I don’t watch Treme alone. I thought that would help. But after the last episode, the death of Antoine’s mentor, finally finding Daymo’s body in a sea of refrigerated tractor trailers, the closing of Janette’s restaurant, the police brutality and the stupidity of empty low-income housing, I realized that hasn’t been enough. I wanted to be sharing that bottle with LaDonna by the last moments.
The conflicts and storylines are compelling and well-done and often more subtle and complicated than most viewers, or commenters, realize and I never got caught up in much that-ain’t-right “critique.” But the created conflicts, minor and major damages and hurts, the bodies, the losses, the disappointments in self, the hard tasks of being responsible or open-eyed or in need, the indifference that came from cruelty or immaturity or burnout, reflect in a concentrated chunk what life was then. And it’s not like I’d forgotten. We haven’t overcome that time period so we’re not watching What Was as much as what’s underneath all of What Is. So all the fury, heartbreak, depression, nausea, migraines and need for several very strong drinks is not back, as if it had left, but louder than the white noise it had become. I am also long past caring what others think of or understand of our collective, diasporic suffering. It’s gotten us oh so far these past 5 years.
So what do I have to say this time? Not very much.