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Is That All You Got?

August 22, 2012

Yes, Treme is coming back and so are we. After being bumped to the Fall by vamporn hit True Blood and The Newsroom (which I haven’t watched, but wonder if David Simon has) the third installment of Simon’s post-Katrina series premieres September 23rd on HBO. Season One and Two DVDs are spinning up for re-watches and Back of Town will be ready. At the risk of Maitri’s ire (and trust me, you don’t want to know) I think I can step up front and say this is not your typical fan site. We haven’t spent the last year bickering over whether Toni and Colson will end up together or trying to guess which restaurant Janette’s will be modeled on when she comes home. It’s not that kind of place. Look instead for a group of people who love New Orleans – the good and the bad – in a way few people can put into words, or in this case pictures. And Mr. Simon has done that masterfully. Most of us spent years online trying to tell the world why New Orleans matters, and Back of Town is simply an extension of that. Treme is so right that we can’t help ourselves. It’s a distillation of hundreds of blog posts, thousands of emails angry or sad, late night phone calls among friends, of laughter at the band break or tears mixing with the spilled beer on a table at Mimi’s. It’s the lives we lived, the places that mattered, and the people we found and lost one way or another, filtered through the vision of a man who loves New Orleans as much as we do.

It would be easy to spend a lot of time talking about Colson and Toni or the restaurant because Season Two left the viewer just where we were at Year Two: still hanging sheet rock, relationships made and broken, ecstatic every time a familiar joint reopened. We eagerly shared the gossip on who was getting together and who was getting divorced, who was almost ready to come home and who was deciding they’d had enough. You won’t find any spoilers here because I think most of us would rather not know before the theme rolls. It’s enough to see the difficult and the ugly made beautiful, to see the story we lived, the story we all once tried to tell in our corners of the Internet played out on a national stage.

Like I said, we’re not a shrieking fan site. And we will never be able to reproduce Dave Walker’s meticulous Treme Explained pieces for the disintegrating Times-Picayune, although we’re all up way too late in the comments thread of the Sunday night post. What you get between the Sunday night into Monday morning marathons and the next episode is nuanced, thoughtful, expansive: an earnest conversation among friends in a quiet bar late at night, reflections from people on the set that’s never struck, where the catering is by Matassa’s, the No Parking signs are suggestions, and no one is an extra.

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6 Comments
  1. August 22, 2012 10:02 pm

    It’s been a while; I have been missing all the show characters and the regular commenters here at the site. I follow Wendell on Facebook and Twitter so I am not totally in the dark.
    I had to jump off the vampire show but The Newsroom is good and fast paced. Treme the show rules, though.

  2. August 23, 2012 12:03 pm

    I am re-watching season 2 right now.

    Alas, when the premiere takes place we’ll be out of the country.

    But we’ll be in New Orleans in October, so perhaps we’ll have an opportunity to take in an episode while there in one of the public venues that hosts the weekly airing of Treme.

    Love, C.

  3. August 23, 2012 6:35 pm

    I just re-watched the pentultimate ep — Harley’s memorial.

    Coco was there.

    Now, he’s not.

  4. August 23, 2012 9:49 pm

    Damn, I can see that scene in my head right now. Let us know when you’re in town and we’ll head down to the Apple Barrel and pour (just a bit) of Reposado out in his memory.

    Sadly our favorite spot has changed ownership and likely won’t be showing Treme. (Favorite for atmosphere; the home theater sound system was clearly installed and tuned by some guys from outside Labor Ready in exchange for Night Train). And I really have pulled the plug, which is why I haven’t seen The Newsroom, but we will find a place.

    – Wet Bank Guy (is dead. Long may he live.)

    /s/ Mark Folse

  5. August 24, 2012 11:39 am

    We’d really like that, Mark — Thank you! Maybe I can e-mail you when the time gets closer?

    Love, C.

  6. samjasper permalink
    August 24, 2012 5:24 pm

    Great piece, Mark. It’s looking like possibly Lost Love, maybe Mimi’s upstairs, or St. Roch Tavern. I’ll post here as soon as I know the downtown spots for sure.

    I haven’t cracked the box of Season 2 DVD’s yet, but will on Sunday then marathon through them and re-read the posts from last season. I am very much looking forward to this new season. Judging from the poster and little snippets read here and there we can expect to be surprised. We’ll certainly be seeing more of the “developer” and the monied interests.

    I will be glad to see this site humming again as well. We have the best commenters anywhere, and often they see something that we didn’t because they don’t all live here. That’s always fun.

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