Sunday, June 27, 2010


Treme on HBO has recently climbed to the top of my most watched tv show list. It is a beautiful fusion of the heartbreaking truth that many families faced after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans with the wonderful strength of those who returned. It will inspire the urge to fight for what is right in the most complacent viewer.

From the makers of The Wire, a socially conscious series set in the failing communities of Baltimore, Maryland, I did not expect anything less than a plot that reels you in, characters you identify with, and nuances of social justice interwoven seamlessly in between. Treme has not disappointed.

There is the hard-partying pot head Davis with a gigantic heart who wants to solve New Orleans problems through celebration (and lots of alcoholic beverages). John Goodman plays a tormented professor who is unable to reconcile New Orleans’ new reality with its former glory. He flies from outraged activist to depressed and immobile in a heartbeat. Then there is Albert Lambreaux, a chief of a Mardis Gras troupe who refuses to let the government’s neglect hurt those in need. Wendall Pierce, clearly a favorite from The Wire, emerges as Antoine Batiste the character who you love to hate. He cheats on his girlfriend, and baby’s momma at every chance he gets. He can never pay the rent or the cab fare, yet he manages to win your heart with his chuckle and excellence on the trombone. Those musicians, they will get you every time. The vibrant characters play across a superb soundtrack of real southern jazz, blues, you name it. It is music that moves the soul. It is music that helps the refugees of New Orleans cling to the wonders of their pre-Katrina lives, and work their way through their glories and their pains.

Your feet will be itching to run to Fat Tuesday in ole Louisiana before the credits roll on the first episode.

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