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In the right world but it seems wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong

April 25, 2010

One-sentence first impression:  “Right Place, Wrong Time” is the most literally-titled of the three episodes so far.

  1. Kevin permalink
    April 25, 2010 11:32 pm

    Is this an open thread discussion then?

    I’m really loving the smaller characters here that add so much. The receptionist in the judge’s office with her professionally relaxed hair (where was she getting it done?), staring down LaDonna, who barely had time to run a brush through her own hair, just foreshadowed the entire scene that would follow. Vernel Bagneris got the whole “Seventh Ward Creole” thing across in a very few lines.

    Phyllis Montana-Leblanc: if you are reading this…you were terrific in that scene with Wendell Pierce, grabbing his junk after he’d been unfaithful. Funny and true and completely natural.

    Carl Walker as the gentrifying neighbor was great too. He knew that Shannon Powell lived around the corner; he knew that Jessie Hill lived next door; and he seemed to have the proper perspective on the historic nature of the neighborhood, where Davis was just an idiot. I hope they explore these neighborly relations a little more.

    I’d forgotten how new YouTube was in 2005, and that was a great setup for the future of Goodman’s character: “You can put whatever you want on the Internet?” A brief flicker of realization…

    Really, all the acting is excellent here (Melissa Leo and Khandi Alexander should be locked in a death match for Best Supporting Actress at all the TV awards). The beautiful actress/violinist who plays Annie seems designed to make viewers eventually feel some of the loss we all did.

    Won’t go there about Himself except to say that it’s not necessary to stick out your tongue and cross your eyes when opening a regular #10 envelope. Just open it and stop acting for a second.

    Funniest thing I read all night about the show was someone who posted that she had watched the first episode again with the subtitles on in order to make sense of the dialogue, and now she knew every word and still couldn’t make heads or tails of what these people were talking about.

  2. brueso permalink
    April 25, 2010 11:32 pm

    Alot of powerful scenes- but also some humor, too. Somehow it feels like things are starting to unravel more. So, so many frayed nerves.

  3. greg p permalink
    April 25, 2010 11:36 pm

    The Youtube thing will stand in for blogging — much more visual and we have an excuse for Goodman to really rant. Nicely played.

    “Try not to talk.” LOL

  4. April 25, 2010 11:43 pm

    We were wondering if YoutTube was hitting big just then, after Katrina. Surely it was around longer? But I guess it was launched in Feb. 2005.

  5. greg p permalink
    April 25, 2010 11:45 pm

    As I posted on Kevin’s Facevbook page, I find Zahn’s performance much more tolerable if, every time he does that squint/grimace move, I imagine him emitting a high-pitched little fart noise.

  6. April 25, 2010 11:46 pm

    Melissa Leo and Khandi Alexander should be locked in a death match for Best Supporting Actress at all the TV awards

    love them both so much, and so glad they are in scenes together. Both so good. Alexander will get more attention because her character is more electric. Leo sinks so deep into a character people can’t even tell she’s there. I read an interview with her & she said Oliver Stone complained about her “disappearing.”

    Davis: anti gentrification/pro strippers. So perfect.

  7. April 25, 2010 11:48 pm

    yeah, I saw something just last week about its Fifth Year anniversary and it took me by surprise. greg is right- it will work better for the story than blogging.

  8. April 25, 2010 11:51 pm

    The best episode yet. As far as the little things go, I really the interaction between Kim Dickens and the Caribbean chef. The scene where Sonny’s realization that Annie is about 500 times more talented drove him to drink her birthday gift was a heartbreaker.

  9. Kevin permalink
    April 25, 2010 11:53 pm

    I remember YouTube as one of the tipping points for people who were still on dialup to get cable or DSL Internet access. Not everyone wanted to download mp3s in a few seconds instead of 5 or 6 minutes, but the allure of seeing video on your computer was what tipped a lot of folks over from modems to cable and DSL.

  10. April 26, 2010 12:01 am

    His sad sweet little birthday plan got screwed up by “the real” musician sticking his nose into things. Couldn’t just be happy for her that she got a break. (Granted, that would have been tough for anyone to rise above.)

  11. April 26, 2010 12:04 am

    The dick-sucking thing with the neighbors combined with the genesis of the stripper song was kinda awesome.

    That song he wrote is a real Davis Rogan song, and the next verse tells the story about how he starts getting postcards in the mail that sex offenders are required to send when they move into a neighborhood, documenting the fact that these strippers have convictions for “Crimes Against Nature” (the Louisiana ordinance that one is convicted of when committing prostitution that involves oral sex). The chorus the second time around goes “I got dick-sucking strippers moving in my neighborhood…You might call it gentrification, but I call it good.”

    This episode had way too much stuff that lines up with my own life in weird ways so I will have trouble writing about a lot of it. Davis was my daughter’s piano teacher; I got punched in the mouth once and it permanently ruined my embouchure for the sax; one of the Indians at the end of the show was the guy from Wild Magnolias who used to take my son aside to teach him stuff when we used to go to uptown Indian practice Sunday nights at 2nd & Dryades….


    I just want my fucking city back.

    And I’m not looking forward to seeing the non-NOLA MSM and blogerati completely misunderstand the meaning of that Indian Red scene at the end. I got a length of pipe right here…

  12. April 26, 2010 12:07 am

    I don’t know that I’d put it down as professional envy as it was slow-burning jealous rage. For a person prone to that kind of thinking, it just takes one thing to tip them over the edge and then there’s no talking them out of it, they’re just gonna try to drink away their anger.

  13. April 26, 2010 12:12 am

    yeah, plus the earlier clue-by-four about his drug use. Everything’s all about him.

  14. April 26, 2010 12:27 am

    I thought we decided Tuesday was the designated “bitch about Davis” day.

  15. April 26, 2010 12:31 am

    yeah, don’t make us do another poll now…

  16. racymind permalink
    April 26, 2010 1:10 am

    Yeah, Antoine seemed to slip into a destructive Jimmy McNulty role. He is clearly on a very self-destructive bent… drinking, lying and screwing around. Doesn’t mean he deserved the beatdown from NOPD though. Really bizarre the way the musicians (I’ll reluctantly include Davis) are bearing the brunt of NOPD so far. Makes no damn sense.

    I wonder if anybody noticed the sound effect in the background when busker Sonny is finishing off the gift Beaujolais all alone? Maybe something from The Wire? ’nuff said. Heh.

  17. April 26, 2010 2:07 am

    Aha! I guessed it! Well, I posted that I “hope it was Davis Rogan.”

  18. Anita permalink
    April 26, 2010 2:14 am

    Stunning and shattering. Way too close to home for many. Antoine is sinking, I fear.

    I am choosing to think of the little scene Albert Lambreaux and the aunt of the kid he’d found in Poke’s earlier. While wild and crazy hormones are raging all over this week’s episode, Albert pronounces his name in the French way when introducing himself to his very interesting neighbor with a beautiful smile and a little courtliness, there, I daresay. And maybe he’s also found a kid to practice redemption on.

    I’ve been playing Donald Harrison’s Indian Red, my favorite version, all week, along with Dr. John’s and the Wild Tchoupitoulas.

    Read Cliff.

  19. wigatrisk permalink
    April 26, 2010 6:57 am

    Some great understated acting once again, and those revealingly lengthened camera pauses at the end of scenes, that say so much: Kim Dickens when talking to the other chef about owning the restaurant. In the first two episodes I sometimes felt Lambreaux was overplaying the stoic, jaw-jutting expressions, but they are coming together now: that look at the boy after his mother turned away was just great. I’m happy they returned to Davis’ neighbours, and used it to further his naive, me-against-the-world, wealthy parent-denying attitude. Thanks Ray for the story about the song; anyone know the tune he played in episode one when he returned home after the second line?

    I liked that Davis met his verbal match in Creighton, and seemed properly unsettled. In the short-focus world of a show, you sometimes unthinkly expect characters to “know” each other, but this was well-written and made sense as a possible town-and-gown duality. Clearly he was the protective parent here, but does Creighton’s love of the city have limits on the ground? Have we seen him involved in a part of the city that overlaps with the other characters? So far: Janette’s restaurant, bankside interview, his home, campus(?).

  20. April 26, 2010 7:49 am

    I love love LOVE LaDonna, especially the looks she gives her brother-in-law Bernard’s receptionist when she goes to nail down his pulling of strings for Daymo in person at his office.

    Priceless and beautiful.

  21. greg p permalink
    April 26, 2010 7:58 am

    I thought Creighton’s reaction to Davis was bizarre and don’t quite understand where it’s coming from. I know he’s in protective Dad mode, but from seeing the guy sitting on the same piano bench as his student? I never had a piano teacher who didn’t do that. And I would have thought Davis’s local cheerleading would have resonated with him, at least until [REDACTED UNTIL PERMITTED DIVERGENT OPINION DAY].

    Also seems that if Toni has bailed the guy out three times already (I know C and Toni pass in the night a lot, but the guy has been established as a repeat customer), and they all listen to WWOZ all the time, he might have an inkling of who the guys is.

    Wigatrisk may be on the right path with the town-gown subtext, and that would be interesting, but that thigh-to-thigh shot/reverse to Creighton makes me think it’s mostly Protective Dad. WHich kinda bugs me out.

  22. wigatrisk permalink
    April 26, 2010 8:20 am

    Interesting greg, I also felt the creepy sexual (not sub)text seemed overplayed a bit, especially given how young the actress playing Sophie looks. Perhaps the scene would make more sense closer to the Youtube bit that was in part intended to restate her as more canny than her age or peers?

    It would be interesting if in the Creighton-Davis storyline, his not knowing someone like Davis was a forerunner of Davis’ neighbours turning out to have a more generous, humane idea of community and Creighton’s loud declarations of love for the city were for a more idealized, perhaps historic-never-really-existed city. There is no shortage of those people.

  23. April 26, 2010 8:48 am

    D gets really annoyed with me when I take pictures of still-destroyed or recovering homes in NOLA saying it’s disrespectful. He took my camera away from me in the Lower Ninth once. I say I am documenting for the blog and Flickr, to let readers know what the city looks like months, a year, years later. Yes, there is a vast difference between amateur flash pictures taken from a safari vehicle like the destruction is “some damn tourist attraction” and folks documenting their city, but I still feel bad about it.

    Feeling much dread after this episode. Like I wouldn’t trust one of those characters, except for maybe LaDonna and Toni, with my life right now. Creighton and Antoine seem headed to a precipice I don’t really want to look down. Then again, something else may happen next week that straightens them out and passes the tumult buck onto someone else.

    If Khandi Alexander is not recognized for her work as LaDonna, I have no more faith in acting awards. She blows me away each week.

  24. virgotex permalink*
    April 26, 2010 9:01 am

    I loved the old school up high snap when she was bitching about the roofer, right before she made the call to her brother in law. More stage business than acting, but very entertaining nonetheless.

  25. April 26, 2010 9:13 am

    Perhaps his reputation precedes him. That would get me in cleaning-my-shotgun-on-the-porch-to-greet-him mode pretty quick.

  26. brueso permalink
    April 26, 2010 9:26 am

    is Antoine sinking, or has he always been that way? (Sinking yes if his face is messed up after the beat down, but the screwing around maybe was always there, hence LaDonna’s comment that she’d tell her boys they have ‘another’ sister).

  27. brueso permalink
    April 26, 2010 9:29 am

    I also loved that her brother in law was played by Vernel Bagneris who played Preston in a fantastic scene with Tom Waits in Jim Jarmusch’s “Down By Law” back in the day.

  28. Scott Harney permalink
    April 26, 2010 9:30 am

    Hope you pointed the poster at for the episode breakdowns. And here, of course. 🙂

  29. April 26, 2010 9:48 am

    It may or may not have been overplayed, I don’t know. Definitely Sophia is not too young for a father to have these worries; it’s kinda obvious she’s begun to develop, which is exactly the moment at which a dad becomes overly protective and suspicious of any male who gets within ten feet of her. After a while you learn to deal with the feelings in a more constructive manner, but that whole middle-school beginning-of-adolescence period is a weird time for any father. I know Folse has been through it and gets it. I’ve been through it.

    I think there is more to the Creighton/Davis conflict than we have been shown. The wife spends a lot of time around musicians and was the one who set up lessons for Sophia without consulting Creighton; in the past she’s confessed to having a “soft spot” for musicians, while Creighton seems to resent the whole notion of Sophia taking music lessons or becoming a musician at all. I’ve been through that dynamic, too, from the other side, and I’m guessing there is some marital friction in the Bernette household that we haven’t been shown yet, and having a slacker/musician around the house pushes some buttons that we are so far unaware of. This would kind of dovetail with some real-life situations that the real Davis has found himself in.

    What I’m getting at is that I think there is something else driving the tension in the conversation on the porch above and beyond the typical “overprotective father of an adolescent girl”.

  30. April 26, 2010 10:01 am

    In yet another “I can’t believe how small this town is” connection, one of the sax players in the Dr. John scene is Alonzo Bowens, who in addition to playing behind Dr. John in real life, is also the extremely awesome band director at Lusher, the school where Sophie Bernette will be attending when she comes back from Baton Rouge at the beginning of 2006.

  31. brueso permalink
    April 26, 2010 10:15 am

    1) Love me some Batiste, but sure was never interested in seeing him screw. But his scene with Baby Momma after where he was about to have to prove that he still could get with her as a test that he hadn’t been screwing all night was worth having to witness him doing the stripper.

    2) Batiste’s messed up tooth (and possibly destroyed bone) does raise concern, as reflected in the previews for next week. Whatever he may be morally, without his music, what could that guy do with himself if he couldn’t be a musician? As soon as we saw that patrol car pull up in the otherwise beautiful scene with Antoine and Sonny/Annie, it was foreboding. Getting that feeling (started with Davis telling about his arrest) that the cops are coming more unraveled.

    2) Sonny’s jealousy does not bode well, and does suggest more of a parallel with “Shake the Devil”.

    3) Well, so now we know the chief didn’t kill the kid he beat in ep 2, but it still could go that way.

    4) Was pleased to see in the scene with the neighbor lady asking if her nephew could work with the chief him cocking his eyebrow – that character can’t be all sturm and drang.

    5) Liked seeing Vernel Bagneris as LaDonna’s brother-in-law though I don’t know if we’re going to see more of him. He was in a fantastic scene with Tom Waits in “Down By Law” (he played Preston) back in the day.

    6) Loved see Toni get angry at Davis, cause it seems unrealistic that some of these guys wouldn’t drive her crazy some times or that she herself wouldn’t get worn out by the stress she’s under.

    7) Loved the scene with Davis’ neighbors. I suspected he wasn’t against them cause they were gay (although his ‘joke’ about dick-sucking revealed a little animosity about it on his part- it was basically a muted taunt)- figured it was mostly about gentrification. But I love that the neighbor demonstrated he knew the neighborhood and the musical heritage too- proving that Davis was making assumptions based on how he perceived them before actually talking to them.

    8) Loved seeing Goodman with Zahn on the porch (was Creghton essentially saying “Don’t try to snow me into trying to pay for alot more lessons down the road”? Who knows. But Goodman has such great comic gifts, its great to be able to see him use them a bit.

    9) spoiler alerts for people that don’t watch the previews………………….. next episode it seems like we’re going to see some more Anwan Glover and maybe learn more about what happened to LaDonna’s brother. I was suspecting Anwan might have swiped the brother’s bracelet and done who-knows-what to get it. Also we’re going to see some Jim True Frost!

  32. April 26, 2010 10:19 am

    Were those Abitas Davis’ friend came in with and popped open with an opener? Teensy detail, I know, but if they are Abitas, they were screw tops at the time.

    I want my screw-off bottle cap Abitas back.

    And I miss you, too, Ray. ((((((hugs))))))

  33. April 26, 2010 10:21 am

    brueso, on #6 – Got to love the admonition of “You don’t motherfuck the National Guard.” What. A. Hoot.

  34. April 26, 2010 10:24 am

    That reminded me very much of a classic Deadwood line: “You do not fuck the future. The future fucks you!”

  35. brueso permalink
    April 26, 2010 10:59 am

    I also think they missed out on a somewhat funny joke- if Creighton pulls up YouTube and the clip started playing- but then it got choppy. “It does that some times”. But they probably were setting things up for Creighton to be able to put on rants on YT that wouldn’t be choppy.

  36. Scott Harney permalink
    April 26, 2010 11:03 am

    It’s challenging to watch the show as so many details and people yank me out of it for a moment. Seeing Bella Luna, the place — the damn balcony — where we got married in 2004 a year before K was surreal. Also, love Sunpie as well. We caught him at Dos Jefes in 2005 maybe 2 nights after we first came back and seeing him just catapaulted me into that tearful, but joyful moment in time. Will have to watch a second time to really catch it all. This will apparently be a routine. ..

  37. brueso permalink
    April 26, 2010 11:03 am

    re the porch scene- you might be right, RayNola- or it could’ve just been Creighton choosing to screw around with Davis and see if he could make him sweat a little.

    Creighton’s mini-rant in ep 2 about the programs that Tulane was cutting suggested he wasn’t very supportive of the performing arts, which is an interesting point of view for an English professor.

  38. brueso permalink
    April 26, 2010 12:25 pm

    Huff Post had a posting about the first video available on YouTube- turns out it was on April 23, 2005.

  39. April 26, 2010 12:55 pm

    As you all say, there were many satisfying ‘little things’ in this episode.

    Perhaps my personal favorite was seeing Bacchus in this episode, looking exactly like Bacchus looked /s. Bacchus made things so much more tolerable for so many in those days.

    How difficult it is to have an honest critical reaction to this show. Shoot, excellent friend Tom McDermott was central to one of the threads. How can I judge something like that critically as television?

  40. virgotex permalink*
    April 26, 2010 1:05 pm

    did you see Dave Walker’s column about this show?

    Specifically, about defending the tourist buses. “It must be seen.”

    I don’t think I’ve heard/read anything else defending them this strongly

  41. Anita permalink
    April 26, 2010 2:45 pm

    We have plenty of clues that he has always been a tomcat, but what I meant was his carelessness in stopping at the stripper’s FEMA trailer on the way home, just begging to be caught out, in not tracking down a case for his trombone before now, which would have indicated he was taking his business seriously, and not coincidentally being left out of the New York gig.

    But most of all his carelessness in being so drunk that he just wandered into Annie’s song wide open when, as we know, Sonny might have disapproved of his admiration of Annie and then the way he stumbled away, bumping into the police car with his trombone which led to the serious problem he has seemed to be searching for.

    This is how some people behave when they are crying out for somebody to rescue them.

  42. Kim permalink
    April 26, 2010 6:44 pm

    I know I’m in the minority, but I’m totally not buying Khandi Alexander in this role. I think she’s way over-acting, especially compared with Melissa Leo’s realistic under-playing. The whole character irks me. She is much too sophisticated for the owner of a New Orleans corner bar, and the ex-wife of someone like Antoine. There is no way she would speak like that unless she had graduated from Juilliard prior to taking over the bar. I wish the LaDonna role had gone to Phyllis Montana Leblanc.

  43. noladishu permalink
    April 26, 2010 10:01 pm

    Batiste’s character isn’t too high on my list right now.

    @brueso, I don’t know if the audience can take a “Shake the Devil” scene, given the amount of time they’ve invested in that poor girl. Knowing Simon, I know he’s at least thought of it, though.

    The scene with the dead body I think is a trend we’re going to see more and more. They’ve soft-played the devastation so far (the city was FAR too functional in the first two episodes). I think they’re going to give it in strong doses coming up.

    Albert Lambreaux is by far my favorite character thus far. He can build or fix anything. He pronounces the 9th Ward house “structurally sound”, which means he’s both optimistic and skilled. He also has “Old Man Strength.” Absolutely my favorite character.

    NOPD, man, what thugs. One Treme drinking game could be take a shot every time NOPD knocks the crap out of someone. But, hey, that’s all too common. I still sort of wish that they had a good cop in there, because there are a precious few on the force.

    One final question: What sort of trouble will I get in if I start to list similarities between Steve Zahn’s character and a certain Yellow Blogger?

  44. April 26, 2010 10:16 pm

    Dude, as far as any prolonged Davis talk goes, save it for tomorrow, which’ll probably be the “All Up Into Some ‘Fess!” version.

    And as far as comparisons to the librarian go, you might just be looking for a beatdown by NOPS books. Just sayin’. 😉

  45. jeffrey permalink
    April 26, 2010 10:30 pm

    You’ll get in trouble with me, Clay. I’ve got all sorts of objections to such a comparison. Funny thing is, reading the common critiques of that character, I continually find myself thinking they’re similar to my reaction to the show itself. So I… well I think we’re pretty far apart on that point.

    Anyway Davis’ character is exactly the sort of person who would irk the shit out of me in real life. Can’t believe he wasn’t the one getting beaten last week.

  46. jeffrey permalink
    April 26, 2010 10:34 pm

    Besides, I’m clearly the fiddle girl anyway.

  47. noladishu permalink
    April 27, 2010 6:55 am

    NOPS love their beat-downs as much as NOPD?

  48. virgotex permalink*
    April 27, 2010 8:30 am

    Why would she have to have a music degree to speak like that?

    How is she different from Delmond or Davina Lambreaux? Is a bar owner’s child different from a contractor’s child?

    Respectfully, I read it different than you. I read LaDonna as very conscious of upward mobility, aware of her good fortune at getting out of the musician marriage and into the dentist marriage. She has a veneer of refinement but it’s pretty thin and it cracks often.

    I’ve never seen whatever CSI Alexander is in but I watched every episode of The Corner. The woman can act.

  49. rickngentilly permalink
    April 28, 2010 7:33 pm

    a nice twist will be if the stripper is really a sissy rapper.

    you never really get a clear shot of her.

    that could fuck up davis’ perception of himself as a cultural gatekeeper.

  50. greg p permalink
    April 28, 2010 9:05 pm

    I thought of that, too. I hope he gets reminded of his pro-cocks sucked for better Karma stance. Vigorously.

  51. greg p permalink
    April 28, 2010 9:06 pm

    Anyone else notice that Antoine gets his police beatdown in front of a gun shop?

  52. baccichdude permalink
    April 29, 2010 7:18 pm

    hello matri.

    thank you for the gravatar link.

    the avatar pic is a stuffed terranovas porkloin that i smoked with pecan wood.

    pray for our gulf coast guys.

    it aint looking good.

    take care and thanks again , rickngentilly.

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