Monday, April 12, 2010

Review - Treme Season 1 Episode 1 Do You Know What It Means

I'm short on time, so I'll be brief.

Unlike The Wire, Treme is driven almost solely by the characters. The main plot--if there even is one--seems like it will revolve around the rebuilding of New Orleans. Without seeing any more episodes, I have a hard time imagining what future episodes will be about. In many ways, Treme is more like David Simon's 2000 miniseries The Corner. The future success is dependent on the characters, and the pilot established them and their environment fabulously. The music atmosphere is infectious and is contrasted by the undertone of reality, a sobering reminder at every turn of what happened.  By the end of the episode, we know who the characters are and what they want. Here are my quick thoughts on each.

Creighton Bernette (John Goodman): He's outspoken, rude, and has lots of opinions that gets drowned out by his own cursing.

Davis McAlary (Steve Zahn): To be frank, he's a professional asshole who is a bit like Creighton, except much worse.

Toni Bernette (Melissa Leo): Like her husband, she has the angry activist streak in her and is now hounding the police to find LaDonna Batiste-Williams's brother

LaDonna Batiste-Williams (Khandi Alexander): She is Antoine Batiste's ex-wife and they still have chemistry. However, their marriage didn't work out because he is a musician.

Janette Desautel (Kim Dickens): She owns a restaurant and is struggling to keep it afloat. Also, she is friends with benefits with Davis. I hope she runs far, far away.

Antoine Batiste (Wendell Pierce): He's the main character, a musician that is low on money. Other than that, there's no much we've learned yet.

Albert Lambreaux (Clarke Peters): After coming back to New Orleans, he finds his house and shambles, but pledges to stay, treating us to a Mardi Gras Indian tribe dance.

Score: 9.3/10
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