Treme: S1

The new series Treme from David Simon, the creator of The Wire and Eric Overmyer is a real, slow burn.  I almost stopped watching in the middle of the third episode, but hung in there and by the  middle of the fifth, I was completely hooked.  I have to say up front, I’m not a huge jazz fan.  I like swing music, I like Ellington, Fitzgerald, but I don’t like modern jazz music all that much.  So it took time to relax and get into the music (which is its own character (several actually) in the show).  Once that happened, everything clicked.  The writing is complicated, like The Wire.  There are even familiar faces.  Wendell Pierce transforms from Bunk into Antoine Baptiste, Clarke Peters morphs from Lester into Albert Lambreaux (the Chief).  There’s even a cameo from Prez.  There’s also wicked cameos from Elvis Costello and Tom Colicchio.  There’s already a major connection happening with New York City between several characters.  Will be interesting seeing where S2 takes us.  Season 1 is post-Katrina.  It’s already months after the storm when the story begins.  Like The Wire, this is about a dysfunctional modern city.  What sets it apart is the notion of this city’s inhabitants fighting to rebuild their town that’s been destroyed.  Some stay, some flee.  Some are indifferent.  Treme is a classic tale with a modern twist.  It’s gritty like The Wire and so real.  The beauty is not only in the writing, but the music the performers play.  My only gripe is there were a number of outstanding LGBT characters in The Wire.  There’s only a peripheral gay male couple in this show and their story veers too often into stereotype.  Where’s the Treme versions of Kima, Omar, or even Rawls?  A solid 4.5 out of 5.

3/17/2017: Second time around for this beautiful and haunting tribute to the city of New Orleans post-Katrina. David Simon and Eric Overmyer give us four seasons of an outstanding television series. Holds up perfectly.

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