Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.

Some thoughts on Treme

So a couple of things before I start on this.

1. I don’t believe in the concept of spoilers, so if you do, go away now. A story that’s good isn’t often spoiled, in my view, by learning plot points before you see them. That said, this is the first episode, so it’s not like I’ll give anything away.

2. I cannot possibly be objective in this. I grew up near New Orleans, I have close friends who live there, and the city informs my entire youth and young adulthood. Also, there are two filmmakers right now I trust completely–one is Charlie Kauffman. The other is David Simon. If David Simon took over American Idol, I’d watch an episode just to see what he did with it.

So…Treme.

Here’s what I love: the voices are right, especially among the big names. No one’s putting on an outrageous Cajun accent, which is what most people, in my experience, expect New Orleans to sound like. And the little bits of conversation, like the part near the end of the episode at the funeral where the band members are figuring out who the dead person is and who he was related to, are masterful.

Most haunting moment has to be the Big Chief scene, coming out of the dark with the glints of light coming off the tambourine cymbals, until he explodes out in that yellow garb, and the call. Shivers. This will not be much of a stretch prediction-wise, but I fully expect his character to come to a bad end. Simon loves his Greek tragedy, and no other character has tragic hero written all over him like that one.

Funniest moment goes to the deejay character talking to Elvis Costello while Kermit Ruffin is playing: “I taught him everything he knows…about..Keynesian economics.” I’m going to hate him, I can tell, but I think that’s part of the reason he’s there.

Least favorite character: right now, the John Goodman character. That seems to be the only guy he plays, maybe the only guy he’s ever played. I keep expecting him to crush a frog in his hand and throw it against a tree.

Favorite character: Don’t have one yet. Give me a few weeks.

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April 13, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

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