Writing for television doesn't get much better than this and Simon finds the perfect partner in Pelecanos, who helps bring this world to life in vivid detail and inspired storytelling. The performances are top notch and the topic fascinating, not once disrespecting or marginalizing the people being depicted. I eagerly await how season 2 will expand on this world.
A very good first episode. James Franco is not quite perfect for the role (too pretty and arty looking) but he comes fairly close to the Tony-Manero-meets-Terry-Malloy archetype that the role(s) demand(s). Maggie G. completely redeems herself in the TV drama arena after the overhyped crapola that was An Honorable Woman with a touching yet gritty performance. Will certainly tune in again.