Sunday, April 25, 2010

Treme, "Right Place, Wrong Time": Are you in, or are you out?

A review of tonight's "Treme" coming up just as soon as I have a rhythm and blues intervention...
"People want to see what happened." -The bus driver
James Poniewozik and I both cited the scene at the end of this episode in our initial reviews of "Treme." I said that Albert's dismissal of the tourists, safe behind their tinted glass, was reflective of David Simon's full-immersion approach to portraying cities, where Poniewozik found it a bit on the nose and said, "It also raises a question: why are we watching, and why did HBO pick up the show, if not to 'see what happened'?"

Jim has a point (and later got Simon to expand on the purpose of that scene), in that no matter how deeply "Treme" goes into showing us New Orleans and its people, viewers like me who've never been there will remain tourists, watching through our own kind of glass. But I guess there are varying levels of tourism, and varying levels of authenticity, and "Right Place, Wrong Time"(*) is all about characters coming into conflict over who is and isn't a true son or daughter of New Orleans, with the rights and privileges some believe that allows.

(*) With a teleplay by the late David Mills.

Davis confronts his neighbors about trying to gentrify the neighborhood and is stunned to discover that they're natives who know almost as much about Treme and its music as he does. Ladonna gets frustrated in dealing with her Creole in-laws because she thinks they find her beneath them. Dr. John leads Delmond and the other session musicians in a performance of the Mardi Gras Indian anthem "Indian Red," with Dr. John saying he intends to do the song with love and respect for the traditions, even as Delmond acknowledges that men like his father - who himself sings "Indian Red" at the memorial for Wild Man Jesse - wouldn't see it that way.

And Davis and Creighton - two men who would seem to be kindred spirits in many ways, including how each views himself as a guardian of the city and its culture - meet and fall into instant loathing, though that has more to do with Creighton's dislike of having this doofus around his teenage daughter than Creighton finding Davis to be pretentious.

So the question, I guess, is what level of authenticity should be considered acceptable? Or, rather, is it stupid and self-defeating to devote time and energy trying to stratify this - to suggest that I'm somehow superior to a passenger on a "Katrina tour" bus, or that Dr. John (himself a native of the city) doesn't have the right to sing "Indian Red"? Or are these distinctions important? Albert seems to think that if the city is rebuilt without Mardi Gras Indians, or with the Lower Ninth given over to developers, then there isn't much point to it, where Delmond finds the insularity of the city so frustrating that he understands why so many of its musicians have to leave to succeed. Maybe both father and son have a point; maybe neither of them do. Maybe Simon, Overmyer and the rest of the writers expect us to find Davis's self-righteousness charming, or maybe they intend for him to be insufferable.

Only way to find out for sure, I suppose, is to spend a lot more time pressed up against the looking glass.

Beyond that issue of authenticity, "Right Place, Right Time" brings more characters together, deepens our understanding of them, and moves stories together a bit, before climaxing with that beautiful, haunting memorial for Wild Man Jesse.

Toni winds up getting both Davis and Antoine out of jail for running afoul of the cops (though Davis' arrest was more deserving, whereas Antoine was just drunk and clumsy), and Davis in turn becomes Sofia's piano teacher. Antoine, who's been trying to be more faithful to Desiree, gets into his scrape with the law(*) in part because he stopped for an impromptu jam with Sonny and Annie, and as we follow those two on their own, we learn that there's an unspoken tension in Sonny and Annie's relationship because Sonny resents Annie's superior talent. Ladonna again gets screwed over by her roof contractor and also strikes out in her attempt to get her stuck-up in-laws to help search for Daymo. And with the state of the restaurant growing more dire, Janette even consents to let Davis take her out for an expensive meal to repay her for the wine he drank in the pilot, and then goes to bed with him(**).

(*) And the idea that the cops may have either broken or lost his trombone is no small plot point on a show about broke-ass musicians. Without that horn, Antoine is in big trouble.

(**) The cast is wall-to-wall terrific, but my favorite acting moment here was Kim Dickens showing us the long moment of thought required by Janette before she decided that, yes, she was going to have sex with Davis again.

And, of course, Albert's search for Wild Man Jesse ends in tragedy, as he and Jesse's son Lorenzo make the unfortunate discovery of his body, trapped under the canoe he was presumably going to use to ride out the storm. And where Delmond has no use for the Indian tradition, Lorenzo is right there to chant and sing as Albert and his fellow chiefs gather to say goodbye to Jesse, only to have the beautiful ritual interrupted by the tour bus.

Those tourists are sent away by Albert, Robinette and the others, but we tourists at home are invited to witness the whole thing.

Some other thoughts:

• As always, be sure to check out Dave Walker's "Treme" blog for the Times-Picayune for explanations of all the local color. Dave pointed me to this site for some more background on chiefs, wild men and "Indian Red."

• It's not TV, it's HBO, which means we get to open with Antoine having his way with one of the strippers (going on, of course, about how his instrument is called a 'bone), and then get another priceless look on Wendell Pierce's face when Desiree resolves to remind him what good loving he gets right at home.

• Though "Treme" takes place several years back, the first time it really felt like a period piece was the brief scene where Creighton and Toni watch Sofia's YouTube video, and Creighton has to explain the concept of YouTube (then relatively new) to Toni.

• The real Davis, by the way, has taught piano (including "Tipitina") to David Simon's son.

• In last week's episode, Davis mentioned that all crime had left the city after the storm, and here Sonny tells his friend that all drugs are gone, too - and we learn that Sonny was forced by the storm to clean up his own habit.

One word of caution: as of now, this was the last episode I received in advance. I'm hopeful that I'll get more soon, but sometimes the production schedule doesn't allow for that. So there's a chance these reviews might relocate to Mondays in the future unless more screeners turn up.

What did everybody else think?

45 comments:

HNIC1971 said...

Alan, tell me you chuckled a little when Antoine (Wendall Pierce) yelled "What I'd Do?".. It warmed the cockles of my Jimmy McNulty Wire heart...

HNIC1971 said...

I'm a musician, so I understand that nothing hurts more than when your partner plays a better gig with someone more famous (though not better) than you on your instrument. Also, Antoine getting called out for not being in NYC for the benefit concert was brutal. All the musician struggles hit a nerve for me.

JP said...

I laughed a lot more at this episode than the previous ones, particularly when the teenager busted for having sex in the bar was barely able to make eye contact with Albert. This has been a wonderful acting turn for Clarke Peters so far.

scone said...

I finally enjoyed a scene with Davis: when Creighton told him he likes teaching so much that "sometimes he even shaves." I laughed out loud.

LaDonna is quickly becoming my favorite character. Just the way Khandi Alexander can use her eyes is amazing.

I have to say, because I knew the bus was coming, I found the final scene difficult to watch. I agree with Poniewozik - it was a very uncomfortable flip on the viewer.

GMan said...

My native neighborhood in Baltimore is a traditionally working-class blue-collar enclave that has undergone two distinct waves of gentrification over the last 25 years, one catering to rich shoppers in the Northern part of the city, and another appealing to urban-dwelling hipsters into Charm City's burgeoning music scene (google Bmore Musically Informed of check out citypaper.com for more info).

One of the first businesses to open in the first wave of gentrification was called Cafe Hon. They've grown from humble beginnings to a huge economic engine for the neighborhood, and host the three-day "Honfest" each year (again give a quick google), where suburban women dress up like their grandmothers, donning beehive hairdos and horn-rimmed glasses, and talk in old "Balmerese," the city's (quickly disappearing) working-class dialect originally made world famous in John Water's movies and in David Simon's "The Wire".

The festival attracts thousands and infuses a dumptruck load of money into local businesses, but ask an OG neighbors about the festival and you'll get mostly negative responses. As one old-timer put it "All they [expletive] do is come here and [expletive] make fun of us." Is the business vital to a healthy local economy? Yes. Does it still feel icky when people make light of your local culture? Yes. These are not easy issues to deal with .

So, I understand both Big Chief's anger, and Simon's point. Culture tourism is bound to chafe someone, especially when your not the impetus of the newly established tourist industry. Imagine how, say, the Amish in Pennsylvania when a tour bus starts snapping pictures of their buggy? I've never seen this issue addressed before, in any medium. I'm glad Simon focused on it. And, as Alan pointed out, provided multiple viewpoints. I even thought the bus driver, from the sound of his accent a native Nola resident, understood the situation and quickly pulled off.

Oh, and go Green Wave.

C-Train5 said...

Alan-

I started reading your stuff as I was watching the Wire about a month back (which is why I started this show, since I now have a man-crush on David Simon) and everything you write makes me enjoy the show even more. You're the best there is at what you do, and I look forward to reading your thoughts after each episode of this series for (hopefully) many seasons to come.

VenetianBlond said...

In addition to Janette's moment, I also liked how Steve Zahn played it--first really getting Janette's turmoil at the encounter with the rival chef (pouring her the rest of the wine) then his discovery that he might get laid. Sonny's fish tales are getting bigger; this will not end well. The tour bus was a painful scene, but notice how the writers don't allow the driver to add insult to injury. He gets it: "I'm sorry, you're right." That's finesse.

Drifter said...

3 for 3 so far. The whole series has been as good as The Wire for me.

I think there was an earlier bit in the pilot that might be considered the first bit of evidence of a period piece and that was the going out of business of Tower Records that stood in the way of Davis getting his CDs. Tower Records steadily closed all of its stores through 2004-2006, and I think the show takes place currently in December 2005. I thought that was some nice attention to detail on the crew's part. All the hipsters I know saw the closings of Tower as a sign of the impending end times. A perfect back drop for Steve Zahn's character.

Otto Man said...

The tour bus was a painful scene, but notice how the writers don't allow the driver to add insult to injury. He gets it: "I'm sorry, you're right." That's finesse.

Bingo. That scene had the potential to become incredibly ham-handed, but the moment of recognition in the driver was perfectly done.

Kyle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

Kyle, no talking about the contents of the previews. Part of the No Spoiler rule.

Aaron Riccio said...

Alan, I also wrote about that tour bus (and the nature of us as tourists) when reviewing the first three episodes. (http://www.slantmagazine.com/tv/review/treme-season-one/168)

I'm as excited as you to see how things develop from here, and I'll keep tuning it (Sunday or Monday) to chime in. USA, pay attention: this is what it means to have "characters."

semicolwin said...

I haven't found Davis as irritating as many (probably because I've liked Steve Zahn since "That Thing You Do"), but the two things that really sold me on his character were the aforementioned scene w/ Janette, and his song about strippers moving to his neighborhood. His enjoyment of such a fun, simple song made me laugh out loud.

Kyle said...

Alan - My bad. I will respect the rules in future comments.

olucy said...

The stripper song was hilarous.

wrrrrrrrrr said...

The ending was awesome, because its just a slap in the face, and a reminder that.. no, we're not new orleans. and no, none of us are going to party in the Treme. Honestly, who wouldn't gawk, take photos, and basically ruin that ceremony if you were walking around New Orleans and saw something like that happening. WERE ALL TOURISTS DONT FORGET THAT. I get it. Its not our city, its not our culture... leave it alone, and deal with your white jealousy somewhere else. Eat a panini, have some starbucks, and leave the fcking Treme alone.

belinda said...

Steve Zahn was in That Thing You Do? Huh, never knew that. Anyway, Davis is still an asshole, but he's not a bad guy.

While I do find the last scene uncomfortable and difficult to watch, I think on some level it is more comfortable for the viewer for the show itself to acknowledge it (and early in its run), because not acknoledging it at all would be much more off putting and uncomfortable. It's a part of the viewing experience of a show like Treme, I think.

I know that given the premise of the show, of course it was set a few years back (DUH!), but somehow it is still mind blowing that only some FIVE years ago, Youtube didn't even exist. We were like cavemen then, huh? :D

Anonymous said...

I can relate to what Gman is saying, of feeling glorified and insulted at the same time.

I'm from Scranton and during the 2008 election Scranton became the symbol of the American working class. This was mostly for self-serving political reasons -- Hillary and Biden's ties there and the importance of that voting block in the election -- but in some ways it was fun to see Scranton getting some attention.

The problem, of course, was so much of it was one dimensional. It got to the point where if I heard one more journalist call it "a hard scrabble old coal mining town of 80,000" I felt like I was going to scream.

So many people were looking at my town, noses pressed to the window glass, but very few, if any, got it right. Believe it or not, that area has a very vibrant and interesting local culture influenced by immigrants from throughout Europe and in some cases the Middle East. But most people distilled it down to just another rust belt town where every used to work in the mines/factories, and now everything there is awful. It's much more complicated than that. People from there love and loath the place at the same time.

Personally I feel a lot like Albert's son. Sometimes I long to be back home, but I also see it as a place that will grind you down if you stay.

Certainly none of these perceived slights rival how people felt in New Orleans, I imagine. But I guess the point is you only ever get to call one place home, and I don't think you can start to feel the way people in New Orleans do until your home is put in a somewhat similar position of being on display.

jknola said...

Teleplay by David Mills (RIP) if I remember correctly...

7s Tim said...

I especially like the way the episode ended with us behind the locals watching the tour bus drive away. For a scene that seems explicitly vague in its implications toward the audience of how much we should feel like intruding tourists, this seemed to attempt to place not just our sympathies with the locals (deftly mitigated as a previous poster stated by not making the driver a more loutish), but also our world view. It seems to try to shift our perspective firmly into that of the locals, moreso than just the natural effect of having them as our protagonists.
Or it was just a great angle to shoot from.

Alex Mullane said...

Completely and utterly hooked. So far this seems to be just as good as The Wire was, though much of The Wire's brilliance only becomes evident further down the line as things play out. But as it goes along, it's just as good.

And, perhaps crucially, it seems far more accessible. No Simon show will ever be easy to just dip into, but there appears to be less of a language barrier both in slang and in terms of understand accents (I know people struggled with understanding Snoop, for example), but also the complexity of the language used. Some of Carcetti's speeches about politics, or Sobotka's thoughts on the union, for example, went somewhat over my head, even as I got the gist of what was being conveyed - but that's not been a problem here, it's always fairly clear what's being said.

I was thinking it would be fun to see what would happen, somewhere down the line, if a group of youths like Bodie or Namond found themselves in the Treme neighbourhood, and how they would react to seeing the Indian ceremonies and street music. Could be interesting to explore, and provide links back to The Wire (I apologise for all the Wire talk, I know this is a different show, but it's just a thought).

Last thought... Did anyone else notice Lester (Okay, okay, Albert) pulling a bit of a Clay Davis early on in the episode? I chuckled, as I'm sure it was intentional.

Very glad there's already a season 2 on the way.

Alex Mullane said...

I also hope we get to hear more of Wendell Peirce singing, because to my highly untrained ear, he sounded pretty good drunkenly crooning along to Annie's fiddle.

The cold opening... funniest thing I've seen in a long while. His facial expressions were just brilliant.

Long live The Bunktoine!

Josh said...

I have to say, I'm one of the unwashed masses who has yet to see The Wire (I know, I know, it's on my list), but I love this show already. There's not a single wrong note in the cast. My favorite scenes, though, are when the players cross paths. I'm hooked.

Alex said...

It's been over a day since the episode aired and I can't believe nobody has pointed out this wholesome piece of goodness uttered by Albert:

Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeit!

I know it has nothing to do with this show but it was nice to see the smile on Clarke Peters' face after he said as I'm sure he enjoy the tribute to Senator Davis.

Anonymous said...

Three episodes into Simon's misguided attempt to revivify the hoary old "melting pot" mythology. The "gumbo pot"? (The goal of contesting the regressive—from the point of view social justice—postmodern identity politics is laudable, even a logical continuation from season 5 of The Wire; the intent to contest it with an “American” national identity politics is what is misguided irrespective of any in/appropriateness of the music of New Orleans as symbol, metaphor, or even content for such a putative cultural identity. It begs deconstruction. Postmodern identity politics is itself in a way a reverse discourse to the old white-supremacist melting pot myth. It's a game without end. You play it, you validate it, you reproduce it. Simon ought to have followed the lead of "one" of his Wire characters who deconstructed the discourse of a poisonous ideology that had entrapped him, literally called BS on it, and refused thereafter to allow its discourse any significance, any hold over him. No inversions of binary oppositions, no reverse discourses, he just wouldn't play anymore. The game itself needed to be eliminated. –End of sermon.) Another eye-rolling stroll through the checklist of New Orleana, culture and catastrophe, with a few asides to “identity.” (The one involving Davis and his bald neighbor—my feelings about which I will not be specific lest my post be deleted—gives some indication of how the politics of difference might be contested at a metaphorical level.) There was a scene relating to this (recurring) entry on the checklist:

Some younger African Americans do sense a uniqueness about being from New Orleans, but many are more in tune with the majority of American youth—and think more generically than regionally.... Though some continue customs practiced by their ancestors for generations, others bypass those traditions and seek a “better life” and take advantage of “greater” opportunities. (from Michael White's chapter "New Orleans’s African American Musical Traditions" in Seeking Higher Ground, Manning Marable (ed.))

Needless to say it's the scene with Delmond and a group of New Orleans musicians discussing, well, this, and it reminded me of a similar-themed scene in The Wire where Shamrock and Bodie were driving in a van to Philly to pick up a drug shipment. The Baltimore radio station they were listening to began to break up and Bodie assumed there was a problem with the radio. Shamrock explained that they were so far from Baltimore that they were losing the Baltimore station's signal and Bodie should try a Philly station in reply to which Bodie asked an incredulous Shamrock, “The radio in Philly is different?” Unimpressed by the Philly station on the radio with its insights into good tomato-growing weather, Bodie would say, “Why would anybody wanna leave Baltimore? That's what I'm asking.” The scene gave an immediate and remarkable even shocking insight into the Boadie's world and his sensibility. The difference between the two scenes is the difference between something approaching art and a heavy-handed, too-chatty TV show.

Even though they are to a large extent the work of the same man, I would say the distance between The Wire and Treme so far is that extreme. Then again the composer of the Eroica also composed Wellington's Victory, the former a revolutionary work of art, the latter a programmatic potboiler.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous, 2:04 am, Apr 27 2010

cool story, bro

Alex Mullane said...

@Annoymous 5:58 AM, April 27, 2010

Hahahaha.

Indeed said...

This was my favourite episode so far. It hit an emotional chord for me.
I agree with another comment here that said compared to the Wire, this program is so much more accessible. That's exactly how I've described it to various people. You should pay attention, but you need to study an episode and immerse youreself in the same way.

Anonymous said...

I took a "Katrina tour" about 16 months after the storm. I spoke with the bus driver during a pit stop right after we drove past a destroyed home with a large sign telling gawkers to stay away.

I asked the driver how most of the local felt about the tours. He said most people wanted the tours because seeing first hand how bad things were over a year later, people would know there was still work to be done. Most toursist never get off Bourbon Street, and walking around the Quarter you could fall into the trap of thinking everything was fine.

That said, the driver acknowledged that there were many locals who were tired of Katrina tourists coming by and snapping pictures of their misery and viewing them like they were some exhibit in a museum.

We were conflicted about taking the tour...and we were even more conflicted after taking it. I don't know if it was right to pay to $50 a ticket to see the Lower Nine, St Bernard and Lakeview...but I know I'll never forget just how bad it was.

Anonymous said...

One thing about Simon and Company; I think it's funny they have an episode centered around different types of New Orleanians justifying how they are more New Orleans than others...right after an episode that opened with Coco doing voodoo and everyone talking about gris-gris and ju-ju.

If you ever go to New Orleans and want to stand out immediately as a knucklehead tourist...just start talking about voodoo.

Buchholz Surfer said...

This series really feel like we're in Season 2 and we're missing Season 1. I can't help but think that these episodes would be so much better and more compelling if we had met these characters and this city before the flood, and had a whole season of them living their lives and getting to know their stories.

Then, between season 1 and season 2, the flood hits and changes everything.

Everything that's happened would be so much more intense and meaningful if we had met everyone before. If we had spent some time with Wild Man Jesse and seen him living his life, then the finding of his body would've meant so much more, like finding a friend dead after months. If we had already gotten to know Daymo, and he was our TV friend, then the search for him and his fate would be so much more compelling than it is now. Now he's just some guy we don't know who's missing. I hope they find Ladonna's brother alive. But I don't know anything about this guy, so it's only on that level that it even matters whatsoever. We hope he's discovered, but that's not much different than hoping they find the other hundreds of missing people that we also don't know anything about.

Starting the story here just doesn't work as well in my opinion. These characters aren't our friends yet, and so their trials are less compelling. If we had first gotten to know them over a season of observing their dramatic and comedic stories, then everything would hit harder and mean more to us.

This show so far is like meeting someone for the first time who is already in the hospital. You certainly feel bad for them and empathize with them and want them to get better, but it doesn't even compare to the emotional impact you get when a good friend is hurt and ends up in the hospital.

We'd all be so much more moved and invested in these characters and their stories if we got to know them before the storm hit. Meeting them now, it's hard to feel much other than sympathy for them as victims, because that's the only state we've ever seen them in.

It feels like we're coming in to the middle of a story and we've missed out on a lot.

Kirchhoff said...

What I find interesting about Treme is that I enjoy the show much more in retrospect, reading the insightful analysis of Alan and other critics and commenters.

It's strange, because I find the actual process of watching the show infuriating, as too many of the characters are insufferable.

John W. Fail said...

Another spot-on analysis, Alan. What continually strikes me about this show is how beautiful it is - not just the music, which I feared would stray into the type of Borders-compilation-CD schmaltz that Davis rails against, but is actually genuine and artistic (yet accessible) -- but the overall look of the show. Lester - I mean, Albert -- is continually shot in scenes of decaying, falling apart buildings and the yellow/brown palette is like watching Tarkovsky's Stalker! Additionally, the celebration of urbanity, interactions and the city are done with such an incredibly warmth it's hard not to feel swept up in a cloud of gushing emotion when watching.

I do think The Wire was the greatest television series ever, but Treme is shaping up to be the most beautiful.

Michael said...

This was my favorite episode to date. Kim Dickens and the actress who plays Ladonna really nailed their performances, but like you said, the cast is generally outstanding. I laughed out loud at several moments and felt very involved in these people's lives. (Besides Kim Dickens' prolonged decision-making pause, I also loved Ladonna sweetly saying goodbye to her husband and then glaring at the contractors - priceless!)

Zachary said...

Did anyone else find Sonny's, 'I surprised you, didn't I?' particularly tender and sweet. It really spoke volumes about his character. Despite his jealousy of Annie's soon to come success he genuinely cares about her and honestly does not want to lose her. It was like he reverted into a teeange boy trying to appeal to his pretty first girfriend.

TheJersey said...

@Alex Mullane I think if corner boys from Baltimore dropped in on a 2nd line performance there might be a culture clash but for New Orleans corner boys the members are their dads, uncles, cousins and brothers, its life in New Orleans.

"Who did what now?" Best line of the ep from Pearce, I agree with Alex I loved his boozy version of "Ghost of a Chance"

I'm surprised there's no discussion of Lawanda and the class/cultural distinctions between her and her in laws. There is a distinction between black and Creole black and I hope her character continues to address it. I'd also love to know how she went from Antwan to the good Dr?

While I like the character, is there only one lawyer left in New Orleans?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that the bus driver "gets it". The Indians were just aggressive and unpleasant, and "You're right" is something you say to aggressive people to calm them down before you leave ASAP.

Norgard said...

Davis and Creighton [...] fall into instant loathing, though that has more to do with Creighton's dislike of having this doofus around his teenage daughter than Creighton finding Davis to be pretentious.

I thought it was also because of Davis being so very, very bad at sucking up to Creighton: "Oh, I love teaching... your daughter is soooo talented..."

I'm still having trouble separating Clarke Peters from his role on "The Wire". When they talked about Wild Man Jesse's boat I was sure he suspected/feared that Jesse's body was in there somewhere - like Lester would have certainly figured out - but then he genuinely seemed surprised when he actually found it.

Maybe Simon, Overmyer and the rest of the writers expect us to find Davis's self-righteousness charming, or maybe they intend for him to be insufferable.

At some point during the scene where Toni bailed Davis out of jail it occured to me: Davis is the Ziggy of "Treme". I just hope he doesn't end on a hooting rampage...

Tim Masterson said...

Loved it. Love the show. All in. Hooked. However you want to put it.

You know, when I heard David Simon was going to to a show about musicians in New Orleans after Katrina, I made some assumptions about what that show would be like. I figured it would be musicians running up against dysfunctional organizations, ala The Wire. I never expected stories like Delmond struggling with his musical identity and his desire to be appreciated, Sonny and Annie's uneasy partnership and relationship, Antoine's struggle to maintain authenticity and a paycheck, etc... I'm more than pleased with where this is going.

I also am pleased that they have maintained the Wire-ish style. Lots of intertwining stories, very little hand-holding, a ton of story in every episode.

By the way, does Lucia Micarelli have the best "violin face" or what? I'm smitten.

Mr Whirly said...

I'm glad I wasn't alone in feeling like I was one of the tourists. Treme is a great show but it certainly has opened my eyes as to the long term occupation by the military there. Antoine is a cheater being led around by his "bone" and filling the world up with fatherless babies, yet I still felt bad for him as the cops were beating on him and the fact that his broken tooth might hurt his playing. Oh, and the music all throughout the show is so good.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised the second comment is from a jealous musician. I play in a 2 man band and absolutely love when people hear my drummer and want him to play shows. I love playing with him and having perfect chemistry, but I really like watching how he plays with other musicians. I suppose the situation in Treme is different because 1) it's Sonny's girlfriend, and 2) playing sheet music or busking the same traditional tunes day after day isn't the kind of music I'm around.

All in all, I find Sonny to be the least likable character by a long shot. The disdain he has on his face all the time is overwhelming. I guess good job by the actor on that one.

TheJersey said...

Authenticity seems to be the theme running through Sunday's ep and watching Sonny tearing into the kebab while discussing rotting flesh made his storm stories seem more fable than fact

Anonymous said...

Alan, this is my first time posting on your site, I discovered it after I began to re-watch the wire and read your write-ups which made they show exponentially better.

And to those who comment on this site, I want to thank you as well. I have never seen such an intelligent discussion about TV shows anywhere else and it really adds to the viewing pleasure to see what everyone's opinion on the episode is.

Ok well now that I have that out of the way a few comments on the episode(From a Wire Fanatic)

-I really enjoyed seeing such a amazing cast of musical talent featured on the show, from kermit, who I had never heard of, to Dr.John who I am familiar with from his work with The Band and the DVD the last Waltz.

-I am curious to know how they film the scenes with bunk and lester (I am sorry for referring to them by their wire names I have yet to learn their names on this show) are filmed when they are singing. Ex. When lester comes out in Ep. 2 in his bright yellow suit and does his Indian chant, is all of the audio there him, and when bunk does the impromptu jam right before he gets arrested is that really him singing?

- The last scene almost made me feel guilty for watching the show, making me rethink how I would be viewed in the community. Am I similar to one of those looking through the glass window on a tour bus for mere entertainment; or do I understand and appreciate the culture of NO enough to be accepted as one of them.


Anyway, I am really excited that HBO has already ordered another season of this show, the characters, music, city, and David Simon; well be sure not to let us down!

MjR said...

Also, did anyone else get a flashback to the Kima wire scene( where she is sitting at the window with her *son* and the camera slowly pans out which was a very rare shot for the Wire) and the scene where we are shown Sonny in his room drinking the wine he bought for Annie's birthday as the camera slowly pans out, showing him through the window?

DB Cooper said...

Loved the shoutout to Dr. John in the title.