Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Treme Season 1

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Treme Season 1 - 4 out of 5

I had never had HBO when David Simon's epic series The Wire aired but within the last two years, I caught myself up on the show and it is, without a doubt, one of the best things I've ever seen!  So, when I heard he did another show for HBO, I knew I had to get my hands on it once it arrived on DVD.

Clark Peters as Chief.
Seeing Creighton discover YouTube is one of the funniest moments in the show.
Treme focuses on the people of New Orleans as they try to rebuild after Katrina.  Like The Wire, the show's focus is on the characters and their growth.  Now, the series can throw a lot of characters at you and, at the beginning, feels like there's no way Simon can recapture the magic he had on his cop drama set in Baltimore--however, as the series progresses, the balance shown and given to each and every single character as they grow and their individual stories development is composed like a beautiful piece of art, music or a culinary creation.  Which makes sense since the music and culture of New Orleans is so perfectly showcased in the show.

I'm a big fan of Steve Zahn and his body of work.  This show is just another top quality notch on his belt.

There are so many great characters on this show, it's almost unreal.
As the episodes passed, I challenged myself to come up with character I enjoyed the most.  We had Khandi Alexander as Ladonna on a quest to find her brother who went missing before the storm.  There was Kim Dickens as Janette, an overworked chef out to reopen (and keep open) her restaurant during the trying time of seeing the city being brought back to life and getting such things as electricity and gas to once again be a part of everyday existence and can be firmly taken for granted again.  In the second episode, a dating team of street musicians of Sonny and Annie are introduced and they are torn with their relationship as lovers and their individual careers that start to take flight.  Throw in a dash of the married couple of Toni and Creighton Bernette (played respectively by Melissa Leo and John Goodman).  Toni is a lawyer helping Ladonna and Creighton is a angry teacher and writer who finds a voice as a blogger on the internet.  Veterans from The Wire even make appearances as Clarke Peters plays the Mardi Gras Indian Albert Lambreaux and Wendell Pierce plays the trombone wielding Antoine Batiste.  And finally, one of my personal favorite actors, Steve Zahn, stars as Davis McAlary, a eccentric musician who can't quite figure out how to best utilize his annoyance and talents to express how he's feeling over the government dragging their feet on rebuilding New Orleans.  However, the cast of amazing characters doesn't end there, there are oh so many more.

I've never been to New Orleans but the depiction of the music and culture feels so organic, Treme made me feel like I was actually there.

After watching an episode, you'll want to learn an instrument.  I picked the accordion.
As I sat through the series, I found I was completely unable to figure out which character I found to be the most riveting because not only does Simon and the other writers do a fantastic job of crafting these interesting gentlemen and ladies, all the actors involved gave performances that were nearly hypnotic.  With all this working for the show, and the fact that David Simon created it, I can only hope that the series will get even better as it goes on, similar to the way The Wire only became better and better with each season.

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