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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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The one-hour drama series TREME will launch its ten-episode first season on HBO in April, it was announced today by Sue Naegle, president, HBO Entertainment. From David Simon (The Wire, Generation Kill, The Corner) and Eric Overmyer (Homicide, The Wire), the show follows musicians, chefs, Mardi Gras Indians and ordinary New Orleanians as they try to rebuild their lives, their homes and their unique culture in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricane and levee failure that caused the near-death of an American city.


New Orleans is a city which lives in the imagination of the whole world, says Overmyer. We wanted to capture something authentic about it, as its people struggle with the after effects of the greatest calamity to befall an American city in the history of this country.

Simon adds, What happens in New Orleans matters. An ascendant society rebuilds its great cities.


TREME begins in fall 2005, three months after Hurricane Katrina and the massive engineering failure in which flood control failed throughout New Orleans, flooding 80 percent of the city and displacing hundreds of thousands of residents. Fictional events depicted in the series will honor the actual chronology of political, economic and cultural events following the storm.


The ensemble cast of TREME includes Wendell Pierce (The Wire, HBO's documentary When the Levees Broke) as Antoine Batiste; Khandi Alexander (CSI: Miami, HBO's Emmy®-winning The Corner) as LaDonna Batiste-Williams; Clarke Peters (Damages, HBO's The Wire and The Corner) as Albert Lambreaux; Rob Brown (Stop-Loss, Finding Forrester) as Delmond Lambreaux; Steve Zahn (A Perfect Getaway, Sunshine Cleaning) as Davis McAlary; Kim Dickens (HBO's Deadwood) as Janette Desautel; Melissa Leo (Homicide: Life on the Street; Oscar® nominee for Frozen River) as Toni Bernette; John Goodman (The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?) as Creighton Bernette; Michiel Huisman (The Young Victoria) as Sonny; and classical violinist Lucia Micarelli as Annie.


The series will also feature cameos by notable real-life New Orleanians, as well as the talents of many of its extraordinary musicians and other artists associated with the city's music. Early episodes feature appearances by Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, Kermit Ruffins, Donald Harrison Jr., Galactic, Trombone Shorty Andrews, Deacon John, and the Rebirth and Tremé Brass Bands.

http://www.mcnblogs.com/thehotblog/a...release_h.html

http://www.hbo.com/treme/index.html#/treme

Even though David Simon is involved I wasn't particularly psyched about this until recently, but it has a great cast and some of the music sounds great. It could be a great addition to this year's HBO line-up.
 

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it looks interesting but I have no idea what the show is really about...even after watching the promos I don't get a feel for the show...is it a drama about rebuilding the city after Katrina?...a show about music and dancing and how it is a big part of New Orleans culture?


the fact that the guys behind 'The Wire' are making it gives me hope that the show will be good but I really don't know what to expect
 

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I'll check it out because of how much I love "The Wire," but if this is going to focus primarily on Katrina, I won't be around long. I've been Katrinaed out for a few years now.
 

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After reading a few articles about the series, it appears the show will center on the effect of Katrina on the lives of certain musicians in New Orleans. The unique culture of New Orleans will be center stage, with corrupt city officials, jazz funerals, fabulous cuisine, thick accents, etc as spice to the gumbo.

As one who lived for 11 years in the Crescent City, I am anxiously waiting for this series. It's time for New Orleans to be realistically portrayed in drama, and to appreciate the unique mix of history, race and culture this city embodies.
 

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Nice to see a few of the cast from The Wire showing up in the trailers. The presence of Kim Dickens can't hurt anything either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alan Sepinwall review:

Quote:
...


"Because "The Wire" is hailed by those who watched it as the greatest drama in TV history, and because Simon used that series' cop show format as a Trojan Horse from which to launch a blistering attack on the state of the American system, expectations for "Treme" (pronounced "Truh-MAY") are sky-high, as are assumptions that the show will be one long screed about Katrina and its aftermath.


The former is unfair, and the latter is inaccurate. Critics have seen three episodes of "Treme." After three episodes of "The Wire," no one knew it would be the Best Show Ever; we were all struggling to remember everyone's name and figure out what a "re-up" was. "Treme" may lack the obvious narrative engine that the cops vs. drug dealers narrative gave "The Wire," but it's already a smart, engaging, moving and funny series, one that in many ways is more accessible than its predecessor.


And any fears that "Treme" might be nothing more than a polemic in scripted drama form are dispelled by two scenes in the pilot."


...

http://www.nj.com/entertainment/tv/i...all_on_tv.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Series recording for me. The music and atmosphere makes this show sufficiently different from any other drama on television. That combined with the usual David Simon trademarks of a well-flowing and superb script, great acting and interesting, natural characters make it pretty effortless viewing.


Not a show I expect to get great ratings however. It's one of those dramas about "people" and with no driving plot narrative that never racks up numbers. You never know, the figures could be a surprise.
 

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Yup, looks like yet another gem from David Simon and crew, hopefully Simon has built enough cred that HBO lets it run it's course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
New Orleans Locals Put Their Stamp On HBO's 'Treme'
by Debbie Elliott, NPR

Treme, the new HBO series from the team that made The Wire, has rooted itself deeply in New Orleans.

Creators David Simon and Eric Overmyer tell the story of post-Katrina life through the eyes of the musicians, chefs and Mardi Gras Indians that you'll only find in New Orleans.

And just like The Wire, locals are heavily involved in Treme which they pronounce trah-MAY.

A Jazz Revival?

Venture just outside the tourist-packed French Quarter, amid the shotgun-style houses of the Faubourg Treme neighborhood, and you'll find a character on just about every corner and maybe a church or a barroom.


That's the New Orleans that Treme is trying to capture.


Trumpet player Kermit Ruffins gave NPR a tour of the neighborhood in his big black pickup truck. Ruffins, who owns Sidney's Saloon in the Treme, invites folks to come by in the afternoon for a big boil of crabs, potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes and asparagus. He and his mobile barbecue grill appear in Sunday's pilot episode.


Ruffins is also a co-founder of the Rebirth Brass Band and plays himself in Treme as do other local musicians.

Ruffins says he feels rooted when he plays his trumpet in Congo Square, the plaza where slaves once gathered on Sundays to eat, play drums and dance.


Treme is one of the oldest African-American neighborhoods in the U.S., populated in part by refugees of the Haitian revolution.

"Congo Square is the heartbeat of America as far as I'm concerned," Ruffins says. "Because this is where our only true art form was invented jazz. Took those European instruments and mixed it with the African culture and there it was, jazz. Crazy."


He says he hopes the HBO series, which debuts Sunday, will spark a jazz revival.

Signing Up Excited Locals

To have people like David Simon and Eric Overmyer come here and go to the heart of a community that is emblematically black and also considered an area of high crime and high blight is a hell of a statement about what is really important about New Orleans.


It's significant that the show features a neighborhood long neglected by the city's elite, says Lolis Eric Elie, one of the local writers working on Treme.


The elite "don't invest in it, they don't take it seriously, they don't respect it," he says. "To have people like David Simon and Eric Overmyer come here and go to the heart of a community that is emblematically black and also considered an area of high crime and high blight is a hell of a statement about what is really important about New Orleans."


Some New Orleanians are concerned about how the city will come off in Treme, in part because there have been so many bad portrayals of New Orleans. Others have grown weary of the TV crews and traffic disruptions. But mostly, locals are thronging to be a part of the production.


Karen-Kaia Livers signs up extras at Bullet's, a bar where Ruffins plays on Tuesday nights.


"Why not work in the place that you hang out every Tuesday?" she says.


Barbara Trevigne is one who signs up. She's excited about the show.


"It's a good thing for New Orleans for Louisiana," she says. "It's employing people. And it's talking about the culture here ... the food, everything. It's bringing New Orleans to the world!"


Some locals have recurring parts, including Phyllis Montana LeBlanc, who gained notoriety for her profane observations in Spike Lee's documentary When the Levees Broke. In Treme, she plays Desiree, the girlfriend of New Orleans native Wendell Pierce's character.


"It's easy; the lines that I'm reading, the episodes that I'm doing is stuff I might say to my husband every other day or so," she says. In the show "my boyfriend is a musician, so I'm giving him hell. So I'm Phyllis. I'm Desiree, but I'm Phyllis."


Another character, Janette Desautel, is loosely based on New Orleans chef Susan Spicer of Bayona.


"She's younger, saltier and a little prettier than me," Spicer says.

In the show, Desautel is trying to reopen her restaurant after the storm. Both food and staff are hard to come by.


"One of the first things I did when I went on the set was the sous chef was chopping vegetables and he was going chop, chop, chop really loud and banging the knife," Spicer says. "And I was like, 'Oh no, you would not last 30 seconds in my kitchen with that racket!' "

Spicer believes Treme highlights an underappreciated side of New Orleans.


"The street musicians, just the people who make up this very interesting cultural mix, and it was so much a part of what we were afraid of losing after Katrina," she says.


Ruffins thinks that spotlight will be revealing.


"The storm brought a lot of bad and a lot of good," he says. "It took the mask off everything. Everybody could see what the city was for. And who was running it. And the corruption and the good. The reefer-smoking musicians are so good. The politicians are so bad. They were telling us we were bad."


Ruffins hopes Treme will show the rest of the country what the truth really is.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=125641255
 

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was pretty happy with last night's debut
 

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Excellent start to what appears to be a wonderful series!!

Having lived on the edge of NOLA for 11 years, almost all of this rings true for me. At first I wasn't sure about the John Goodman and Steve Zahn characters, but then I remembered that in New Orleans there were a lot of "characters". I knew a few academics at Tulane/Loyola, and the Goodman role would fit in there. Always listened to WWOZ, and its a blast to see how that may have been run. Went to a lot of Mardi Gras, Carnival, St Joseph and St Patrick events, as well as Jazzfest and French Quarter Festivals, and the musics, second lines, brass bands and jazz funerals all were pretty darn realistic.

Really looking forward to the next episode. Casting is great along with local detail.
 
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