The Potato Soup Porn Scene We Can’t Unsee From The Deuce

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
I used to love Campbell's cream of mushroom soup. This is no longer an option for me, as The Deuce used Campbell's potato soup in the place of semen in Sunday's episode. The soup first appears innocently — when Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) arrives at the location where she'll shoot her first adult film, you can spot an array of Campbell's soup cans. Later, when she's filming said movie, the soup gurgles and spurts forth onto Candy and her co-star's faces. A production assistant uses a hose to shower the girls with cold potato soup.
"Don't squint! You're supposed to love viking cum," the director (Kevin Francis Brodie) says when Candy's unnamed co-star closes her eyes.
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The co-star replies, "Viking cum's okay. Cold potato soup sucks." (She has a point, although I cannot attest to the quality of viking semen.)
And with that, henceforth, I will never be able to eat, sip, or lay eyes on potato soup again. That rule also extends to cream of mushroom and cauliflower soup, while we're at it, and particularly runny piles of mashed potatoes.
"Gross" is really the only word that applies. All other synonyms — impure, cheap, or improper — imply that the scene is prurient in some way, when it's very much not. Even without the soup, the scene is pretty upsetting. It's a behind-the-scenes featurette on one of the very first iterations of porn. The production staff doesn't record sound. Candy's wig is a plastic, yellowing blonde; look closely under its fibers and you can spy her brown hair below. The four cast members — two, stoned-looking vikings and their ever-so-horny blonde lovers — cavort on a pull-out couch in the basement of the home in the Bronx. It's all a little, well, gross.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Pictured: Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) wiping potato soup off of her face.
That said, it's the beginnings of a business. Didn't most startups begin in a basement somewhere? Welcome to the porn startup: There's potato soup, but it's not to be consumed.
The Deuce takes place in the '70s. In the 2010s, cum isn't potato soup — that's a little too chunky, and probably looks more opaque on camera than real semen. Melissa Lackersteen, a makeup artist for Game of Thrones, told Refinery29 that the HBO show used facial cleanser and KY Jelly for a smearing of fake cum. According to Lackersteen, real adult performers use Gaviscon liquid antacid for semen these days. For HBO's Girls, Lena Dunham used Cetaphil and conditioner. It seems the answer to the "fake cum dilemma" lies in beauty products, not canned goods. But who's to say? Campbell's cream of potato soup sells for $1.59 on Amazon. And it probably tastes a hell of a lot better than Gaviscon.
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Now, the real question is: What did HBO use in place of Campbell's potato soup when filming this fake porn shoot? Refinery29 has reached out to HBO for comment.
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