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The Deuce, an eight-episode television series on HBO, begins well with focus on street characters. At its best, it dwells in the ordinary social exchange of Times Square life: pimps and police rubbing shoulders at the shoeshine stand, working girls swapping gossip on smoke breaks and in diners over plates of hash and eggs, a reporter complaining to her editor that when he cut her lede he just let the city off the hook. But the further into The Deuce you go, the further you get from the independent, tight-knit crew of women selling sex at the center of show. The women who populate these stories recede like a light in the rearview, fading into the streets. In their place is greed, domination, and violence, like they were never there.