I spent most of today watching HBO’s Treme, about a neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana, that takes place three months post-Katrina. I enjoyed it. When the show premiered, I couldn’t get into it. I kept asking my family and friends who were watching it at the time: is it good? is it like the Wire? They would roll their eyes at me and tell me to just watch it for myself, but yes, they liked it. I watched one episode and to me, it wasn’t The Wire in terms of quality, whatever that may be. Simply put: I wasn’t impressed with the first episode or the second so I quit.
I did have an lingering interest though, in the music and the culture of New Orleans and of course, what challenges the city faced after the cameras (media) left for good. How people there went about rebuilding their lives. New Orleans was out of sight and out of mind. When the media left, so went the coverage. I remember Anderson Cooper would sometimes do these re-caps to keep New Orleans in people’s minds but eventually that ceased.
I bought season 1 of Treme a few months back and sat down today and decided to watch it again and once I went past episode 3, that’s when I settled into watch it all. There are some things I could do without, but, the series is good overall, not great. Each and every episode is suffused with rich New Orleans music from some of the jazz greats that I’m not embarrassed to admit that I didn’t recognize at all. I did though recognize some songs.
Some of the characters stood out more than others as well as some threads. I didn’t know anything about the Mardi Gras Indians so that was new. As for human drama, the show delivers. There’s a thread throughout the series where a family hires a lawyer to find their brother who goes missing before the storm hit. They had evidence of his being locked up before Katrina but after, they hit a dead-end and what an uphill battle they faced with the court and the police to find him. There are other threads but if you’ve noticed, I’m not reviewing this series, just giving my thoughts on it. Anyway, I’m wrapping this up. Good show, great music and atmosphere. Now I have to wait for season two to become available during a re-broadcast before season three starts or wait for a DVD release. *sigh*