Treme

edited August 2015 in Other TV
As we are approaching the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I think this is a great to time revisit the HBO series, Treme. As I mentioned in the Show Me a Hero thread, I actually love this show more than The Wire. I know that's sacrilegious around the world, especially here, but that's just me.

If you haven't seen it yet, there's a lot to like, particularly if you're interested in how the city of New Orleans began its recovery. I really enjoyed so many of the characters of this show. You had John Goodman put in some fine work as the self-righteous college professor, Melissa Leo was outstanding as his wife, Kim Dickens as the ambitious restaurateur, Khandi Alexander as the struggling bar owner, Wendell Pierce as Antoine Batiste, the hard working trombonist, Clarke Peters as the charismatic yet brooding Mardi Gras Indian Chief, Albert Lambreaux, and Rob Brown as his successful trumpeter son. Those were just my favorite characters, but there were so many more.

There were plenty of actual musicians who were a part of the cast including Steve Earle, Spider Stacey, Trombone Shorty, Dr. John and Kermit Ruffins.

I know a lot of Wire fans don't like this show, but if you are a Wire fan and have not seen this, it's without a doubt worth checking out - especially at this time as we look at what happened 10 years ago and what has happened there since. PBS Newshour did a good story on the Lower 9th Ward tonight and touches on a lot of the themes the show explores.

You can watch this on HBO GO, HBO Now and Amazon Prime.


ryanfosterElisa

Comments

  • DaveyMacDaveyMac Tokyo
    edited August 2015
    EDIT: My post has some light spoilers. Let me know if anyone thinks it's too spoilery and I can cut out some details. 

    Great thread to start @AntManBee . I totally agree (except for the liking it better than The Wire part.:) )

    I also thought the show had incredibly strong characters. My favorites being Annie, LaDonna, Janette, and Toni. Though I could easily name five more that I love almost as much.

    Some other things I like about it are the musical set pieces. I'm not hugely knowledgable about Jazz, but the music is so lovingly portrayed that it didn't matter that I didn't know a lot of the history or players. I got wrapped up in it all the same. Plus I also like that the character drama was still going on while the music was being performed.

    There's a lot more I could cover, but one of the other things I really respected about the show was the way they handled the rape story-line. GOT and other shows get a lot of criticism for their use of rape as a plot device, but I think this show really handled it well and didn't just toss it in to heighten the drama and discard it an episode or two later. They really focused on the aftermath of it and how it impacted not only the character who experienced it, but also her relationship to her family and job, and it becomes the focus of her story-line for the remainder of the season. There are echoes of it in subsequent seasons as well, but the rape never comes to define her either, which I think is a really important aspect as well. It's really powerful and meaningful without ever feeling cheap.

    The only thing in the show I was a bit turned off by were some of the performances of minor characters and celebrity cameos as their acting wasn't always up to the standards of main ensemble.
    ryanfosterAntManBee
  • I have started watching and I have now finished season 1. I like it a lot. 
    For me it will not likely beat The Wire (my favorite show of all time by miles). But that's ok. It is a great show in its own right and better than almost everything on network tv.
    This definitely seems to be a show that will not sacrifice characters for story. The character portraits are some of the most memorable and realistic that I can remember seeing in a show. And it really makes you care about what happens to these people and to see all the different ways people were affected by Katrina. 
    Because the focus is so much on the characters, the lack of a tight, coherent overarching narrative makes it a show very different from anything I have seen. And that aspect of it may not be for everyone. But I am definitely enjoying it.
    ElisaDaveyMacAntManBee
  • @DaveyMac I don't think your post was too spoilery. You do have a warning in your edit, so I don't see a problem there.

    And yeah, Khandi played the hell out of that storyline you mentioned. She was amazing in this series.
    DaveyMac
  • I'm just catching up with this podcast, "Death, Sex, & Money" that I've been hearing about for a while now and she recently did a great 6-part series on Katrina ten years after. Just thought I'd mention it here in case anyone is interested. Well worth a listen.
    AntManBee
  • Great post, AntManBee.

    Treme doesn't have the obvious flash of the Wire or Deadwood, or several other great shows, but there are moments of beauty and sadness in it that resonate deeply with viewers. It was bold for HBO to greenlight this show.

    It truly is a time capsule for generations of viewers to come.
    AntManBeeDaveyMacryanfoster
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