The latest episode of Treme was darker than, and almost as bitter as, day old espresso. I’m not sure which cliche fits better “the wheels came off” or “the penny dropped” but some of the darker storylines got even darker. The episode wasn’t written by the great crime fiction novelist George Pelecanos but it could have been.
Okay, now that I’ve pretended to have a coherent theme, it’s time to riff on the show again. Marginal coherence is what I do best, after all:
G and Mark have already covered the deaths of Daymo and Nelson better than I can so I shan’t try. The latter’s death clarifies the discussion as to whether Deacon John Moore was playing himself or a character. It was the latter, John is a singer and guitarist and not a trombonist (as far as I know) and he’s very much alive. He also lives around the corner from me in the sliver by the river. We’re only passing acquaintances but he’s a lovely man who can also act. He should definitely do some more acting, he’s a natural.
Speaking of naturals, Jacques Morial was previously best known as son of Sybil and Dutch and brother of Marc. He’s terrific in Treme. Yeah, I know he’s playing himself but he’s lively and natural and not everyone can play themselves. I remember seeing baseball Hall of Famer Don Drysdale play himself on various Sixties sitcoms and he was a stiff who looked terrified on camera even in his Dodgers uniform. Poor Don, he couldn’t throw a brush back pitch at the camera…
Speaking of poorly cast, the scene wherein Annie tried out for the Pine Leaf Boys had me cringing in sympathy for her. It just wasn’t her kind of music and she couldn’t quite cut it as a fill in fiddler. Classically trained Jazz violinists don’t usually saw away Cajun style BUT Annie also had Sonny on her mind so she may have taken a dive. And Sonny doesn’t inspire sunny thoughts; especially after his churlish and pouty reaction to the audition. I’m not sure if Sonny fears he’s not good enough to make it anywhere but the streets or if he somehow considers it purer to pass the hat. Whichever it is, it’s not going to end well. Btw, my wife, Dr. A, has wondered if the Sonny and Annie characters are partially (and loosely) based on Anders Osborne and Theresa Andersson. Unlike Sonny, Anders is, of course, a very accomplished musician BUT he was deeply into hard drugs at one point. I’m not sure if this is the case but it’s certainly grist for our commentariat’s mill.
The most noirish scenes in the episode were the ones about Albert’s life as a civil disobedient at the projects. Much of it was set at night and illuminated only by the eerie glow of teevee and camp-style lights. Albert showed a superb PR sense with his sleep-in at the bricks. The NOPD, of course, took the opposite tack by beating down Albert before taking him out of the apartment. Initially, I wondered if they’d be dumb enough to do that with the press outside and then I came to my senses and thought: Nah, it’s the post-K Chief Riley era where stupidity and brutality formed a toxic cocktail that lingers to this very day. It will be fascinating to see how that story line plays out. Albert won’t let it go. He’s relentless.
Before this episode, I wasn’t sure whether or not Creighton and Toni’s marriage was headed towards a crisis but it looks as if it just might be. Yo, Creigh, don’t lie to your wife about posting a YouTube rant: she can go on the internets and see for herself. Writer’s block is a natural condition but Creighton seems to have a paralyzing case of it as well as a bad dose of self-loathing.
Finally, another Creighton note. I enjoyed seeing him in the classroom and hearing him quote Lafcadio Hearn. Time to get anecdotal. Ashley Morris was very fond of that quote and at one point used it as his email sig file. Before the 2008 Krewe du Vieux parade, our sub-krewe, PAN, was having a hard time coming up with a theme until our Captain remembered the Hearn quote, which transformed us into the Cult Of Lafcadio: