Showing posts with label HBO's Treme. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HBO's Treme. Show all posts

Monday, April 19, 2010

Come Monday...HBO's Treme (Again)

“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of, or commentary about, websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time. Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.” This is subject to change, however. In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while. For rants promote change, and change can be good—right? Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).



Well, I must admit that I am very disappointed right now. For I was planning on posting a review of each episode, but [Treme] is appearing to be too much like [The Corner] for me to write about each week.

Please, don’t get me wrong. Treme is a great show, but it is too “real-life” (as opposed to fake reality) for my taste. For I get enough “real-life” each and every day of my own life, and I generally watch television shows and movies to escape for a little while.

Yes, I thoroughly enjoy a good documentary, but I consider those to be different. For the good ones are either about historical events or current problems that need to be addressed.

Whereas, Treme is about everyday life in [post-Katrina New Orleans], and what drama there is in the storylines is all too painfully familiar to me. For I know what it feels like to see everything that I held dear torn asunder, and I also know what it feels like to try to pick up the pieces of my shattered life when there was really nothing left to put together.

In other words, Treme is nothing like [The Wire]. For The Wire was about a game that I was familiar with, but had never really played myself. Therefore, it served as a perfect means of escape for me.

Oh yes, this is most definitely just a matter of my own opinion. For there is plenty about Treme that should prove quite entertaining to millions.

A good example of that would be how the second episode began. For it had [Davis McAlary] doing a live radio interview with [Coco Robicheaux], and Coco decided to perform a [Voodoo] ritual, which involved sacrificing a live chicken, to invite the spirit of [Marie Laveau] to the new location of the radio station. However, this did not meet with the management’s approval, and Davis was fired.

Another example of how Treme might just be what you are looking for is how honest they are being about “real-life” in New Orleans. For not all of the residents appreciated a lot of the help that came pouring in after the disaster, and one scene had a street musician acting rather rudely towards a trio of Wisconsin college students, who had came down with a church group to help rebuild.

In the spirit of interconnecting storylines, they had those very same Wisconsin college students staying in a hotel off of [Bourbon Street], which is where Davis had landed a job after being fired from the radio station. Staying true to his character as the resident screw-up of the show, Davis sent them far from where they were supposed to stay when they expressed a desire to experience the real New Orleans, and when they did not return to their hotel room later that evening, Davis found himself in another untenable position at the hotel.

In the post about Treme [last week], I expressed some hope in the characters of [Creighton Bernette] and his wife, [Toni Bernette], providing some Wire-like drama, but if it is coming, [Mr. Simon] is sure taking his time about it. For the only fireworks coming from Creighton this episode was of him gripping about [Tulane University] discontinuing much of their engineering department, and him trying to be pragmatic about where their daughter would be going to high school.

Alas, Treme is indeed proving to be a big disappointment to me, but I suppose that is to be expected. For my mom and dad always used to say that I wouldn’t be happy even if they hung me with a new rope.

Nonetheless, I do have some good news to report. For my sarcasm over the Treme website being somewhat lacking must have stung the powers that be over at [HBO]. For as you may have already discovered, there are now [character profiles] available for your viewing pleasure.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I am going to take full credit for that. For if I don’t seek to garner praise for myself, no one else will! (LOL?)

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Come Monday...HBO's Treme: Episode 1

“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of, or commentary about, websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time. Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.” This is subject to change, however. In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while. For rants promote change, and change can be good—right? Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).



Ever since we first caught wind of it, my wife and have been tingling with anticipation over the broadcast of [David Simon’s] new series, [Treme], on [HBO]. For we are both huge fans of his last series, [The Wire], and we were hoping that Treme would be just as good. You can read about just how much we were fans of The Wire [here].

We were, however, rather concerned about familiarity possibly breeding contempt. For we learned that several of the main actors from The Wire would also be starring in Treme, and since we are as bad as anyone about identifying actors by the characters they have played, we weren’t sure if we could disassociate one from the other.

Well, it is too early for me to tell if Treme will live up to my expectations. For after watching the first episode a couple of hours ago, I could immediately see that it certainly wasn’t The Wire, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Suffice to say, Treme is different, but it does show some potential. For [Det. Bunk Moreland] in The Wire is now Antoine Batiste, and Bunk did not get in the way of Antoine. The same applies to [Det. Lester Freamon] in The Wire now being Albert Lambreaux in Treme.

Be assured that I would have loved to provide a link to the characters in Treme, but the powers that be at HBO evidently do not think that something like that is needed just yet. In all fairness, they have only had around two years to get ready for the premier of this series, and I do understand that it often takes decades for a website to be properly set-up. (Yes, I am being sarcastic.)

Again, Treme does show some potential—especially if you are a big fan of New Orleans-style jazz. Surprisingly, I have never been all that much of a fan of jazz music—despite playing piano, trumpet and valve trombone for years, but I found myself thoroughly enjoying what I was hearing in this first episode. Hey, what can I say?

In regards to some possible Wire-like scenarios, [John Goodman] plays Creighton Bernette, who is a fiery community activist on a rampage over the man-made disasters that came out of [Hurricane Katrina], and [Melissa Leo] plays his wife, who is a lawyer trying to help survivors pick-up the pieces of their shattered lives. In this first episode, she seeks to find the brother of [Khandi Alexander’s] character, Ladonna Batiste-Williams, who was supposedly incarcerated in a New Orleans jail when the hurricane hit, and has been missing since, with both the New Orleans Police Department and the Orleans Parrish Sheriff’s Office swearing that they never had him.

In case you are curious about Ladonna having a last name of Batiste-Williams, she was formerly married to Antoine, which could lead to some Wire-like intrigue. The only nudity that was shown in this first episode, however, was of Davis McAlary’s tookis.

Davis McAlary is played by [Steve Zahn], and he is perfect for the role. For McAlary is a hustler to the bone, and Zahn has always gave me such an impression—regardless of what kind of character he was playing. Now, this is not to say that he has always appeared to be rather nefarious to me, but I am fairly sure that he has never gotten anywhere without at least trying to take every short-cut that he could imagine. Of course, that has become an admirable trait in this day and age, and I have certainly tried to take my fair share of short-cuts along the way.

Another main character of the series is Janette Desautel, who is being played by [Kim Dickens]. Janette is the owner/head chef of a small restaurant, and kinda, sorta, maybe the part-time girlfriend of Davis McAlary.

All in all, I enjoyed the show, but my wife is not sure about it. Nonetheless, she will be tuning for the next episode, and I think you should, too. If you missed this one and have [HBO On Demand], you can watch it anytime you like, and even if you don’t have that service, this first episode will be rebroadcast several times throughout the coming week.


Link: [On YouTube]

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