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'Treme' - 'Do You Know What It Means' Recap (Series Premiere)

by Sandie Angulo Chen, posted Apr 12th 2010 9:26AM
Treme
(S01E01) The opening title cards of David Simon's new HBO series 'Treme' (pronounced "treh-MAY," not "treem") tells you all you need to know: "New Orleans, Louisiana"/"Three Months After." I suppose Simon is saying that if you need to ask what "After" refers to (Hurricane Katrina, of course), then you shouldn't bother. Simon, the writer-producer-creator of 'The Wire' is back, and there isn't a 'Wire' fan alive who wouldn't want to see what he has up his genius sleeve for us this time.

Right away, the shots are close-ups of various jazz musicians, residents and cops preparing for a brass-band parade. There's a funny conversation with a musician negotiating his fee for participating in the main line, and then the parade starts, with its accompanying crowd of reveling second liners.

Late to the parade, because he can't afford the cab fare (a running gag throughout the episode), is perpetually broke trombonist Antoine Batiste (Wendell Pierce, a New Orleans native), who starts playing with a cry of "Play for that money boys, play for that motherf---ing money."

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'Treme' Gets Up Close and Personal

by Chris Jancelewicz, posted Apr 9th 2010 1:36PM


When dealing with serious and potentially flammable subject matter, especially something as cataclysmic as 2005's Hurricane Katrina, a TV show has to tread carefully. 'Treme', a 10-episode HBO miniseries focusing on post-Katrina New Orleans, does not tread at all. Instead, it dives deep under the floodwaters and resurfaces with the corpses of those dead and gone -- lest we forget the immense tragedy that unfolded there.

Where most shows would exploit the exploitable (the riots, the pillaging, images of dying or dead people, the Dome), 'Treme' takes a raw look at the aftermath through a series of vignettes. The viewer follows different families and individuals as they try to put the pieces back together. Sometimes those pieces are tangible, like the rotting structure of a flood-damaged home, and sometimes they're purely emotional, like the trauma caused by a relative missing for months.

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'Treme' Reviews

by Allyssa Lee, posted Apr 8th 2010 8:00PM
Set three months after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, HBO's new series 'Treme' follows, quite simply, a loosely-connected network of New Orleans residents as they struggle to pick up their lives in the wake of the disaster.

But given that this is the latest effort from David Simon -- the much-heralded creator of the seminal HBO series 'The Wire' -- this drama proves to be so much more than just that.

Those expecting a Big Easy version of 'The Wire,' however, are out of luck. This is no police drama, and the city's politics are largely unexplored. The series takes its title from Faubourg Tremé, the historic New Orleans neighborhood adjacent to the French Quarter thought to be the birthplace of jazz. And the music from this multi-cultural, multi-storied, proud yet battered city pulses like a heartbeat throughout.

There's been no shortage of talent gracing this drama. The ensemble cast includes 'Wire' vets Wendell Pierce (a New Orleans native) and Clarke Peters, Khandi Alexander, Kim Dickens, Melissa Leo, John Goodman and Steve Zahn, in his first regular TV series role. Guest appearances from musicians such as Allen Toussaint, Elvis Costello, Dr. John and Kermit Ruffins lend authenticity.

Nor has there been a shortage of media coverage leading up to 'Treme's April 11 premiere. Sadly, part of that has been due to the unexpected death of one of the team's writers, David Mills. But 'Treme' is also being hailed as more than just another television program: It's an event. While some have noted the series' meandering pace, many critics have been praising Simon and co-creator Eric Overmyer's new series for its ability to immediately transport viewers on a musical journey into the heartbeat and the heartbreak of this weird and wonderful city.

Read what the critics had to say after the jump.

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HBO Orders Follow-Up to 'When the Levees Broke,' Sets 'Treme' Premiere Date

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Jan 15th 2010 12:25PM
HBO has announced that Spike Lee's Peabody Award winning documentary 'When the Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts' will be getting the follow-up treatment.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the documentary is set to start shooting today, with Lee taking his eye on New Orleans and the Katrina aftermath five years later. Lee's original series won accolades for its compelling depiction of New Orleans' citizens and how they coped within the aftermath of the tragedy.

The project is set to debut in Summer 2010.

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