The city is abuzz with talk of last night’s premiere of the new HBO series, Treme, which is set in New Orleans three-months post-K.
But first, how to watch it. Of course, if you have HBO you can watch it anytime on demand. New episodes air on Sundays at 9. (Leading up to this, there must have been a huge run on HBO subscriptions in the greater NO area). If one doesn’t subscribe to HBO, I just learned that the first episode is available via media file-sharing like bittorent. Of course there are also viewing parties around town, although most bars don’t have HBO. Or, you can just stand outside a TV showroom like a hobo. Do they even have TV showrooms like that anymore?
Being a huge fan of The Wire, I am very optimistic after last night’s premiere. A lot of characters and story lines were introduced, and I am confident that they will weave together beautifully. I believe that the work is meant to be taken as a whole. I am suspending criticism until I see more of the season, as right now drawing conclusions feels like judging a book by its first chapter. The first chapter is meant to get you interested, and I am interested. It’s authenticity that has everyone up in arms, understandably, as so many filmmakers have gotten New Orleans so wrong. The Time Picayune seems to think this is probably as good as it’s going to get. And, Humid Beings even has a “Tremeter,” in which resident viewers can sound off on authenticity. I will say this, you could feel them really trying to get it right. The first episode is filled with minutiae that mostly only a resident would understand (street directions, red beans & rice on Mondays, Brocato’s reopening, etc.) which makes it hard to be objective about how this will go over with the rest of the world, which is the other concern I keep hearing.
Speaking of the rest of the world, here is the weekend cover story for the Guardian (about Treme), by sometimes resident of New Orleans–and, full disclosure, friend of mine–Gabe Soria. And, luckily, for non-resident fans, there is a weekly column in the TP called Do You Know What it Means, that attempts to explain all the references.
So, until next week…