Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Correction - Treme Shows It

From time to time, I am wrong, and at least a few times in a thousand, I am willing to acknowledge it. To that end, I now see that I was too dismissive of Treme, the latest original series by David Simon, creator of the best tee-vee drama ever, The Wire.*

Mind you, Treme is no The Wire, but it does carry over several of The Wire's actors, it preserves the emphasis on believable dialogue, and it brings the same unrelenting focus on evoking the city of its setting. For Treme, this means immersing the viewer in the cultural singularity of New Orleans, centered on but not limited to the music, the food, the music, the local customs, and most of all, the music. Music is everywhere in this series, touching and informing every story thread, and usually playing in the background. It might as well be listed in the credits as a character, and something tells me this is true to New Orleans.

It's one thing to say that --- part of my initial resistance to this series arose from how we have been told ad nauseam of the NOLA's uniqueness and preciousness -- but showing beats telling.

I am not the one to say whether Treme faithfully represents either the spirit or the fact of New Orleans, but I can say it feels and sounds like a real place.

* I know, I know! I'm a white guy and I love The Wire! It's hilarious or something!

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