Irma Thomas will fuck you up.
“You can’t dance for them when they quit.”
Yeah, you can.
Loose ends going into season 2:
– Tiny Bouncer on Riley’s license. Oooh-wee.
– From Janette to Annie? Davis is one fast motherfucker.
– Sonny, Sonny, Sonny.
– Albert plus Darius equals?
– Bernettes without Creigh
And damn, if John Boutte showed up at my door singing anything, I wouldn’t leave New Orleans ever ever ever.
I was planning on going to Charbonnet Funeral Home to watch it, and then someone mentioned there would be a flashback to all the characters before the storm, and that was enough to change my mind. Watched it at home and glad I did.
Outstanding: the writing, the acting, the tone…all perfect. Just put Melissa Leo’s name on the Emmy and stow it away for a few months.
And of all the good music on the show, tonight’s was probably the best of all. More great sounds than 5 years of Grammy telecasts. Just really well done, all the way around.
Watched it at my pal Edie’s house tonight. Your sentiments on the music in tonight’s show were echoed all around over there. Great great music…pulled out all the stops.
Am kinda pissed at Toni right now. The rest of me is numb.
All I got for y’all is this: any of you beautiful bastards leave us, by whatever means, I’ll choreograph your motherfuckin’ second line for you. I might fuck with your set list a bit if I think it needs improving, but you get a motherfuckin’ second line.
I got nothing else, just gonna read for a while.
I know she’s angry as all hell and she didn’t see eye to eye with him on his love for the city… she needs to get some things out that he never was able to. Kinda hoping LaDonna talks her into it…wishful thinking, I know.
If I hadn’t had company I would have opened this thread under: “This machine floats”, because I think that is what I took away from this last episode the moment I saw it on the guitar: from Toni’s beatific smile at the second line she denied Crey, from Annie on Davis’ steps, from St. Joseph night, from Antoine’s “play for the fuckin’ money” and LaDonna’s confused look at Antoine at the funeral.
This machine floats. It is more than just sheet rock and plaster as long as a master plasterer still stands to work , is more than all the albums at Antoine’s momma’s as long as he remembers the songs, is every beignet and po-boy that will be served after Janette is gone. And we’ll all float on OK. And we’ll all float on anyway.
Thank you Mr. Simon and everyone involved.
I think Toni changed her mind after seeing Daymo’s 2nd line. You can’t deny a guy his last wishes. It’s weird that the Bernette’s don’t seem to have any friends.
I thought the sudden flashback to the evacuation was breathtakingly powerful, and showing Daymo, sad but satisfying. It knocked the wind out of me, after I got my bearings, and realized what I was watching. As always, I wish I could watch it again right now, and can’t imagine how we’re going to wait until the next season.
It’s weird that the Bernette’s don’t seem to have any friends.
Must have added something extra to the betrayal Toni feels. It IS weird….but she put her all into her work and he put it into his angst…to the extent that they must both have acquaintances, but not true friends besides one another as a family.
“This machine floats” was obviously a riff on Woody Guthrie’s “This machine kills fascists.” I concur, that was the message we all needed. Music will carry us foward, over and through whatever challenges confront us.
Toni’s face at the Daymo’s second line, her smile turned toward the sky was beautiful for a second until I stopped on: Sophia should be there, should feel and know this. Yeah, no one I know understands why I’m as angry at Toni as I am at Creighton. They dug his hole together.
Ray, you know your geis. Send Peters the lyrics.
Yeah, I’m an old fart and an aging hippie inside so I presumed everyone knew where that came from but should have mentioned it. Thanks Tim.
I can think of only a few things more evil that putting someone in jail for old warrants when there is a mandatory hurricane evacuation going on. I wonder what the current policy is.
Soph, you are so right. Well done and emotionally draining – rather real in condensed time. I WAN T MORE!
Gad! How are we going to survive the months until the next episodes???
Cruel and inhumane punishment, I say.
The flashback was genius. Beats a montage by a mile.
The one thing that goes through my head about Toni’s role in all of this is a tale of Martin Buber’s…but I’ll discuss that in a post somewhere.
Bootleg DVDs and wings from NAME EXCISED TO KEEP THE HBO LAWYERS AWAY is our current plan. One a week. With wings. How can you beat that?
Name exercised? I need edit privileges. Or to just go to bed. Y’all know what I meant. Night all
The song sequences were like codas to the previous scenes. The note in the wallet said “I love you” and then we hear a Neville (which one?) singing, “I love you, I want to be your man.” That fucked me up.
It’s HBO, Folse. They’ll find you and then they’ll have to be all up in your bootlegs and wings. Just make sure you get a mention in season 2.
Hey, I just checked Amazon. Will go check HBO then bed. I’m ready to give up my CC number right now cause Cox (the local NOLA cable co) is killing me to have Digital and HBO, so even with On Demand I have to turn that shit off. I’ll bet the Real Deal, but who the hell knows when those are coming out.
Some of you people with email addresses that I recognize should give me a little note sometime in the next week. *cough*.
Kim said she thought it was odd the Bernettes didn’t seem to have any friends.
I think they’re a perfect representation of addict and codependent: one blustery and obnoxious and incredibly fragile underneath, and the other warm and helpful and incredibly angry underneath.
People in those relationships eventually shut out their own families, friends, everyone, and then when the whole thing collapses neither of them has anyone to turn to.
Where was the English dept.?
They would have been there, if nobody else.
They did everything wrong with this character.
So who were the stars, the scene stealer, your favorites? I loved Wendell Pierce’s Antoine Batiste, I loved LaDonna, Janette, Davis, Annie, Creighton & Toni…the only character I hated was that damn loser Sonny. Just me.
The flashback in LaDonna’s eyes of the approaching storm was wonderful, and the yuk-yuk between Antoine and the taxi driver at the end of Daymo’s Second Line was a good send-off to us, too.
Davis lost his honey and…bingo! Annie is there on his steps. Damn.
Tomorrow, the lawyer’s…and you know what for. Second Line your asses off from my cremation station, Bud and Abita, 2 for $5 out-the-coolers, just jammin’ and havin’ fun!
Goddam, I love David Simon.
If it opens next season after Creighton’s funeral with little mention of it, then we’ll assume Toni “denied Creigh his second line,” but it could open with the second line, especially if the writers want non-New Orleanians to understand the cathartic nature of this ritual. Second lines are a gift to living mourners, not to the dead.
So the season ends. Mostly enjoyable. Nice characters added to the pantheon. New orleans certainly showed herself beautifully throughout, and the love and devotion to the city was evident in every frame.
But it sure was a bitch watching people scramble with their things before they left home. Not good memories. Deja voo-doo.
You never saw Creighton interact with anyone except his graduate assistant/pre-doc. It would be consistent with the impression that they had professional acquaintances but no close friends. That would contribute (as I said earlier) to his downfall: Toni too involved (obsessed even) with her own work to notice the seriousness of his decline.
If he showed up at our door, R would probably leave me for him.
He did promise a surprise at his regular Saturday night show on Frenchman, so I figured he had a speaking appearance and was wondering what it would be.
Fictional show on television.
Not the same thing.
Toni, Sonny, Antoine, the Big Chief. The Big Chief who gave us goosebumps as we wondered where the fine line is between giving it away and letting the world in to a culture’s inner sanctum, to show what the hell exactly is worth saving. Toni, who started to tell the detectives about Cray’s changed personality but changed her mind – because she didn’t want them to think something odd was up or because she didn’t want to admit it to herself?
So much to say about them all and the flashback to evacuation day knocked the wind out of me.
I’ll get back to 2010 soon enough.
Same here. Took me a minute to figure out that it was a flashback, and when I did, I got the chills and gasped….very powerful stuff there.
This is a good show about the strom and the city. That said, I stayed through the strom, in Lakeview at the train tracks on Canal blvd. and grew up in Metairie. The show only matters for the few muscians and quater/garden district residents and is totallu bullshit. The city is not like it is written to be: go outside the comfort zones of the show and get into the real city and it is alot different. Killings galore,predudice,unemployment and over priced food! Sorry, I love the show but get real ’cause it’s not.
Thank you, people of New Orleans, for all the fucking phenomenal music, these comments and a million other things.
My random notes:
The episode where everyone read OffBeat.
Loved Raymond’s cameo behind the bar at Domilise’s. Next time I see him out walking Dot’s dog, I’m getting his autograph.
Let’s take back all the dogging on IMDB. John Goodman really was in all 10 episodes.
Can’t wait for next season.
This was a great episode. Who wrote it? I turned away for a minute to grab a beer and missed the opening credits.
Do you think the flashback will be cut when they replay it on demand?
My only disappointment was not seeing a single altar on St. Joseph’s Day. Can’t have everything.
Same here. Literally had to stop and rewind for the wife. She was like “Wait?! What?” Me: “It’s a flashback. It’s _that_ day.” “oh. wow. wait. rewind” me:”yep. shit”
like a punch in the gut. Reading reactions on twitter, it looks like it hit all the New Orleanians the same way. It hit like a gut punch.
Dammit, Cray’s really dead??!! My neighbor Murray is still hoping he’ll be resurrected somehow.
Superb episode, glad it went a little longer than usual. Still thinking about it all, still feeling sad and enthralled. Was looking for the “surprise” Boutte told us about at his Sat show, and found many, many (but I think he had meant his cameo).
Flashback was disorienting, graceful, brilliant.
Lots of reconciling, it seemed.
Superfine use of red indian. Comic relief, as so often, from Antoine. Toni’s denial, anger, likely internal conflict–I’d hoped the Daymo’s funeral would loosen her up, show her something–beatific smile yes, but the second line came close, but didn’t catch her.
Masterful editing in this one, especially, and the Indians meeting was grand, maybe the 1st time on tv? A genuine solid gold musical feast.
P.S. Very moving tribute to Mills. Gawd, how I miss “Homicide”!
Beautifully shot indeed, I could feel the heat and air. The “Davis’s day” story as a means to illuminate the city to outsiders so easily could have been clunky, but was gently and charmingly done. Loved how family connections were in the end strongly foregrounded as lasting and foundational: Antoine and his sons (at last!), Antoine and LaDonna, Toni and Sophia, and so on.
Ending with the haggling over the cab fare was brilliant. Clearly inspired by liprap’s Angling thread…
Who was the guy he was haggling with? I see him all the time and I couldn’t figure out from where.
I know I haven’t commented before, but I thought I should finally weigh in, with this being the series finale.
I’m not sure I’m with Mark when he says, “Sophia should be there, should feel and know this. Yeah, no one I know understands why I’m as angry at Toni as I am at Creighton. They dug his hole together.”
Creighton and Toni did dig their hole with spades mutually in hand, but in the end Toni’s anger is justified. Or at least understandable. She’s angry at him for giving up. For quitting. While some self-loathing is undoubtedly present, her’s is an anger at the sense of abandonment we’ve all undoubtedly felt in the wake of the storm.
It’s the same anger we New Orleanians had towards the Local, State, & Federal Governments. It’s the same anger we feel at the thousands who left and never came back. It’s the same anger we feel every day driving through a city that feels a little more empty, a still shaded in the same dead hue (albeit a lighter hue) of gray as when we came back from the storm and found our homes destroyed and our cities in ruin; the grass and streets dead.
This episode was the strongest callback to the storm. The ringing cell phone and the ensuing flashback gives us goose bumps. Janette arriving in Huntsville in 16 hours just to turn on the television. Antoine leaving behind precious memories. Ladonna in traffic even on the roads less traveled. Delmond watching from afar as Katrina swallows the gulf. Davis the diehard resigning that the storm might not turn. The Bernettes, too, did what many of us did: Huddled together a hotel room pretending at laissez-faire, but deeply unsettled, eyes glued unwillingly to the screen. And finally, Daymo fading away with his eyes fixed on us, the ghost of those we lost. The phone remaining unanswered. The episode hits us just like the ringing telephone, piercing and sudden, haunted and sick to our stomachs, a shrill ringing in our heads we can’t quite shake. It unburies the memories from the graveyard and unearths what we’ve left buried in our consciousness.
And the episode leaves us where we are now, still. Dancing in the second line. Shaking hands. Playing for that money in the ruins of a city, trying to both celebrate and revive the dead. Like Davis, those we love have gone, but we’re trying to move on. To take in something new we don’t quite understand and make the best of it. And like Sonny, we’re still haunted by demons we can’t quite fight off, or understand. Struggling in the strange new music.
Episode 9 of Treme is a flight. It’s a flight back to where we were and a reminder of where we’ve landed. It’s a reminder of where our plane parked, with no indication of where we’re going. It’s a reminder still ringing in our ears. I can’t wait to see what next season brings.
Pretty sure it was the cab driver from the funeral in the premiere episode. Antoine owed him some more money I think.
“Daymo fading away with his eyes fixed on us, the ghost of those we lost.”
This was a powerful moment, the classic unblinking gaze that must compel a response.
Nice angling by Arnie.
I understand her anger at him completely. It’s my view of their co-dependancy that seems to set some people off, but clearly not everyone where.
You have to admit, though, the hurricane symbols on Chief Lambreaux’s suit were a nice touch.
word. Mills had an amazing resume for such a relatively young man.
For some reason, and I don’t know what it is because I’ve only watched the ep once, I got a real strong Spike Lee “Do the Right Thing”-era feel from this, particularly during the wrap up. Could just be a fleeting impression.
This machine floats… that was on Mr. Earle’s gi-tar. as a tribute to woody
As a musician, I cannot begin to express my thanks for bringing together so many legends. It was long a fantasy of mine while at the music commission to have a great concert featuring everyone who ever recorded at Cosimo’s studios. This final episode captured some of what that would mean. I heard Dave Bartholomew’s trumpet before I even saw him in the band, what an unexpected and wonderful touch! The producers and writers finely honed much of what we saw. The attention to detail in the soundtrack and images is beyond what I hoped. Now if you could bring in Cosimo, standing out front of his store, telling jokes and stories…and while you’re at it, add a brief reference/scene revealing the fact that he’s still not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That really pisses me off and I wish someone would bring attention to it, please? Cosimo’s role in music history exceeds that of Sam Phillips in my opinion.
Thank you producers, writers, actors, consultants, musicians and crew. It was an amazing first season.
The flashback made me think about what a profound event we all endured. It’s one thing to be in it and a part of it, the moments are so on your skin, they are regarded more intensely and they become more of an extension of your own consciousness, like a body part. But it’s surreal to see it depicted in a drama. Our lives, our environments, our friends were all a significant zeitgeist. There is a certain raised awareness in having witnessed an adept creation of that.
Watching LaDonna take part in the Second Line after Daymo’s funeral and the heart-wrenching, painful flashback scenes was amazing–she is so wounded, in such pain and her face and her wooden herky-jerk first movements reflect that more than any words could possibly manage. You see a change as she ecomes swept up in music and movement and the way it can, for a moment, transcend the depths of pain and sorrow and hopelessness. Her face and her body tell a story that is unique to her experiences but also encompasses the losses those around her have suffered beyond the loss of the young man whose passing they mourn and whose life they are celebrating.
I hope TOni gives Creighton his Second Line. For Cray, yeah, but for mostly for Sofia and for herself.
Begging for hate mail here, but congrats to Davis for successfully trading up.
it should go without saying that the above comment is merely an expression of my fondness for Ray, but just in case, rest assured.
Oh man. No way. Annie’s weak.
In any case, Annie’s traded up, and that’s a relief.
As long as she was with Sonny she was of no interest to me as a character.
From the moment she hooked up with Davis on Mardi Gras she began to become a person, and thus interesting.
Oddly too, Janette was of no interest to me as a chef. But when I could see her outside the kitchen(s), on Mardi Gras, she began to be a person also, and thus interesting. Alas, just when she’s gone, now.
The Goodman character was just so wrong in so many ways because he was never a convincing novelist or English professor. So … but Toni was a convincing character from the beginning, as were Albert and LaDonna. Antoine was a convincing role from the first episode also, but he got to be more and more of a person-character with each episode. It was also a delight to see Tom McDermot blossom as himself through the course of the season — such a sweetheart. Though maybe some may not see it that way — because the musicians were themselves, and thus convincing because, well, they are musicians. 🙂
The Mardi Gras episode seems to me the best one of them all. Maybe. The responses may get reshuffled when I get to watch them all back-to-back on dvd.
In any case, as after watching each of Treme’s episodes, I dreamed of the show and New Orleans all night. But last night, because of the evacuation flashback, the dream was even more intense, and included that and the aftershocks after aftershocks from our friends’ real lives and what we witnessed.
Wrung out from that I’m actually glad there are months before the next season begins.
Jeanette bailed and Annie is the weak one?
Um, I, for one, am not angry at people who left and didn’t come back. (Me, I came back post-K after being gone for 20 years.) I do get angry at people who are here and don’t do much of anything to make things better. 🙂 Skye, I agree with you about Toni–her anger is very understandable, IMO. Love your remarks on the ringing phone–right on the mark. Still hearing it.
It does seem best for them both. Annie might get some more spine as she gets treated better, and Davis, through his last days with Jeanette, has found that he has more to give after all.
Be careful of that word, “weak.”
Annie left Sonny–it took a lot, and she almost went back, but she did leave a bad situation. So did Jeanette. Nothing wrong with leaving a situation that shows no signs of being improved.
Loved “The Moviegoer” detail, BTW. What else would an English prof be reading during an evacuation?!
Some real happy things in this episode, under the theme of coming-together (fathers & sons, cop and Indians, bouncer & roofer, musicians, etc.). Nice ending note.
One wonders too, how the loss of David Mills will affect season 2. Now that loss affected everyone. Damn. Just. Damn.
So many losses.
So many that matter so much.
She traded someone who would beat the shit out of her for someone that will annoy the shit out of her.
Have her move in with the gay neighbors and swear off guys for a while. Girl needs a break and gay neighbors need something to do.
The only reason she didn’t go back to him was because thre was a tatted up chick up in her bed when she got there. It took THAT. She also sabotaged her own career to stay with Sonny. And in the end, she didn’t even break up with Sonny. She wanted to do music with someone else and he kicked her out.
Warming Glow, riffing on Sepinwall’s with Simon
David Simon translated: People are too stupid to appreciate Treme
Antoine’s cab rides of $24 and then $28…where was he coming from exactly? How far is it in term of miles and also time?
Let’s not jump ahead too quickly here. We didn’t actually see Janette get on that plane. What if she has second thoughts and hops a cab from MSY back to Davis’ house, and walks in to find Annie.
Wild ass guess: Ep 1 of Season 2 starts with Davis naked again.
Enlighten me: do people really snort cocaine off the basin in the barroom bathroom? Cause I gotta tell you, barroom bathrooms are some nasty shit. Every time I use one I thank natural selection that I don’t have to touch anything. Druggies have got to be some seriously messed up people to be doing what Sonny did in that last episode. Eww.
Great post over at DBW
Treme‘s Racial Implications
Wow man…they snort it off toilet bowls..chop a rail, roll up a bill, go at it.
I agree…Antoine changed a little each week, he is so complex, whoring cheater and great father (well..as great as he can be)….paying the bills and also gambling away damn-near all his gig cash. Everybody was so great, but I give STAR OF THE SHOW to Antoine Batiste.
An Emmy for Wendell Pierce.
Season Two, Janette’s body is gonna wash up under the Crescent City Connection (we didn’t see her jump, but she jumped) and Lt. Colson is gonna get in a pissing match with JPSO over which parish has jurisdiction.
That was kind of a dodgy sink, I don’t remember if he wiped it off first.
One common practice, which, uh, somebody told me about, is to go into a stall and lay the lines out on the top of the toilet paper dispenser. Nice flat shiny surface that is less likely to have crap all over it, and you can lock the door behind you for privacy. Or so I’ve been told.
Ray…Sonny wiped off a little area to chop a rail.
OK, so I don’t mind if people don’t like Treme. I love it, but that’s just me. And I don’t expect everybody to have watched The Wire and loved it from the very first night it aired. I did, but that’s just me.
What I’m getting tired of is people first desperately trying to establish their Simon-cred (“I thought The Wire was the best show in the history of television”) before whining about all the perceived shortcomings in Treme.
Critique Treme on its merits, or do not. But unless you formed strong opinions about The Wire during first run of Season 1, before everybody was already telling you that it was the greatest show ever made, comparing and contrasting your Wire take with your Treme take doesn’t make for a very compelling read.
(Not directed at the Warming Glow guy, I’m just saying.)
Dex, next time we’re swapping war stories over a couple of shirley temples, remind me to tell you about the time I managed to get a staph infection in my perotid gland, and exactly which San Francisco nightclub men’s room was involved.
Still being alive is a miracle, no?
Ray…sounds scary, the San Francisco treat…when I was 18 I got drunk as a shitbird in Slidell on a Saturday and had to play a baseball game at 1:00 PM on Sunday…about 99 degrees, 99% humidity, and I was the catcher. I sweat out all that beer by about the third inning then I started slowly dying. I must have drunk three gallons of water and dumped another ten gallons on my head. I remembered not to drink VO & water and chase it with beer after beer.
Then I forgot to remember and 25 years later I woke up and smelled …coffee, of course. Now I am hooked on java.
Tim, I thought that same thing, that Janette leaves the gate and goes back to Davis’ to find him with Annie.
I’m with ya brother. But I love Antoine because I love Bunk. I wish Antoine lived across the street from me.
Try spooling your tongue back in before someone steps on it son.
Someday I’ll tell y’all how I managed to get 86’d from the Lumberjack Tavern in Big Bay, MI, for pissing on the jukebox.
I dunno, Tim. Simon is such a strong visual storyteller that he generally means what he shows us to look like what it is.
Well, that was such an incoherent sentence that I left it there in all its wonder. Check it out, folks: three college degrees FTW.
What I mean is, if it looks like Cray jumped off the ferry, he jumped off the ferry. If it we leave Janette getting ready to board a plane for New York, my guess is that she’s going to New York, at least for a while.
I don’t think D.S. goes in for the Bait-and-Switch too much. More power to him, IMHO — I hate that shit, as much as I mourn the loss of his characters.
I’m starting to warm to the character, now that he’s showing a human side and not being a sixteen-cylinder shit all the time. The thought Davis & Annie makes me wanna awwww, even though I know Sonny is still out there and their time will not be untroubled.
And wasn’t Donald Harrison’s Indian Chief ‘s headdress a big Fleur de lis? At least it looked that way to me. Loved the episode!
I couldn’t resist replying. What a maroon.
One you start licking razor blades, hygiene isn’t a primary concern.
My personal delight at knowing Annie’s spending the summer with Davis’s sunny disposition rather than Sonny’s dark horrors knows no bounds.
Compared with Sonny Annie’s really traded up, way up, to be hanging with Davis. He may be annoying — well, Davis is worse than annoying when he’s bad, though when he’s good, he’s very, very good — but anyone who has had to live with the eggshells ready to blow whenever that is Sonny, this change has got to be a piece of cake.
David Simon wrote it. He said at the conference at the Tenn Wms Fest that he still had it to write, and said at the time “This (conference) is actually the highlight of my day.”
A couple of days later, David Mills died. I have wondered how that colored some of the last couple of episodes (they hadn’t yet filmed episode 9 though it was already written).
It must have been hard to focus on the show while processing the unexpected death of a longtime friend.
I confess, it did throw me at first, cause at first I thought “Hmm… Davis didn’t see Janette off to the airport?” Then it started sinking in. (Speaking of Janette- if we didn’t actually see her going to the airport, kinda makes me wonder what’s going to happen if she moseys over to Davis’s and finds Annie there. Not that anything seems to have gelled yet between Davis and Annie at this point.
I’m guessing I wasn’t the only one who wondered when Sonny busted up his keyboard whether we were switching to the Zach narrative. Hopefully not. Ever.
Seems pretty realistic to me. As you get older, you often end up with more ‘colleagues’ than friends. Most folks seem to hang with their family and neighbors. (‘Course, wondered why there weren’t any neighbors around).
So I just registered for an email when it comes out. Not saying I won’t pick up one of the boots just to see if they’re decent, especially if I’m hungry and in the hood.
He and Antoine had had another run-in when the cabbie said “And don’t forget that six bucks you owe me…”
Re Toni- I’m kind of amazed at the anger I’m seeing here and there. Or rather the surprise at her anger at Creigh (or “Cray” as he spelled it). I fortunately haven’t been in her position, but I imagine anger would definitely be part of the mix some of the time, especially if I had a young daughter who I knew was going to be carrying that the rest of her life. And you could see from the way she reacted when she was hugging his tweed jacket that she was torn open- it wasn’t all the same mood (And props to the writers for daring to have a character do something that rubs viewers- who might feel an allegiance to the deceased- the wrong way). One of the unfortunate things about funerals are decisions have to be made fast, and she may have regretted her decision about it soon.
But I’m never going to feel like I’m in the position to decide how someone is supposed to process their grief after the suicide of their partner.
the sad truth about Awards is -well, first of all, David Simon’s shows rarely get them (too ‘slow’, too complicated, not linear enough blah blah blah- you know the drill)- but the second thing is- characters like Antoine rarely get nominated (unless they’re in the comedy category, which won’t happen since the show would be regarded as a drama). We haven’t seen enough grief from Antoine so they don’t know if he’s REALLY working. (I’m not saying that’s how I feel, but it’s similar to how comedies rarely ever get nominated for Oscars).
Now, as cynical as I’ve grown about the awards shows, even I’d be amazed if the ‘head-in-hindquarters’ Emmy judges don’t at least nominate Khandi Alexander and possibly Clarke Peters. But then I read this and I think once again my heart is talking when my (logical) head isn’t…
Just a quick comment from an out-of-town perspective. It’s so great to have you insiders to give us a deep appreciation for what’s going on in the show. The flashback didn’t work for some, and it worked in spades for many who went through those very activities. I felt it worked really well in the emotions it provoked in this nonNolan because of the impending doom for what was coming for those particular characters. Many of you recalled (to varying degrees of discomfort) your own experiences. We outsiders were walloped by Antoine’s record collection, knowing they would be gone. Janette settling into her parents’ house, when we know what’s going to happen to hers. And poor Daymo, I’m yelling at him to stop at the red light, when I know full well what’s going to happen. What’s the old joke, why do you watch Titanic, when you know how it ends? Well, it shows what Simon and Co. have done when a device like that works so well as a device, and also in that it highlights how far we’ve come as viewers.
Somone probably already linked it- (and I first came across it via Tom Piazza on FB) but here’s an interview with Simon at season’s end. I love the comment about he doesn’t pay so much attention to what people are saying as it goes along (unless historically it isn’t matching up) because people watching it episode by episode ‘don’t know the story’ (or how it ends).
ha! from the interview: “And in the same way that people often miscalculate or fail to acknowledge the equivocation between high-stakes and plot itself, I think people generally mistake their dislike of a character as poor acting.”
take that, Zahn nay-sayers!
and… “Goodman was brilliant. He wasn’t chewing furniture. There were moments when he went over the top. He was brilliant. Same thing with Zahn. Zahn, to me, defined that character from jump. And it was only when the character made a few right moves that people said, “Oh, I sort of like that character. He’s not bad.” I mean, it’s one thing to talk about the character; it’s another thing to talk about acting as if people know what the fuck they’re talking about. “
(OK- enough with the quoting- but Simon gives a big shout-out to this here blog in the interview, too)
Yes, indeed! Congratulations to all on the Simon mention. Well deserved.
brueso, I don’t think the anger is entirely about her reaction in grief. I think some people were angry about her own work-a-holic enabling co-dependence part in what happened. Like I said, I think they dug that hole together and people’s judgement of that is going to depend a lot on what they bring to viewing the situation out of their own experience.
Her grief is understandable and was so brilliantly scripted and played. And the smile a Daymo’s second line, the way it took her in the way it did LaDonna, was a beautiful moment. Someone said they hoped they open next season with a second line: Cray’s. I would like to think there might be another framing moment to start and end next season, but if we don’t see Cray’s second line I’ll be deeply saddened, and perhaps a bit angry.
I’ve walked in on a similar scene at a bar that rhymes with Simi’s in the Barigny.
I love a good drunkalog, you two!
not getting why folks are pissed at toni.
any one who was here from the man made flood on thru the dysfunction would totally get her reaction.
maybe it’s just me.
as for the flashbacks , i thought they were sublime.
other people discribed them as gut punches.
thats why i love this show,
it speaks to so many different people.
I was really impressed that the team had ‘Nolia Clap playing in Daymo’s car when he got arrested.
Shivers, baby, shivers. The shoutouts to all those ghost-ridden, boarded up projects, foretelling their final destruction. Daymo, on his way to becoming a rattling skeleton, a revenant of New Orleans past.
“Nolia Clap” is one of the greatest, ever. That whistle ….
Indeed, a huge loss. I’ve been slowly trying to get through his Undercover Blackman threads (astonishingly good things on funk especially) but there’s a ton of stuff there and it sends you off into all sorts of intriguing places. Some of his musings on old encylopedias will make it into a project for my intro course this year. A tribute of sorts.
“The Goodman character was just so wrong in so many ways because he was never a convincing novelist or English professor.”
I suppose there are two responses (at least). One would be that wasn’t that kind of the point? He hadn’t convinced himself. As I said last week, the classroom scene was very well done, and convincingly real. The second response would be that he reminds me a very great deal of professors I have worked with in the past, and currently work with *blush* As a group they/we are often remarkably cut off from society at large, and are generally unaware of it. The profs who have large circles of friends and a large involvement in the communities in which they live seem to be the exception. Of course, we are only seeing him under the effects of the immediate post-storm circumstances, but given that I didn’t see anything that didn’t seem in the range of possibilities.
I don’t put a large stock in student evaluations of professors (of the ratemyprofessor.com variety anyway) but I usually find that taken as a whole they usually are pretty compatible with my impression of my colleagues’ interactions with students and society in general. Students can smell fear as well as they can smell disinterest.
Side comment on the episode: I had never heard the Danny Barker version of “Indian Red” and I loved it. The whole montage was somewhat reminicent of the “Bueno Sera” one in the first episode, though it had some ‘heavier’ stuff in it. But seeing Albert’s gang singing along to the song was a joy.
more thoughts re this montage: interesting to contrast what has happened to the characters between that first montage and this one: earlier one showed Creigh and Toni laughing on the porch- second one shows the cops finding Creigh’s truck; earlier one showed Albert clearing out Poke’s- second shows him working with his gang, etc. What was common in both: D.J. Davis sitting late nite at O.Z., playing air piano, letting that fantastic music circulate in his bones.
I also don’t think anyone’s mentioned the scene of David Morse letting Toni go into Creigh’s truck and take what she wants. It suggested he was going to let her take anything that might reflect that it was a suicide “for your daughter, and for you.” This might remove some of the public embarrassment (though Toni was shown with her colleague clearly talking about it as a suicide). I can’t remember whether the newspaper headline gave an indication as to whether it was a suicide or not – I do remember someone saying “How can you fall from a ferry” or words to that effect. Anyway, Morse’s character again seems to be the decent cop that it seemed we hadn’t seen in the earlier episodes. From the Simon interview, it sounds like Morse will be around more as the crime comes back, and I’m glad to hear it. Never seem to see enough of his work and he’s such a strong thoughtful presence. Loved his work back in the Homicide episode he was in, in Lars von Trier’s “Dancer in the Dark” and he seemed like a perfect George Washington in the “John Adams” miniseries.
also, Morse allowing evidence of suicide to disappear would arguably protect if any life insurance claim would be made, though my guess is Toni wouldn’t make one.
I don’t think the headline intimated suicide at all. And my thinking about Toni’s action was that she was trying to protect her daughter from more pain than necessary. Suicide does such terrible damage to those left behind. I think Toni desperately wanted to shield her daughter from her father’s abandoment of the family.
Watching it again I was struck by Toni’s look when she realizes Sophia has come downstairs as she is talking to the detectives. A life captured in a split second of acting.
I used to watch Morse on St. Elsewhere way back in the day. He was also good as “Brutal” in Green Mile. A great character actor.
That’s right–the “Bueno Sera” sequence in the first episode! I forgot about that. Great for you to notice that. What an excellent musical coda for the first season, Prima to Barker.
Love love love the music.
The flashbacks were like gut punches to those of us who still have something akin to PTSD. Although we tell ourselves we have made great progress in getting back to normal, we’re sometimes a little shaky. We remember that stretch after the storm and have dreaded all season some scenes that might turn up in this show but, speaking for myself, at least, didn’t think to guard against a flashback to the thing itself.
We sometimes forget what Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead, it is not even past.”
Another brilliant moment of acting was when Toni first got in the truck she picked up Cray’s jacket and brought it to her face. That looked completely involuntary, authentic. Echoing his rejection, she thrust the jacket away. When she found the note, in her anger, she shoved it back as if it were a lie.
They seemed such strangers to each other, really. Maybe just since the storm, or since the child, or just always. People get married for the damnedest reasons.
I think Toni will get over it, and fairly soon. Sophia, not so much. I really can’t imagine what the second season has in store for them.
Here’s another Louis Prima fave:
I thought this guy, Garland Robinette was part of the makeup of Creigh Bernette…man, was I way off…
They’ve been called co-dependent, dysfunctional, whatever the current labels are for marriages like that. Any marriage can begin well and still look good, even if the partners are too busy for quite as much time alone together after ten, fifteen or forty years. It changes and becomes the product of a thousand unspoken bargains through the years.
It’s not uncommon to find, after a while, two people who were once a pair of lovers are now parents, connected only by their child(ren), each playing the roles they’ve mutually agreed upon. Date night replaces spontaneous moments and dinner out replaces date night. He pontificates and she is never still. She reaches out and he pulls away, or is it the other way around?
When do you intervene in your own relationship to prevent that slide into a place too far? Do you call a time out while there’s a child with colic or carpool so you can get your marriage back on track? Do you become your partner’s mother, judge, therapist? How do you reach someone who hides behind his role and will not be reached? How can you make someone see you who who does not look at you anymore?
Dance, ballerina, dance.
There is so much to this show that I’m not sure that the rest of the world can understand. It’s almost as if HBO and Simon are making a show just for the viewers on the Gulf Coast (disclaimer, I’m a friend of Lolis and have, in fact, even appeared on film with him in another hurricane related film).
One night I was hosting a dinner party for about a dozen people, half of which can eat at my house even when I am not home and the other half friends of friends, all from NOLA except for two out of town journalists. This was about 6 months after the storm. Things were fun, but kind of weird. I finally asked for a show of hands of people at the dinner table who were taking anti depressants of some sort-9 of 10 NOLA residents were on the stuff. For those of you that don’t believe that PTSD and all of the other related stuff weren’t real, this is the best example that I have that happy people, normally, were on their knees. The people from out of town thought that we were joking or something, but then they figured out that it was as real as the day is long.
Creighton did what he did. I had a friend do the same thing in December (though he did it with a gun). 5 more minutes and he might have changed his mind. Suicide is a tough friend. Most of the time, most of the people, just walk off and deal with life. Every once in a while that little dip is just too much.
I’ll miss the character. I thought that he played it well and as it should be.
You should go read my blog about my experience with that PSTD stuff around that time.
I love David Simon for this show. For years after Katrina, I just wanted America to know the truth of what was going on in New Orleans. He is doing that now; the good, the bad and the ugly. I thank him for that sincerely. As to anti-depressants, most of the members of my immediate family were on them in the years after Katrina, and they wanted me on them too. I did not see how antidepressnats would help me through the righteous rage I felt. It was not an imaginary reason people were depressed or angry. It was a REAL external reality that caused the pain. A pill would never cure that. It would take action to change that. Maybe that is where Toni is coming from. Maybe that was the source of her frenetic action.
Yeah you right!!! John Boutte can come over and sing at my place any time he wants!!!
The flashback was incredible genious, and hard to watch. You can’t help but think about where you were during the evacuation. Antoine’s actions most fit mine–the last things to take, put the rest on a high place, hope for the best. Man, I lost all my albums in that flood, and honestly they were the LAST thing I threw out of the house because I just couldn’t do it…. Cried my eyes out, and still choke up just thinking about all those scenes. Powerful episode, great series. Damn….
That is exactly how I felt when they wanted to put me on antidepressants.
A pill could not cure what I felt. It would take action to change that.
Remember, he’s living in Metairie (out in the burbs) since his place in the city flooded.
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