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May 22, 2011

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49 Comments
  1. May 22, 2011 10:22 pm

    About died when Nakita Shavers broke down during the funeral scene. Makes you wonder if reliving all of this is therapeutic or masochistic.

    And Bart’s voice closing out the episode. You did fail us, Ray Nagin.

    My hat is off to the entire writing team. This is an episode that could have gone all kinds of south, but they kept it together with kindness, taste and power. Thank you.

  2. May 22, 2011 10:57 pm

    The episode was a masterpiece.
    It was the epitome of “VISUAL – NOVEL”, so much so to completely obliterate all other so-called television shows running.

    For all those that didn’t get ‘Treme’ or saw it being anything comparable to ‘The Wire”, this episode would’ve shut you up. All of the drama, emotion, and artistry of the human existence were available more than I recall in any episode of “The Wire” (and The Wire is the standard for excellence). This episode, in short, was able to tie all the previous prologue (S1) together in a tangible element.

  3. Breny permalink
    May 22, 2011 11:03 pm

    I was very happy to see the archival news footage of Bart speaking on the tv in the bar at the end.

  4. May 22, 2011 11:20 pm

    My favorite character on Treme is now Delmond Lambreaux, who is (re)discovering New Orleans music. NOLA music is love and happiness spiced with sadness. Perhaps it’s because of the angst he sees his father and the rest of his city enduring, perhaps because he is unfulfilled by his career and/or the music he is playing now, or, as I suspect, perhaps there is a whispering in his ear from a muse that wants him to return to his roots. Surely Delmond is hearing hints of Indian chants and beats on those old records he began listening to again. When you grow up in a house with that kind of music, you never really forget it and you never leave it behind because it’s in you.

    And, signs of a chance meeting with Janette turning into a romantic relationship? I hope so.

    Peace,

    Tim

  5. May 23, 2011 12:14 am

    Strangely enough I wasn’t able to see the last 90 seconds or so of the show because of a technical glitch. Ironic because I’ve heard through Sophmom and Maitri and others that I was in that last bit thru archival footage.

    But I saw most of the show. The scene showing the investigation in that house in the Bywater — It was like being there again. Before the cleanup. Details of the case discussed. And for the first time in watching this show the sense of detachment I’ve enjoyed was gone. I wept. Your mileage may vary.

  6. May 23, 2011 10:19 am

    Bart, I don’t know where you stopped seeing, but they showed first (I think – going from memory here) Jon Seda’s character watching actual news footage from the march while eating at a nice bar, then LaDonna watching the same broadcast from home (presumably in BTR) and ended with the scene in her bar with the last four (or five) sentences of your speech, so it showed the viewing of the crime march from multiple perspectives including the end with LaDonna watching (not in her bar) and those in her bar watching without her there, with the words “You have failed us,” being the last we hear.

  7. May 23, 2011 10:36 am

    I should have said it showed the viewing of the news footage of the crime march from multiple perspectives.

  8. May 23, 2011 10:44 am

    So much to say, but wanted to give you some info on Nakita’s performance: I was lucky enough to watch that scene three times through with Wendell Pierce. We were all stunned. The tears you saw from the people in the funeral scene were real. We asked if they’d done it in one take. No. Four takes. She heroically did that four times. The production team asked her if she’d be willing, she said yes. The entire team was blown away by her courage, as were we.

  9. May 23, 2011 11:55 am

    Of all the beautiful performances in this episode, the one that stayed with me through the night and into this morning was India Ennenga as Sofia Bernette, as she repeated the line, “and that’s the truth”, filled with great and soulful righteous indignation. I didn’t do anything I wasn’t supposed to do, and I didn’t go anywhere I wasn’t supposed to go, and that’s the truth. In fact, she was secretly and very maturely working through her personal grief, by boarding the ferry. I’m sure we all cringed to see her go there.

  10. May 23, 2011 12:08 pm

    The group I tend to watch with always jumps up from their chairs and dances during the opening credits. It’s a beautiful ritual. However, after absorbing the opening funeral scenes, we were all in a state of shock and danced through tears and blank expressions. I’m glad that Grasshopper (BTW, she’s in the Ep 16 preview) and I are watching this season in group settings. We are grateful for the way the producers are sparing us the truly traumatic by not depicting every detail of the actual moments of these horrendous crimes, though I know eventually their storyline will need a shocking moment or two as punctuation and/or reality-check and we’ll have to just deal with it.

    The march was well-done, though it could not possibly capture the joy we white folks felt when Central City arrived at City Hall. Most of us marching up Poydras were white and it was so gratifying and exciting when the largely African American contingent marched in from Loyola St to our joyful applause and exclamations that “Yes! Central City is here!” We were cheering through tears at that moment. I will never forget the feeling that we finally were a community taking a stand against the incompetence, corruption and crime for which the grossly negligent leadership of the Nagin administration, in our eyes, bore full responsibility. The show has yet to drive that nail deeply and boldly enough to satisfy me…but then again, nothing short of a public tarring and feathering of a rather large number of folks from that time would likely resolve my frustration.

    I am beyond words in expressing my many feelings about this show and the people making it happen except to say that we are blessed. Treme is therapy. For an amazing number of people, this is the most personal experience we have ever had (and hopefully ever will?) with television. Thank you David, Eric and everyone involved! I wonder if the mental health coverage on my insurance would pay for an HBO subscription?

  11. Davis Rogan permalink
    May 23, 2011 1:18 pm

    two takes, but it was brutal

  12. brueso permalink
    May 23, 2011 3:36 pm

    In the weight of all the emotional things going on in the episode, it feels pretty minor to ask but- I had always heard “Mosca’s” names being pronounced “Moe-ska’s”, not Moss-ka’s”?

    The home invasion threat was a pretty harrowing part about what I remember living in N.O. when I did and seeing that depiction was haunting. “At least in other cities, they’d wait til you’re not home”, I used to think.

    Seeing LaDonna in her bar with the big crowd was hard to watch. When you’ve had something along those lines happen, there is always the fear way back in yr head that the perps might come back.

  13. May 23, 2011 5:45 pm

    I thought the extra who played me in the crime march scene did an excellent job. They didn’t include my “Algiers” sign but I’m not going to nitpick.

  14. May 23, 2011 8:40 pm

    Why are the so-called critics blathering about the short beats and cuts among and between scenes? By their own admitance, they don’t have a musical sensibility, so they are missing all the compositional connections between the cuts. Going between the Blue Note in NYC to the poetry slam in NO? Perfect (not to mention its an amigo’s kid who is the first one we see on stage).

    As for Sonny: No dialog, no transition, other than everybody subbing, like they do. Sonny’s moved up from busking to cover band Soul Apostles. Sonny hasn’t given up – a foreigner in a city of great musicians, whose musical relationships and relationship with the city go back generations. You gotta respect that.

    There’s so much more to say, but so far I’m too filled with feeling to type about any of it.

    This was an awesome episode.

    Love, C.

  15. doctorj2u permalink
    May 23, 2011 8:43 pm

    Great post. I remember so well the devastation of those murders of such wonderful giving human beings. I was destroyed. Could it be we had all worked so hard for this? My city was killing itself. The march brought me back. It is the first time in my memory that all sides of the city pulled together as one for something other than revelry. It was beautiful and it brought hope back from the brink. I thank all that have worked so hard on “Treme”. Our story is being told.

  16. Anita permalink
    May 23, 2011 9:17 pm

    That line stuck with me as well. I think India Ennenga’s performance in this episode was excellent. She even looked a bit like Melissa Leo as she played the scene with Oliver Thomas, as if something about politics sparked with her and she almost cared what happened in the arena her mother occupies.

    The sequence with the teacher where Sofia registers a slight questioning and then dawning suspicion, followed by the pilgrimage on the ferry was very well done. The interior of the ferry looked so cavernous and Sofia so small and alone. Arriving home to repeat fiercely to her mother,”and that’s the truth,” suggested an indictment of her mother.

    I feel sorry for Toni Bernette. She is who she is and she can’t win. She can’t win at the work she does and she can’t win with Sofia now. I keep thinking Sofia might one day find Toni having a friendly meal or drink with her police lieutenant buddy and Sofia will assume some further betrayal and act out her anger by producing something very painful to watch.

  17. May 23, 2011 11:01 pm

    I’ve always said “Moss-ka’s”.

  18. Dexter St. Jacques permalink
    May 23, 2011 11:53 pm

    The thing that stuck with me most was how Lusher had a “team of counselors” when one of their teachers committed suicide and the KIPP school had the students “not doing nothing” because one of their classmates got shot. I wasn’t surprised…but it just stuck with me.

  19. rickngentily permalink
    May 24, 2011 12:00 am

    that was the most concise and intense episode so far. i kept having to pause it and collect my thoughts on the front porch.

    when i would get back to it i would be shocked by how much time was left in the episode.

    it took me an hour and a half to watch it but it felt like three hours , in a very good way.

    ussually my mind rambles and i try to think of where the writers are coming from.

    i only had one ramble this time , are sonny and annie, a mash up of zack and addie / and anders and theresa?

    i think some of ray’s posts got me thinking about the anders / zack mash up .

    while the photo last week and annie trying to become a writer this week got me thinking about the addie /theresa mash up.

    im shocked at how much better this season allready is and i was a fanboy last year.

  20. May 24, 2011 12:16 am

    I noticed that too, and I’m not sure how accurate it is. I wanna check with my daughter first but I seem to remember Lusher kids not having much more to fall back on than anybody else. There was a counselor there that I talked to a few times after my divorce, and there were the usual disciplinarians, but a team of shrinks? Not what I remember.

  21. May 24, 2011 6:52 am

    Rick, Zack and Addie were mentioned by David Morse’s character in an earlier episode (the first of this season I think) as having already happened, but there’s been speculation about Anders/Theresa.

  22. Wigatrisk permalink
    May 24, 2011 7:30 am

    I was happy to see Sonny there as well. The late for rehearsal last week was part of his general fuckuppery for sure, but I thought at the time that scene had been played as though the mistake wasn’t necessarily his and was as much part of Antoine’s louche style. Good to see Sonny and Antoine striving, within and past their limits.

    Staggeringly powerful episode.

  23. Wigatrisk permalink
    May 24, 2011 7:48 am

    He’s up in books just for listening to one of my favourites, Fred McDowell, especially that particular track where his sister’s comb and voice work are so prominent. Too bad Fanny Davis rarely gets credited.

  24. May 24, 2011 8:02 am

    I thought they captured something of that moment in the shot where the two groups met, but missed the drama of the mostly white east of Cana contingents just arrived at City Hall and then the folks from Central City arrived. You’re right. That was a tremendously dramatic moment in the way it played out in reality.

    I like the way that (with the exception of Antoine and the stripper) Simon and crew leave sex and violence just off screen, as if to say to the HBO audience: there is something different about this show.

    Bennie and Antoine crying, Nakita breaking down and the blood stains in the Hill’s apartment and the outline of the story of her husband trying to protect the baby, were more powerful than simply showing us the violence.

    I’m a little fuzzy from post-op Percocet and I don’t know if it’s been mentioned here, but Wendell Pierce posted on Twitter that Nakita had to go through four takes reliving that painful moment, and if they were all as viscerally real like the one we saw that’s amazing.

  25. May 24, 2011 8:04 am

    I was really hoping to see a stand in for the big guy with his drum:

  26. May 24, 2011 8:07 am

    I don’t know the Anders and Theresa story. Do tell.

  27. May 24, 2011 9:31 am

    Our friend at Salon is at it again. He finds the episode sublime after criticizing most of it. I can’t tell if he’s trying to hold Simon and crew to a higher standard or just a cranky bastard. He seems to come from the school of thought that if you can’t find something bad to say, make it up lest you be thought a fan boy and not a critic.

    http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/feature/2011/05/23/treme_season_2_episode_5/index.html

  28. May 24, 2011 9:40 am

    Leave a Treme moment on Twitter on the HBOGO promotional campaign #HBOmoments.

  29. May 24, 2011 10:48 am

    There was a guy with a beard and a beret and a drum. I wondered if that was supposed to be him.

    Me, I was farther away than Hidalgo that week. Stupid fucking software biz and their stupid fucking trips.

  30. May 24, 2011 11:17 am

    Daughter reports she thinks they did have a team of counselors after Maddy died (the girl who OD’ed in 2008).

  31. May 24, 2011 11:48 am

    Mac 15 had some folks from Tulane I think it was, that were in the school for a few months. They were mostly concerned with Katrina issues, like the kids that were scared when the lightning turned the lights off in last week’s episode. I remember talking with them and they were very concerned about the PTSD from the storm impacting the little ones. I don’t think they were still there the year after though. They weren’t permanent staff. As I recall they were kind of rotating through various schools.

  32. May 24, 2011 12:02 pm

    Theresa Andersson & Anders Osborne. I started here. Sounds close to me.

  33. May 24, 2011 3:17 pm

    I am starting to be in love with Janette this season. She’s such a plain, straight-ahead person, no pretense, no fronting with Janette. Bt there that buoyancy in her too, such as the fairy costume with cowboy boots on the first Mardi Gras after the Flood — which probably started this crush — everything looks better with cowboy boots — throwing the Sazerac into Richman’s face and, in this episode dancing a cocktail napkin to do her solitary second line in the Blue Note.

    Then, there is her chef’s passion for great food.

    Love, C.

  34. May 24, 2011 3:45 pm

    Sophmom, I really think you’re onto something with that. Nice catch.

  35. rickngentily permalink
    May 24, 2011 5:04 pm

    Nelson Hidalgo = Cesar Burgos

    engh?

  36. doctorj2u permalink
    May 24, 2011 5:52 pm

    Mark,
    I actually saw a review that dished that moment of the two groups coming together as forced and schmaltzy (my words). I swear, the true moments, the important momemes are always the ones the reviewers pick out to dish. I just don’t understand why they do that. That moment brought me back from a very dark, surrendered place.

  37. May 24, 2011 6:03 pm

    I’m getting less and less patient with a lot of the non-NOLA reviewers out there. Seems like every week I’m reading some shit on one of those TV blogs that is just irritating as fuck and it’s all I can do to fight that “somebody is WRONG on the internet” impulse. Other than Alan Sepinwall and Machelle Allman, I’m sick of other people’s stupid opinions.

    I think a couple of weeks ago some reviewer’s feelings got hurt because Davis called Teach for America a bunch of scabs. Without wading into that particular issue, which is extremely complicated, just picture this: if Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, as part of his union-busting crusade, had destroyed the state teacher’s unions and fired all the teachers and then brought in new low-paid inexperienced Teach for America kids to take their places, would at least a little bit of animosity on the part of at least a few characters be understandable? It’s kinda like that.

    I wish these people would think before they write. This show is about a very recent historical period and there are oodles of verifiable facts that they can read up on if they want to have an informed opinion about what’s being portrayed on the show.

  38. May 24, 2011 6:25 pm

    Sam, I can’t take credit for it. I’m fairly sure that it’s something I read here last season when we were all holding our collective breath hoping that it wasn’t going to end up like Zack and Addie. I can’t remember who said it first (Kevin A or Peter?), but I had never heard of Theresa & Anders prior to that discussion. Y’all’re always teaching me stuff.

  39. ACFUNK permalink
    May 24, 2011 9:11 pm

    I love me some chef, too, Foxessa. I wonder if she smoke that fire, though. Although never judging Davis or his homies in NOLA, she always has a ready excuse not to partake with Ziggy (lol). I ain’t judgin’ neither. Weed ain’t my thang. Treme is.

  40. Moaner permalink
    May 25, 2011 1:10 pm

    That critic can’t even decide if he’s fickle (per his review last Friday of the finale of The Office, for Christ’s sake). I dismissed him a long time ago. Take his opinion with a grain of salt, followed by a shot of tequila.

  41. machine permalink
    May 25, 2011 5:54 pm

    Why do you bother reading reviews of Treme?

  42. doctorj2u permalink
    May 25, 2011 6:48 pm

    Machine,
    Because we care. Most people here spent years fighting for the truth of New Orleans post-Katrina. Old habits are hard to change.

  43. wigatrisk permalink
    May 26, 2011 8:19 am

    Good comment Doc, that concern, love, frustration and dedication are abundantly evident here. In the time it took me to read that salon tripe my kids interrupted me three times, the phone went, the doorbell went, and the cat wanted out.

    My life has fucking continuity errors.

  44. adrastosno permalink
    May 26, 2011 12:27 pm

    I don’t see the Anders thing because, unlike Sonny, Anders is super-talented as both a guitarist and songwriter. Theresa was the sleeper: she was a decent fiddler at first and got much better over time. Yes, Anders was a doper but if they’re using their story it’s very loosely based on it.

  45. May 26, 2011 2:22 pm

    Yes, but all the characters are loosely based. Spicer didn’t go to New York, for example, to the best of my knowledge, but is usually taken as the model for everyone’s favorite chef. The more I think about it, the more plausible it all sounds as a character model/basis.

  46. Davis Rogan permalink
    May 27, 2011 7:41 pm

    Proof that it’s all subjective, or objective, i forget. You obviously don’t know of Micheil Huisman’s guitar playing or songwriting AND you think Anders is talented. Cocktail hour, gettin snarky …..

  47. adrastosno permalink
    May 28, 2011 9:49 am

    @Davis: What’s a little snark among friends? I do indeed think Anders is talented and I’ve never heard Huisman’s stuff but I’ll take your word for that. Sonny, however, thus far is a classic journeyman player and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are very few Louis Armstrong’s or George Gershwin’s out there. Or pick your own genius…

  48. CalliopeJane permalink
    May 28, 2011 10:28 am

    Just search Michiel Huisman on youtube and you can find several of his songs to listen to (they are in Dutch).

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