David Simon's Treme is back for another season on HBO
By R.K. Barry
The 11-episode season two of Treme starts on Sunday, April 24th on HBO. Those of you who had the pleasure of watching season one will know that Treme is a brilliant drama based on life in post-Katrina New Orleans.
Not only does it hit all the hot button issues one would expect like race, the anthropology of a city close to collapse and the politics surrounding efforts to revive her, but it is done with a New Orleans musical soundtrack that is beyond fabulous.
By the way, someone not at all associated with the series went to the trouble of setting up a website to provide information about all the great music featured on the show. You can find that here.
David Simon is the creator of Treme and was also responsible for The Wire, which was another HBO drama with, in this case, each season focused on a different facet of life in Baltimore (the illegal drug trade; the seaport system; city government and bureaucracy; the school system; and the print news media). Another amazing effort, which would appeal to political junkies everywhere.
In fact, both Treme and The Wire are largely political statements about who matters in our society and who does not and how the system conspires to make those distinctions as clear as possible at every turn. Truly brilliant.
As mentioned, in Treme, the music, and the professional life of musicians depicted, is not so much background as another way of telling stories about how people do what they have to do to survive. And then you get to listen to them sing and play -- people like Allen Toussaint and John Boutte.
If you are in a position to watch, I suggest you do.
Here's a clip of the opening scene with theme song and credits from Season 1:
(Cross-posted to Lippmann's Ghost.)