Perhaps David Simon had the same reflection after Katrina that he had neglected New Orleans for too long. Or perhaps he was already completely aware of all the local lore. In any case, I feel like this show has shown me all the things I completely skipped over in my several visits there as a college student and once with a few drinking friends. Why I have never been there for Carnival including Mardi Gras (and for that reason why I haven’t done Rio, Salvador di Bahia, Venice, or Köln/Cologne) really bugs me now. Perhaps it is from not being Catholic and thus not feeling really part of the “thing” or perhaps (in the Brazilian and ‘Nawlins manifestations at least) the potential violence kept me away. What I can say is that seeing the Big Chief come out in his gorgeous feathered costume in E07 really moved me. I realize that every time I was there – even if I went to House of Blues and stopped at every zydeco joint in the Quarter – I was just one of those leech-like tourists that Davis rightfully detests. Well, New Orleans, I hope some day that I’ll make it up to you! This show, Treme, is such an honest, brutal, and open assessment of all that you seem to be under the covers. Recalling how realistic The Wire was, this shouldn’t surprise me at all.
Unlike some other folks, I love all the characters on this show and the pacing as well. I know that it is slow at times but then life in New Orleans must be sort of slow sometimes too. I am still trying to wrap my head around the Hidalgo character but I suppose that he will become more entangled with the other characters at some point. The strained relationship between Tony and her daughter is hard to watch (but probably realistic) and the tragedy of LeDonna’s rape was so well shot and the aftermath so well-written. It is heart-wrenching, and yet not in a pedantic, exploitive kind of a way. The Colson character has lots of weight and depth and is highly likable. The fact that one of the guys in the band is reaching out to help Sonny is great too. And Annie, well she is smoking and sweet – total opposite of the crazy, eclectic Davis. I love the Antoine character – how he is setting up dates for the entire Mardi Gras day. Fantastic. The Sezerac story with Jeanette was classic. Lastly, Big Chief Lambreaux is extraordinary as is his son whom I liken a bit to Branford Marsalis a bit. I just think everything just fits so well together. It is almost literary…more once I finish the last 4 episodes! Suffice it to say that this show has got to feature the most diverse and amazing music of any show on TV.