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August 31, 2015

John Goodman Back on TV with HBO's 'Treme'

by Nick Zaino, posted Apr 6th 2010 9:25AM
John Goodman in David Simon and Eric Overmyer's 'Treme' on HBOThere's already a lot of excitement over HBO's new series 'Treme,' and for good reason. The series, which debuts Sunday, is the brainchild of David Simon and Eric Overmyer, who gave us five wonderful seasons of 'The Wire' on HBO. And this series, which tells the story of post-Katrina New Orleans through the lens of a struggling musician and the community around him, looks full of potential with the same kind of quality we came to expect from 'The Wire' and Simon and Overmyer's 'Homicide' series.

Perhaps a smaller storyline is John Goodman's return to a regular TV series. Goodman has been in a couple of short-lived sitcoms ('Normal, Ohio' and 'Center of the Universe'), has appeared often on 'Saturday Night Live,' and done some voice-over work and cameos (he had a particularly good stretch on 'The West Wing'). So he has kept a somewhat steady television presence.

But on 'Treme,' he'll be playing a role with some grit. He's Creighton Bernette, an English professor, local historian, and outspoken critic of the government policies concerning the levees and the government's slow response when the levees break.

Audiences might be more used to seeing Goodman playing for laughs on 'SNL' and some of the goofier film cameos that get tossed his way. But on 'Roseanne,' he got to stretch. There were comedic moments and plenty of drama. Try to ignore 'King Ralph' and the like and remember Goodman in 'Barton Fink' or 'Everybody's All-American.'

Simon and Overmyer have shown a penchant for edgy, exciting drama, but 'Homicide' and 'The Wire' always had a sense of humor, as well. They can find something funny to lighten up not-so-funny situations (think of Bunk's lacrosse sweats in season two of 'The Wire').

Goodman has a strong track record of being able to handle that material, and working with Simon and Overmyer should be a fantastic match. Hopefully, it'll lead to more work that's worthy of his talent (and he can still voice Sulley in 'Monsters, Inc 2,' if that goes forward).

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Lets not forget the Big Lebowski!

April 06 2010 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Goodman is a very underrated actor who never got his due from Roseanne. As you mentioned, his work on the West Wing was particularly good even if the story line leading up to it was rather stupid.

I was never a fan of The Wire; just too boring for me, but I'm usually willing to give a new HBO series a chance.

April 06 2010 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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