Do you have adblock enabled?
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Entertainment Weekly)   In defense of HBO's little-watched "Treme." It's like modern jazz, man   (popwatch.ew.com ) divider line
    More: Cool, Treme, HBO, season premiere, history of television, David Chang, Upton Sinclair, David Milch, verisimilitude  
•       •       •

1770 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 24 Sep 2012 at 9:56 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



69 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all

 
2012-09-24 09:13:26 AM  
The music was wonderful. The documentary style was neat. The plot was entirely beside the point, which was pretty high concept but could also get annoying after a couple of seasons of not very much.
 
2012-09-24 10:09:09 AM  
Unfortunately, my (OLD!) TV isn't in stereo, so to me it was mono-Treme, echidna you not.
 
2012-09-24 10:09:38 AM  
whut.
 
2012-09-24 10:12:20 AM  
I really really wanted to like this show, but after the first two episodes I gave up.

/really great opening credits, though
 
2012-09-24 10:31:14 AM  
academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu
 
2012-09-24 10:31:20 AM  
living in new orleans, it was really fun to watch the show and take a drink everytime you knew an extra, or you knew who some character or vignette was based on.

but, i don't have hbo, and hbo is pretty stingy when it comes to letting its stuff come out on netflix. so, i don't watch it because it's too much of a pain to get it
 
2012-09-24 10:36:08 AM  
I like most of the actors in it from past HBO shows, but Treme bored me to tears and I couldn't make it past a few episodes...and I'd rather get sprayed with a powerwasher than watch Steve Zahn "act".

/some of the visuals were neat, though, and the music was nice
 
2012-09-24 10:37:30 AM  

Tax Boy: I really really wanted to like this show, but after the first two episodes I gave up.

/really great opening credits, though


That's pretty much how I felt. I just couldn't get into it, and I especially hated the hipster doucebag musician who was dating the cute girl with the fiddle.
 
2012-09-24 10:37:42 AM  

pute kisses like a man: living in new orleans, it was really fun to watch the show and take a drink everytime you knew an extra, or you knew who some character or vignette was based on.

but, i don't have hbo, and hbo is pretty stingy when it comes to letting its stuff come out on netflix. so, i don't watch it because it's too much of a pain to get it


sidereel.
 
2012-09-24 10:39:05 AM  

Tax Boy: I really really wanted to like this show, but after the first two episodes I gave up.


Yeah, looks like David Simon has finally hit the wall. Seems like every artist - whether they are a writer, actor, musician, whatever - gets to a point where they start believing their own publicity about how great they are. They always end up producing tedious dreck at some time.

I figured Simon would hit that wall eventually, but somehow I didn't think he'd hit the "boring" wall.

And, speaking of walls, I hit one with that article when I ran into the phrase "crusading lawyer." The late 60s are over, man.
 
2012-09-24 10:43:55 AM  
Anyone who doesn't like this show is high or stupid. Every aspect of it is riveting. Painting a picture of something as complicated as New Orleans is a HUGE undertaking, and it's been doing with remarkable grace.
 
2012-09-24 10:52:07 AM  
I haven't seen the show, but does that mean it starts off fast and exciting but quickly turns into a confusing squeaky saxophone solo that makes people run for the door?
 
2012-09-24 11:06:03 AM  
I'm a fan. I'm kinda a sucker for interlocking vignettes and New Orleans, so it's kinda in my wheelhouse.
 
2012-09-24 11:06:21 AM  

Tom_Slick: I haven't seen the show, but does that mean it starts off fast and exciting but quickly turns into a confusing squeaky saxophone solo that makes people run for the door?


Kind of like this?
 
2012-09-24 11:06:54 AM  
I only watch shows with Michael Chiklis.
 
2012-09-24 11:16:02 AM  

BalugaJoe: I only watch shows with Michael Chiklis.


the commish and the disney fantastic four rippoff are awful and you should apologize for watching them
 
2012-09-24 11:17:48 AM  

farbekrieg: BalugaJoe: I only watch shows with Michael Chiklis.

the commish and the disney fantastic four rippoff are awful and you should apologize for watching them


He is good on Modern Family.
 
2012-09-24 11:34:29 AM  
I'm a fan, but I completely understand people that are not. It's not an accessible show and it's a very narrow slice of Americana. But that sort of thing is right up my alley.
 
2012-09-24 11:45:48 AM  

MightyPez: I'm a fan, but I completely understand people that are not. It's not an accessible show and it's a very narrow slice of Americana. But that sort of thing is right up my alley.


I have to wonder about people who shove bits of Americana up their alley, but hey, whatever trips your trigger. Just hope it doesn't get stuck like the guy with the eels.
 
2012-09-24 11:57:08 AM  

MightyPez: I'm a fan, but I completely understand people that are not. It's not an accessible show and it's a very narrow slice of Americana. But that sort of thing is right up my alley.


Yeah me too. I grew up spending a lot of time in N.O. and surrounding areas due to female and alcohol interests and even then the town can just seem insufferable on TV. But New Orleans as a rule is insufferable a lot of the time.

It's a good reflection of the city though. That place really is that weird.

/lives in safe and sane St. Pete Florida now
 
2012-09-24 12:13:49 PM  
I grew up in New Orleans, and the show really captures the majority of the cultures and the diversity amazingly well. New Orleans is a pretty complex place and the show really pulls it off. But you really have to be a local to get all the subtle nuances.
 
2012-09-24 12:19:59 PM  

theflatline: I grew up in New Orleans, and the show really captures the majority of the cultures and the diversity amazingly well. New Orleans is a pretty complex place and the show really pulls it off. But you really have to be a local to get all the subtle nuances.


In my case I've never stepped foot in NO, much less Louisiana. It's just nice to see other parts of the country represented. Almost every show takes place in Los Angeles, New York, or any other big city on the east/west coast and it feels very generic.
 
2012-09-24 12:46:26 PM  
I like the show but they need to stop but they need to stop using celebrity chefs and famous musicians, these people cannot act and are bringing down the show.
 
2012-09-24 12:50:26 PM  
I watched the first season and thought it was great if not a little depressing. Unfortunately I canceled HBO after that and didn't get to see the second season. Really hoped some positive stuff actually started happening for the main characters otherwise I don't think I could handle another full season like that.
 
2012-09-24 01:01:25 PM  
love visiting N.O., hated watching Treme. I don't know how it's still on and i hate that french quarter jazz bands are now playing the theme song.
 
2012-09-24 01:07:57 PM  
Maybe because that hurricane was 7 freaking years ago and we're tired of hearing about it. We gave you a Super Bowl, what more do you want?
 
2012-09-24 01:12:08 PM  
I'll defend this show as great TV. It does not have the big moments The Wire had but it has great small moments. Seeing the photo of the drug addicted Dutch musician helping in the aftermath after the show convinced you he was lying. Annie writing her first song only to realize she just rewrote a Dylan classic. The quiet way the John Goodman character killed himself is heat breaking.
 
2012-09-24 01:15:57 PM  

Tat'dGreaser: Maybe because that hurricane was 7 freaking years ago and we're tired of hearing about it. We gave you a Super Bowl, what more do you want?


Yeah, I can't figure that out myself. I've lived in Hurricane Alley my whole life and have gone though a bunch starting with Hurricane Donna. Just in the past decade or so we've had Fran, Floyd, Hugo, Andrew, etc etc. All those places have picked up and moved on. Even desperately poor places like Awendaw SC managed to rebuild.

So, what's the deal?
 
2012-09-24 01:18:04 PM  
Gotta copypasta from my post yesterday:
 
I will say this, since I'm biased.  It may be hard to grasp if you don't live in New Orleans post-Katrina.  I don't mean that as an insult to any non-New Orlenians.  He stayed so true to the culture and actual events (without adequite explaination), that he may have put it out of reach for non-New Orlenians.
 
He features the Mardi Gras indians a lot.  Which I know a ton about.  But if I didn't I could see that being lost on me, therefore killing a plot arc.
 
Still... I think 5 seasons is what it needed.  2005-2010 is the story of post-Katrina New Orleans.
 
I mean... a TON of crap went down around ~2010 that is very important.  Danziger Bridge trial, Saints win the Super Bowl, Mitch Landrieu elected to office, lots of federal investigations of corruption.
 
Its a complete failure if he can't bring this to 2010.  Beyond 2010, that's another story and I have no problem with him stopping there.
 
2012-09-24 01:24:13 PM  

YouBWrong: Anyone who doesn't like this show is high or stupid. Every aspect of it is riveting. Painting a picture of something as complicated as New Orleans is a HUGE undertaking, and it's been doing with remarkable grace.



I live in New Orleans.  I will totally give any non-New Orlenian who's had either zero experience down here, or has only visited the French Quarter, a pass.
 
Some of the parts that are riveting to me... I do step back and think... is this because I know so much about the importance of this subject, and this subject has affected me directly?  If its a yes... I can imagine it being at best boring to non-locals, or at worst it kills a plot arc.
 
Again, not meant in an offensive way.  I'd think the same thing if he did this same treatment to Memphis or Detroit.
 
In Season 2 of the Wire... he made the whole Baltimore port thing very accessable to someone with zero knowledge of it.  I fear he's a little *too* invested in New Orleans to the point where he's often not stepping back and saying "Ok, someone in Iowa still has to understand this."
 
2012-09-24 01:31:10 PM  

OldManDownDRoad: Tat'dGreaser: Maybe because that hurricane was 7 freaking years ago and we're tired of hearing about it. We gave you a Super Bowl, what more do you want?

Yeah, I can't figure that out myself. I've lived in Hurricane Alley my whole life and have gone though a bunch starting with Hurricane Donna. Just in the past decade or so we've had Fran, Floyd, Hugo, Andrew, etc etc. All those places have picked up and moved on. Even desperately poor places like Awendaw SC managed to rebuild.

So, what's the deal?


The house I grew up in was destroyed in Hurricane Opal back in the 90s, along with most of my stuff. We small towns dealt with it and moved on.

New Orleans was (and is) a huge city, with amazing history, that dwarfed anything that happened in my neighborhood.

Hope this helps you understand.
 
2012-09-24 01:32:06 PM  
In other words to the slow:

IT'S COMPLICATED WHEN THERE ARE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE INVOLVED.

sheesh
 
2012-09-24 01:38:09 PM  

OldManDownDRoad: Tat'dGreaser: Maybe because that hurricane was 7 freaking years ago and we're tired of hearing about it. We gave you a Super Bowl, what more do you want?

Yeah, I can't figure that out myself. I've lived in Hurricane Alley my whole life and have gone though a bunch starting with Hurricane Donna. Just in the past decade or so we've had Fran, Floyd, Hugo, Andrew, etc etc. All those places have picked up and moved on. Even desperately poor places like Awendaw SC managed to rebuild.

So, what's the deal?


And seriously? You CAN'T FIGURE IT OUT?

Let me ask you one question to see if you can, answer me truthfully:

Was your neighborhood surrounded by tall levees that kept out tons of water from the miles and miles you once called home?

Were they? Cause otherwise, you don't know a damn thing. I napped through a dozen hurricanes, doesn't mean I ever nearly starved to death in a hot attic or otherwise drown. Now, tell me more about your expertise in these situations.
 
2012-09-24 01:39:24 PM  

OldManDownDRoad: So, what's the deal?


It turned political/racist
 
2012-09-24 01:53:16 PM  

Tat'dGreaser: OldManDownDRoad: So, what's the deal?

It turned political/racist


Yes, I see your point has been amply proven above by Confabulat, who is the only person EVAR to have his/her/its home destroyed by a storm.

Apparently, the millions of people affected by the other hurricanes Don't Count for some reason. I guess we'll still have to puzzle out why we are still hearing about Katrina.
 
2012-09-24 02:00:05 PM  
Podunkaville Mississippi had their two stoplights working the next month, and rebuilt their Dairy Queen within 2 years. You can't explain that.
 
2012-09-24 02:00:52 PM  

floor: I'll defend this show as great TV. It does not have the big moments The Wire had but it has great small moments. Seeing the photo of the drug addicted Dutch musician helping in the aftermath after the show convinced you he was lying. Annie writing her first song only to realize she just rewrote a Dylan classic. The quiet way the John Goodman character killed himself is heat breaking.


How about the whole flashback sequence of the events that led to DaMon dieing. That was just like wow.
 
2012-09-24 02:36:21 PM  

OldManDownDRoad: Tat'dGreaser: OldManDownDRoad: So, what's the deal?

It turned political/racist

Yes, I see your point has been amply proven above by Confabulat, who is the only person EVAR to have his/her/its home destroyed by a storm.

Apparently, the millions of people affected by the other hurricanes Don't Count for some reason. I guess we'll still have to puzzle out why we are still hearing about Katrina.


I see you are unable to distinguish the scale of the situation. That reflects poorly on your schooling. Perhaps you were supposed to be taught such things once but they canceled classes that day because of a storm? I bet you have TALES to tell!
 
2012-09-24 02:37:54 PM  

Tax Boy: I really really wanted to like this show, but after the first two episodes I gave up.

/really great opening credits, though


Agreed. I watched the first three episodes, started to watch #4, and went "eh, I've got better things to do". Things that wouldn't bore me to tears.
 
2012-09-24 02:38:05 PM  
Goober: Why don't them big ol' journalistic types care as much when we little towns get destroyed, as opposed to them big cities they go on so much about? Don't seem quite fair to me.

Floyd: Yep, yep yep yep
 
2012-09-24 02:43:41 PM  
I might be slightly biased having visited and fallen in love with the city pre-Katrina and watching the coverage of the events as though my grandma was on her deathbed, but I have absolutely nothing but love for Treme. I have a hard time even understanding the criticisms, but oh well. Even if some of the plot arcs drag at times or don't fully engage me, the music itself is enough to carry me through each and every episode.
 
2012-09-24 02:49:44 PM  

Confabulat: OldManDownDRoad: Tat'dGreaser: Maybe because that hurricane was 7 freaking years ago and we're tired of hearing about it. We gave you a Super Bowl, what more do you want?

Yeah, I can't figure that out myself. I've lived in Hurricane Alley my whole life and have gone though a bunch starting with Hurricane Donna. Just in the past decade or so we've had Fran, Floyd, Hugo, Andrew, etc etc. All those places have picked up and moved on. Even desperately poor places like Awendaw SC managed to rebuild.

So, what's the deal?

The house I grew up in was destroyed in Hurricane Opal back in the 90s, along with most of my stuff. We small towns dealt with it and moved on.

New Orleans was (and is) a huge city, with amazing history, that dwarfed anything that happened in my neighborhood.

Hope this helps you understand.


By the way, nearly 2000 people died in Katrina. It was estimated to cost over $1 trillion in damages. Now tell me again, why your little storm is just as interesting to history?
 
2012-09-24 03:03:03 PM  

downstairs: YouBWrong: Anyone who doesn't like this show is high or stupid. Every aspect of it is riveting. Painting a picture of something as complicated as New Orleans is a HUGE undertaking, and it's been doing with remarkable grace.


I live in New Orleans.  I will totally give any non-New Orlenian who's had either zero experience down here, or has only visited the French Quarter, a pass.
 
Some of the parts that are riveting to me... I do step back and think... is this because I know so much about the importance of this subject, and this subject has affected me directly?  If its a yes... I can imagine it being at best boring to non-locals, or at worst it kills a plot arc.
 
Again, not meant in an offensive way.  I'd think the same thing if he did this same treatment to Memphis or Detroit.
 
In Season 2 of the Wire... he made the whole Baltimore port thing very accessable to someone with zero knowledge of it.  I fear he's a little *too* invested in New Orleans to the point where he's often not stepping back and saying "Ok, someone in Iowa still has to understand this."


I've never been to New Orleans. I didn't know shiat about the Indians before I started watching and it took me a while to catch on what that was all about (just like it took me a while to get a lot of the cop lingo in The Wire) but I have to say that it's been worth it.

What a mess that city must be. What a violent corrupt mess. What a beautiful violent corrupt mess.
 
2012-09-24 03:14:29 PM  
I enjoy the hell out of Treme. I don't know how true to life the city as portrayed in the show is, but the characters are vividly realistic and distinct. Treme has the complex plot of an epic serialized novel. Like something by Dickens except, you know, interesting.
 
2012-09-24 03:25:50 PM  

YouBWrong: I've never been to New Orleans. I didn't know shiat about the Indians before I started watching and it took me a while to catch on what that was all about (just like it took me a while to get a lot of the cop lingo in The Wire) but I have to say that it's been worth it.

What a mess that city must be. What a violent corrupt mess. What a beautiful violent corrupt mess.



Cool, always love hearing outsiders perspective on the show.  And I'm glad you gave it time.
 
The violence comes and goes in waves, its not as bad (constant) as people make it out to be.
 
Its kinda cool how much is filmed in my neighborhood, they're here all the time filming.  My house has yet to make it on the show, but my blocks been on there a lot.
 
2012-09-24 03:35:43 PM  
Treme is a great show--developed characters, intersecting storylines, esoteric references--it's demands you look into the topics they tackle in the series. It's not an easy show, but that's what makes it watchable for me.
 
2012-09-24 03:39:04 PM  
Its problem was way too much plot and not enough musical interludes. No wait, I meant the exact opposite.
 
2012-09-24 03:44:49 PM  
I think it's just better to watch any Simon series on DVD so you can quickly stack episodes on top of each other back to back so you can better grasp how the plotlines are all intertwined and how there's really no superfluous scenes. Revisionist history has now made The Wire to be the most compelling television show ever made, but the truth of the matter is that it never got a very big television audience despite being relentlessly slathered with praise by critics and promoted by HBO. People deemed it too cerebral and too slow, and everyone wanted to some gigantic comic book cinematic payoff that for the most part never came. The Greek quietly slipped away. There was no final showdown between Avon and Marlo to hand over the crown. Omar got offed by a little two bit hopper in the back. Marlo was still standing by the end of the series. etc, etc. It's only when everyone went to watch it on DVD that people rightfully appreciated it.

That said, Treme will never be as approachable as The Wire, because The Wire was very broad in scope. While set in Baltimore, but it could have been set in any major inner city and still been applicable and familiar. Treme touches on broader issues, but at the end of the day it's a very specific show about a very unique city in a very unique set of circumstances.
 
2012-09-24 04:12:12 PM  

InmanRoshi: I think it's just better to watch any Simon series on DVD so you can quickly stack episodes on top of each other back to back so you can better grasp how the plotlines are all intertwined and how there's really no superfluous scenes.


You know, you got something there. I watched The Wire more-or-less in season marathons because I don't get HBO and relied on a friend to record them for me. I can see the characters and stories getting mixed up if you had to wait a week between shows, and several months between seasons.

Watched The Shield the same way now that I think of it. And I'm currently skipping a season of another show because I lost track of the season opener while I was out of the country and figure I'll just catch up when the whole season is available. My problem is that TV is just not a priority but when the weather gets crappy, it's easy for me to take a day off and sit down for a marathon. Given that my locale is forecast for a cold, wet winter, I have a feeling my media player will be getting a workout.
 
2012-09-24 04:25:58 PM  

YouBWrong: Anyone who doesn't like this show is high or stupid. Every aspect of it is riveting. Painting a picture of something as complicated as New Orleans is a HUGE undertaking, and it's been doing with remarkable grace.


I'm about as interested in New Orleans as whatever it's being marketed as today as I am in New York as whatever I'm supposed to think it is today.

Neither interest me. Both are tired and played out.
 
Displayed 50 of 69 comments


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all


View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter






In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report