candy considers entering the filmmaking business. Abby languishes in her new job. Darlene works overtime to compensate Larry.
Rudy dangles a lucrative offer in front of Vincent. Longo uses strong-arm tactics to restore order among Bobby's unhappy construction workers. Bristling after a police shakedown, Vincent adds muscle in the person of Black Frankie, a Vietnam War vet.
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Looking for a way out of his construction gig, Bobby tries to change Vincent's mind about Rudy's offer. Darlene returns from a trip home with a new girl. Roughed up by a john, Candy contemplates a change of careers. Paul explores the underbelly of gay life in the city.
An end-of-the-year crackdown by police in and around The Deuce sparks Vincent and Bobby. Candy tries to persuade her adult-film director that she can do more than act. A pivotal lower-court ruling on obscenity prompts Rudy to protect his interests in the peeps.
With police pushing their business off the streets, C.C., Larry, Rodney and other pimps worry about becoming obsolete. Candy eyes a different job on Harvey's set as Lori struggles with the demands of porn acting. At her wit's end, Ashley washes up on Abby's door.
Vincent balks at getting in deeper with Rudy, as expansion fever hits Frankie and Bobby. Candy gets a taste of directing, and enjoys the red-carpet perks of a major premiere. Alston finds himself in limbo at his precinct. Abby changes up the Hi-Hat's clientele.