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Monday, June 21, 2010

Down in the Treme

     Ah, TremeHBO's series, set in New Orleans six months after Hurricane Katrina devastated it, is a breath of fresh air.  It's unique and original.  The characters are believable, and have so many layers.  Last night's hour and a half season finale, "I'll Fly Away", was moving.  It wasn't an extraordinary episode, measured against any other.  It was like real life, continuing in it's twists and turns.  The only really stand out part was the ten minute or so sequence where we got to see all of the characters just before the storm.  But the fact that no part of Treme does stand out as especially more dramatic as any other is why the series works so well.  Sure, there are ups and downs, but everything flows along like a Second Line parade.

     The most heart breaking plot involved the suicide of Creighton Bernette (John Goodman, an actual resident of the city).  It was so nice to see him in the before the storm segment, acting normally with his family.  Damn imdb.com teases us, listing him as full time for the upcoming second season, but surely that is not to be.  His writer / activist was certainly one of the most fascinating characters, and while it was obvious from the beginning of the penultimate episode that he intended to take his life, suddenly cheery after all his frustrations  Yet, it made no sense, in that he had plenty to live for.  His family certainly didn't see it coming, and while I did, I still don't know why he did it.  My heart goes out to his wife Toni (Melissa Leo) and daughter Sofia (India Ennenga).  That's a testament to how un-fictional the family seemed.

     Elswhere, it appears that Davis (Steve Zahn) failed to stop Janette (Kim Dickens) from leaving town.  If her character doesn't return for the second season, she will be sorely missed, but I suspect she may soon be back in the south.  She just doesn't seem like a New York City gal.  However, the hints of a love interest for Davis in Annie (Lucia Micarelli, a real musician) make much more sense, and I would like to see that blossom.  It was clear that Davis and Janette weren't meant for each other, even to the characters themselves, but Annie seems a perfect match.  And Davis for her, much more so than her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, Sonny (Michiel Huisman).  I was gratified that she left him, and hope she never does back.

     Antoine (Wendell Pierce) needs to clean up his act.  Gambling away most of the money he made at his latest gig won't support his family.  How many kids does he have, anyhow?  I kept thinking he could find someone more attractive than the woman he is currently with, but he certainly doesn't deserve better.  I kind of root for him to get back with ex Ladonna (Khandi Alexander) because he actually seems to care about her, but she certainly deserves a good man, and seems to have found one.  I hope that she doesn't let past chemistry screw up what she has any more than it already has.

     Finally, is Delmond (Rob Brown) ever going to listen to his father, Indian Chief Albert (Clarke Peters) and return to his home?  He should.  He's the character that seems most disposable to me, so much more than John Goodman was.  In contrast, his father is part of the heart of New Orleans.  Between his civil disobedience and gathering back his tribute, Albert is a pillar of the community.  I hope things start going better for him soon.

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