David Simon Says His 70s Porn HBO Drama Is a Critique of Market Capitalism

     July 30, 2015

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The Wire is one of the greatest shows in the history of television, so obviously folks are interested in whatever creator David Simon is working on at any given moment. But interest hit a fever pitch when HBO recently revealed that they’re developing a new drama series with Simon that takes place in the world of 1970s pornography. Simon is, quite simply, a brilliant guy, so the prospect of seeing what he has to say about such a provocative topic is mighty enticing.

The writer was in attendance at the Television Critics Association today to tout his upcoming HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero, which stars Oscar Isaac and revolves around housing de-segregation, and during her interview with Simon, Christina asked him what the aforementioned “70s porn drama” will entail. In response, he first explained why he’s likely to torpedo the tantalizing premise:

“I’m sure I’ll fuck it up. It’s something that should be an incredible commercial win for HBO, but I’m sure that when I finish doing it, it will be some droning piece of policy that will clear the room faster than anybody can spit. It will be as exciting as a six-part mini-series on housing desegregation, once I get done with porn.”

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Image via HBO


More seriously, Simon revealed his idea for the show will focus on the people behind the birth of the porn industry and the impact that the boom had on their lives:

“We’re working on it now. I think the scripts are very strong. If it works, it will not be because it’s prurient. It will not be making porn to critique porn. And it won’t work because it’s puritan and sneering at the people that were there when that industry came together after the Supreme Court made it legal. It will work because it’s a story about human beings, and it’s a critique of market capitalism. That’s the purpose of the piece. It’s a product that didn’t exist, and then it existed. What happened to the human beings that made it come to be, and what was the cost of that? If we can affect that and stay on that fence, and not be either sneering at it or indulgent in it, it will be a worthwhile piece. If we don’t, then God help us. “

Yes please. So how soon could we see the show? Simon said they plan on shooting the pilot this fall, after which its fate is in HBO’s hands:

“I hope we’re going to shoot the pilot this Fall. And then, HBO has to decide if they’re going to want it or not.”

Having wrapped up Treme a couple of years ago, and with Show Me a Hero premiering next month, it appears that this 70s porn drama is what Simon hopes will be his next project. It sounds almost too good to be true, especially once he explains the thematic ideas behind it, but Simon’s voice is too smart to be left off television for too long, so I’ve got my fingers crossed the show comes together.

Additional reporting by Christina Radish.

 


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