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You Might Be Depressed

May 15, 2011

  1. Dexter permalink
    May 16, 2011 12:03 am

    Albert wasn’t depressed no how, and he was feelin’ down-right chipper after torching that thin one with Delmond. ‘Sides, the preview for next week shows Albert is on the road to straight-up happiness.

    It was sad to see LaDonna battling early-onset post-traumatic stress.

    Sonny just keeps sinking. “It’s a small town, word gets around”. Well, there’s always a chance, but Sonny doesn’t want help; he appears to be doomed.

    Antoine teaching the instrument-less kids was just sad, but it is a joy to see the Soul Apostles, especially with the Japanese guitar man.

  2. brueso permalink
    May 16, 2011 1:08 am

    I actually rejoiced at seeing that LaDonna is having moments of her usual toughness. When she said “I ain’t gonna let them run me off here”, I actually exclaimed to my TV “FUCK yeah!” But it’s inevitable that there will be sorrow as she continues to work it through- maybe forever.

    So many great moments in this episode, still want to continue to digest them before articulating about them.

  3. May 16, 2011 2:24 am

    I watched this episode with a lot of folks, including Clarke Peters, Kim Dickens, Steve Zahn, Ntare Mwine and a Boston Legal alumnust, Mark Valley (remember the Katrina episode of that show, it was great!). Nevermind the bar full of people who just love the show. I truly think the cast members were surprised by the response to certain character’s story arcs: Janette throwing a drink in Alan Richmond’s face was an uproar. and to his credit it really WAS Richmond in the show. Learned that from Kim Dickens herself.

    I gotta wonder how thrilled they were to see their performances cheered loudly by the crowd. When Janette threw the Sazerac (ya know, god forgive me, I’ve never had one-someone volunteering to buy me one?) into his face the place erupted cancelling out any further dialogue for a few seconds. Antoine’s JOB job elicited the same response as did his musical sets (no, the music does NOT get in the way of the story). The place went silent as the teacher from Lusher texts came through and in the Dinerral was shot sequences.

    Everyone seems to be hoping Sonny pulls it out but one patron said, “In New Orleans it’s only TWO degrees from whoever” which was prompted by the NOLA is a small town and word gets around.

    There was a conversation about how Jacques and Janette should just get together and be done with all the schmo’s she hooking up with in NYC. Mwine was surprised to hear that, but there were several folks in there saying they should just open a restaurant and be done with it. Yes, for those among us who are wondering, his eyes are just as evocative in person as is he. Remarkable man.

    Folks were excited that the Saints/NFL was so masterfully done. The tickets to Oliver Thomas (who is so well cast you think you’re looking at HIM), Aunt Mimi and her Saints hat. The NYC bar with Saints jerseys all around. Overall a brilliant way to get around the NFL’s chokehold on licensing. Hey, the costume dept paid NFL rates for those jerseys! They got their cut.

    The place went silent when the thunderclap hit, the power went off, and the kids were told “It’s not Katrina.” Tulane, I think, did a lot of outreach to the kids who were totally traumatized by fear after the storm. Their little faces said so much.

    Melissa Leo’s response to the Lusher teacher’s suicide (did that happen?) was perfectly played and caused absolute silence in the place, which had been pretty silent to begin with. I am looking forward to that story arc.

    As for LaDonna, there were cheers when she, although utterly traumatized, says that she’s not gonna let that get her down (nevermind the shot of her on the couch, in crouch position, scared to death). It was smart, btw, for Antoine to be the one who told her she shouldn’t close up alone anymore. Naturally everyone expected it to be her husband.

    After the episode ended, the cast members stayed around for a bit. Then they played Spike Lee’s “If God is Willing and Creek Don’t Rise.” Everyone who stayed said General Honore should have been made King of New Orleans, which gave rise to an entire bar full of conversations about the DOJ report and NOPD in general.

    Ya know, Simon, Overmyer and Lolis Elie, who wrote this episode have it down. Watching people from here watching this show is endlessly fascinating as they are endlessly fascinated by the fact that the story is being told. It matters.

    I’m not entirely sure that the cast members who were in attendance understood how invested we are in their characters. I’m also not entirely sure that the regular NOLA citizens watching this show understood that there are some folks not from here who will never get it. But in the end, the hour goes too quickly and this “gee, it’s such a slow moving show” nonsense makes no sense to the people sitting on floors on St. Claude St. at the HiHo.

    Sorry for the rant, but wanted to document what I saw tonight as Dinerral Shavers’ murder was tossed into the mix of the fear and anger of that time. These guys have down. They get it.

    In the end, that’s what matters.

  4. May 16, 2011 4:09 am

    are Mwine and Dickens an ‘item’? I’ve seen some pics of them at Jazz Fest last weekend that would suggest that…..

  5. May 16, 2011 10:37 am

    My first impression of last night’s episode was the marked changed in everyone’s mood (except for LaDonna and Sonny) from the last. The only ambiguity was Annie’s when confronted with the manager who she could have connected with but didn’t, still tentative about her own talent. Sonny’s failure and her own lack of self-image still worry me. That relationship is still not resolved, and even taking the gruesome murder of ’06 off the table doesn’t mean that something bad between her and Sonny are completely off the table. I’m not a mystery reader but I know what a red herring is.

    Even the chief seemed in good spirits in the last. I have to wonder what most of America thought about two musicians having a holiday bonding moment over a joint, which to many of us probably seemed like it was no thing.

    I think overall the two episodes together showed how flighty everyone’s mood was, and brought back for me Creighton’s comments in the restaurant last yeaer: what everyone wanted was family, food and community, and the holidays give you that. (The teacher’s holiday suicide noted, and could be considered to underscore that if he was alone at Christmas in his FEMA trailer).

  6. NickTheChiller permalink
    May 16, 2011 11:12 am

    Did you hear how hard Antoine was back-pedaling to get out of the teaching job? “Your wife rescheduled…” That was funny.

    What about that look on Antoine’s wife’s face after opening that jewelery box? Man she looked pissed.

  7. May 16, 2011 11:22 am

    I don’t think they should be surprised we’re invested in their characters, because they’re doing such a bang up job. They were probably just being aw-shucks modest. I’ll just be dumbfounded if some of these performer’s don’t break the Simon production record and shake loose a few Emmys.

  8. May 16, 2011 11:49 am

    Davis and his bounce album=considered switching channels.

  9. May 16, 2011 12:57 pm

    Well she absolutely was pissed! She was expecting a ring and a proposal. I just loved how self satisfied he looked, totally clueless.

  10. May 16, 2011 1:02 pm

    @brophy: I think the pics might be from the Fest recreation, i.e., it’s the characters who are going to become an item, not the actors. At least that’s what I heard.

    Either way, they’re adorable together.

  11. May 16, 2011 1:04 pm

    This is from last week, but I meant to comment: Ladonna pronounces Urquhart Street as “UR-quart”, which was an awesome detail to get right. I only ever heard that pronunciation from locals when I volunteered in the Lower 9.

  12. OpenThread permalink
    May 16, 2011 1:38 pm

    Post edited to correct title. OpenThread deeply regrets the error

  13. virgotex permalink*
    May 16, 2011 3:41 pm

    re Annie and the manager, I read that completely differently. Rather than her not stepping up to the chance, I saw it as him being subtle about her (in his opinion) not being good enough yet, rather than just coming out and saying it.

  14. brueso permalink
    May 16, 2011 3:47 pm

    His attempts at back-pedaling were hilarious (“Do you know about my criminal record?”) When the other teacher let him know that having misdemeanors was OK, it was probably the only time we’ve ever seen someone WISH they had a more serious criminal history!

  15. May 16, 2011 5:40 pm

    Yeah, that’s the one I saw too.

    Note the caption: “Actors Kim Dickens and Ntare Mwine dance during the Iguanas set at Jazz Fest Thursday while being filmed for the final episode of Season 2 of HBO’s Treme.

    Again, either way: CUUUUUTE

  16. May 16, 2011 6:32 pm

    I should probably refrain from commenting until I’ve fully digested an episode (after it sinks in, it begins to make more profound sense).

    One thing that is a minor detail (?) but part of a larger theme, the transformation of Batiste’s character under the ‘burden of leadership’ was really interesting. Whereas S1 had him hustling for the next way to get over (to survive/get by), but in S1 we’re seeing that same guile being put to use to drive his creation (Soul Apostles). After the first gig, flirting with the ladies in the crowd you can see the gears churning in his head. Where in S1 this would’ve been played for some quick strange, but as the band leader in S2, Antoine is parlaying this as a means to open his Christmas gig and make a name for himself to deliver memorable performances.

  17. May 16, 2011 6:38 pm

    One more thing……

    After Simon’s tirade against the greed of the NFL 2 weeks ago……it is (has to be) satisfying to see him pressing the boundaries (doing everything BUT featuring the NFL license) to include the Saints. From including WWL Zeke & Bobby radio piece last week (while Hildago was getting out of the car) to putting it back in the face of NFL Properties by chanting “Who Dat” in the NY Bar (after the NFL attempted to trademark it as an NFL property). Maybe innocuous and harmless subtleties, but I have to think it might be a big “FU” from David Simon and Co.

  18. doctorj2u permalink
    May 16, 2011 8:13 pm

    Alan Richman is a miserable excuse for a human being. In another GQ interview about his “Treme” appearance, he says this:

    “Two groups of people hate me. All together, it adds up to 343,830 grudge-bearers. That might seem like a lot, but they all dislike me for the same reason. It’s nice to know I’ve only done one thing wrong in my life.

    A majority of them, 343,829, comprise the entire population of New Orleans. They are unhappy with a GQ story I wrote about the city in 2006, a year after Katrina. What I wrote, in summation, was that New Orleans was a mess and wasn’t doing much to get itself out of the mess.

    I guess I spent five years of my life doing nothing. He is right about one thing. God, I HATE this man. What I remember in that article was him complaining about the wine the waiter brought him (when the city was still a war zone) and saying that Creoles were a myth. Did I say I hate this man yet? I started to post to the blog entry but quit, realizing controversy is what he gets off on. The city survives. That is all that is important.

  19. rickngentily permalink
    May 16, 2011 8:36 pm

    too me he seemed like he was hot for her and asked his pal shawn to hook them up.

  20. rickngentily permalink
    May 16, 2011 8:39 pm

    his words from last week came back to haunt him in that opening scene.

    the last look on his face in that scene seemed like instant karma / deja vu.

    he told his band during rehearsal last week that they sounded like a bunch of high school students.

  21. rickngentily permalink
    May 16, 2011 8:42 pm

    man that shit sounded white.

    i loved the studio producer trying to be tactful by saying yah that was good comedy and davis said no man that was my slow jam.

    “face it davis we’re white deal with it.”

  22. May 16, 2011 8:47 pm

    Janette and Delmond meeting in the NYC sports bar for a Saints game … he gives her a + 1 to his Blue Note gig.

    And here I was thinking that despite them sitting in the same Jetblue row on a flight to NYC at the end of the seaons 1 finale, that maybe after all they weren’t gonna hook up. Not that they’ve hooked up or anything now either.

    But jeeze, are African American ladies in NYC that ignorant of NO and Jazz and the roots of it all? Oooops, wait a mo — one of my editors, as she admitted down the line, up the line here, well, no, she doesn’t know this stuff. But she’s really cool like that, admitting she doesn’t know everything either. Still, then, how the eff, did Delmond and she this woman who sees the roots of jazz being all dead and gone and not worthy of her great status these days hook up in the first place? Coz, you know, musicians ….

    Love, c.

  23. Dexter St. Jacques permalink
    May 16, 2011 10:37 pm

    I cringed when the filmaker explained to the chiefs that she was from the East and desire to know the background of all the tribes because her parents didn’t approve of Indians.

    I grew up in the East and never felt a real solid connection to Indians and brass bands. Not because my people didn’t approve but because we didn’t grow up with them in our immediate area. Now I know there are some people that moved to the East that tried very hard to cut off all ties to the neighborhoods and culture that they grew up in.

  24. May 16, 2011 11:19 pm

    Was Janette throwing a drink in real Richman’s face in fake 2006 supposed to make us feel better about him and what he wrote? Fuck that noise.

  25. May 17, 2011 5:37 am

    Read the link. He’s still a fuckmook in spite of showing up to get the drink tossed in his face.

  26. Virgotex permalink
    May 17, 2011 6:54 am

    Also, whoever gets credit for that scene, Lolis wrote the script, not Bourdain.

  27. wigatrisk permalink
    May 17, 2011 7:19 am

    I recall that came with a little spoiler warning, since she’s still in NYC as far as we now know…

  28. wigatrisk permalink
    May 17, 2011 7:23 am

    Yep, I liked that evolution from what was a kind of bravado about his musical chops to the beginning of real confidence. Very believably done.

  29. wigatrisk permalink
    May 17, 2011 7:26 am

    I think Virgotex has the measure of it. He was gently rejecting her while also trying to encourage confidence and prod her into greater seriousness (professionalism?). Speaking of managers, this was the first time I thought Jim True-Frost looked natural on camera.

  30. wigatrisk permalink
    May 17, 2011 7:28 am

    Quite right Virgotex, and a great screenplay it was. Really showed the story-telling power of an ensemble piece, which is welcome after the controversy(?) last week about what weighting different parts of the whole should get.

  31. May 17, 2011 7:41 am

    No. It wasn’t meant to make us feel better about what he wrote (or continues to write) but the entire crowd erupted into cheering when she did that. I heard that the same thing happened in other bars showing Treme and one friend was cheering in his living room. So while it didn’t make us feel better about what he wrote, it was a kind of collective “at least SOMEONE threw a drink in his face” moment.

    While I was told that he was a “really good sport” about it, I think doctorj2u has it right: He gets off on being hated, so my guess is that for Richman (which I misspelled in my earlier comment, oh well) the whole thing was fine. He doesn’t care one way or the other and my guess is that he’ll never understand how hard he kicked us when we were down.

  32. wigatrisk permalink
    May 17, 2011 8:02 am

    Thanks for that Dexter, as an outsider the specific reference to the East was a little lost on me though the overall point was well conveyed. This helps.

  33. wigatrisk permalink
    May 17, 2011 8:31 am

    I can’t speak to the article of course, but after reading Dave Walker this morning I’d give Richman a small bit of credit for insisting on the Waddington’s being his dinner companions on screen. I wonder if the price of having him be a “good sport” was letting him get the last line, even a prickish superior one.

  34. May 17, 2011 9:22 am

    The joke’s still on us. He showed up to be sazeraced on his own terms and got to write about us again.

    I’ve been meaning to pen an alternate history show of New Orleans called Metry. Vignettes include “Nagin found with goat; runs away to Dallas in shame never to be heard from again. Landrieu declared mayor in historic 2006 election.” Or “Katrina bears down on Louisiana. Levees don’t fail. The end.”

  35. virgotex permalink*
    May 17, 2011 10:11 am

    Has nothing to do with being African American specifically. Most people don’t know crap about America’s musical heritage. Don’t know who people like Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family, Sister Rosetta Tharpe (to name but a tiny handful) ARE much less the fact that they are among the great great great grandparents of rock n roll. People know who Louis Armstrong was but do they know who Bix Biederbecke was, much less how much influence he had on Armstrong?

    I’ve told this story before, here I think, but I remember going to a multi-artist folk/blues concert at Town Hall in NYC and the Wild Tchoupitoulas were one of the acts. The young black college hipsters in the row in front of us apparently didn’t know about Mardi Gras Indians and were incredibly (and quite vocally) derisive of them, and of the rest of the crowd for enjoying them “shucking and jiving.”

    Lots of people, even smart people, are ignorant about lots of things.

  36. adrastosno permalink
    May 17, 2011 10:39 am

    @Sam: That *is* Oliver Thomas playing himself. He lost a lot of weight in prison.

  37. May 17, 2011 10:54 am

    Uh, yeah, Adrastos, I figured that out. Took me a bit though cuz yeah, he has lost a lot of weight. I just thought it was highly superior casting.

  38. May 17, 2011 11:02 am

    Much mirth at the Fortress of Squalitude as well. I’ve been explaining the Salon piece as intentional, ego and career building trollery. (Yes, that’s a word, because I just typed it.) Being controversial (to call a fuckook by it’s more polite name) seems to be a whole new style of writing encouraged by the immediacy of the Internet, and the measure of your success by the number of hits and comments you draw. Richman and Seitz are just two examples of that sort of thing that come to mind. I’ve run into the same thing locally with a blog that annoyes the hell out of me because that’s how its being run.

    I agree with Maitri, he Richman got the last word and the last post, but it sure felt good to see her march in with that drink and give it to him.

    And I think after that there’s only one place left she could find a job above dishwasher, and we all know where that is, so her coming home is hardly a surprise or spoiler.

  39. May 17, 2011 11:02 am

    The way I read it, he was totally hitting on her, and he wasn’t gonna talk business with her until she was in his lap.

  40. May 17, 2011 11:04 am

    Remember he made his debut in the play about himself? He’s got a new career going. If Nagin sells more than 10 copies of his self-published tome Thomas should write himself a book as well. Sam, maybe we should start a Gallatin & Toulouse imprint called Fuckmook to publish these guys.

  41. May 17, 2011 11:11 am

    I agree. I watched it again yesterday, paying particular attention to that scene. Yes he said he was scouting, she felt awkward, he then asks her to One Eyed Jacks saying she’d pretty up the place<–HIT, then follows after her saying long day, etc. "when you're ready." I think that while she does have some confidence issues she saw through him. Cerveris is a local actor. I don't think that will be the last we see of him.

  42. NickTheChiller permalink
    May 17, 2011 11:20 am

    Good catch, Rick. I’m sure that was no accident. As mentioned before, it is a bit of a Presbo flashback, but the kids are better behaved so far. I loved the band director’s speech patterns and mannerisms. He gave off the vibe that said, “Don’t ask questions. We are in a bad situation, but we are moving forward, and we will make the best of it.” I later read that he is the band director at KIPP.

    Unfortunately, I think Antoine has a few attempts at sabotaging this gig up his sleeve. If he sticks with it he might learn that running a band and teaching kids are not that different.

  43. wigatrisk permalink
    May 17, 2011 11:21 am

    The heat must make you guys extra sensitive – if that was seduction I can’t think his success ratio is very high. If that was the aim why wouldn’t he try and “sell” managing her rather than actively turning her away? Sure he invited her but made it clear he didn’t want to manage her, and didn’t press it at all when she shrugged off. Bah. minor point anyway.

  44. virgotex permalink*
    May 17, 2011 11:23 am

    well, I guess that fits into the general sleazebaggery of most non-musicians in the music business

  45. May 17, 2011 11:59 am

    Okay, perhaps this should go in the Death Pool post: a theory being bandied around this house is that while apparently Micarelli (for Ray and Mark I’ll put the requisite *sigh*) had to be convinced by Mr. Simon that she was not going to share Addy’s fate and while the Zack/Addy story was sort of dispensed with in the first episode via the phone call from NY to Morse’s character, are we sure that Sonny isn’t going to do in the new girlfriend? He’s already been told he’s in “no danger of being a great musician,” he’s playing a borrowed guitar and his smashed by the cops keyboard is still there on his floor, just like his only dream. He sure was looking at her funny. Maybe he tries a suicide by cop thing, or gets arrested for it which takes us to the broken justice system and misdemeanor murder and Eddie Jordan?

  46. May 17, 2011 1:28 pm

    Sigh is more genteel than *pant* or *drool* and yes Sonny is headed to a bad end. All of the sympathetic setup is just/setting up the mise en place for his main course yet to come in this side plot pot boiler. And no ADRASTOS hasn’t taken over my account (does this clown taste funny to you?)

  47. virgotex permalink*
    May 17, 2011 2:22 pm

    The Sonny speculation seems off to me. I think y’all are just fishing : )

    I can see possibly stumbling into the middle of something bad and getting himself killed but in general he seems much more like a re-actor than an actor.

    *possibly* – and it seems like a stretch to me – OD’ing

    He’s a loser, sure, but we haven’t seen any indication of him being so out of it or enraged that he’d do something to someone else that would get him locked up. The violence against Annie didn’t appear to be a pattern. To date we haven’t seen a pattern of socio-/psycho-pathic behavior. If they’re going to turn him into a black/white murderer instead of a their usual shades-of-gray character, they’d have to get busy quick.

  48. brueso permalink
    May 17, 2011 2:59 pm

    True, except Wire fans saw the invincible Omar unravel pretty quick. However, I’m with you, I don’t think that’s what’s going on with that character. Suicidal, perhaps (again, that time when an artist comes to the conclusion that he’s a mediocre one is hard going, ‘what else do I have to live for’ is a common feeling- which may be part of what pushed Creigh off the ferry), but I think Sonny is unlikely to take anyone with him if he ‘goes there’. I did admire how they played with us though when we were seeing the guy who got the permanent guitar gig from behind and I’m thinking “Is that Sonny?” before it was revealed it was the other guy.

  49. May 17, 2011 3:00 pm

    I was going to ask about Alan Richman’s Sazerac, but I read the comments first. What do y’all think Ashley would have thought? Same as Maitri and Mark? Or worse?

  50. virgotex permalink*
    May 17, 2011 3:14 pm

    I don’t remember Omar unraveling.

  51. Tommy permalink
    May 17, 2011 3:24 pm

    No, the point of that scene was to say “Hey, we hate Alan Richman, too!”

  52. brueso permalink
    May 17, 2011 3:25 pm

    It was never certain to what extent Omar was losing it or whether he was playing possum. But the personal losses and injuries clearly were taking their toll.

  53. May 17, 2011 3:30 pm

    Waste of good whiskey, I imagine.

    Probably he would’ve drunk the sazerac, and then tried to entice Richman with a Cuban and used the opportunity to educate the poor shmuck. Worst comes to worst, he ditches him at Snake & Jakes at kitchen closing time and lets him deal with a bunch of drunk off-duty line cooks.

  54. doctorj2u permalink
    May 17, 2011 5:52 pm

    Oh my God! On rewatching the show, I realized Aunt Mamie said Davis went to my high school, Newman. Don’t hate me for it. It is a great school. David Torkanowsky was a couple of years behind me (I remember him in the high school talent show.) and Walter Isaacson (Founder of Friends of New Orleans) a year ahead of me. Jay Laperyre, one of the founders of Citizens for One Greater New Orleans, was a year ahead of me. Stephanie Bruno, an advocate for New Orleans neighborhood architecture a year ahead of me. We have all fought long and hard for our city.

  55. May 17, 2011 6:00 pm

    @Raynola, you knew the big mon. That sounds about right. I can see that happenin’. The more I learn about New Orleans the more I am aware of my own ignorance of just how deep the musical roots reach down into it all.

  56. doctorj2u permalink
    May 17, 2011 6:06 pm

    I am a little disappointed. I would hope Ashley would try to reach him with reason, realize it was impossible, and then dress him down as he did so many times on the internet (including Richman’s first article.) I miss him to this day and I never met him.

  57. doctorj2u permalink
    May 17, 2011 7:08 pm

    I wonder if David Simom was listening to our conversation last year. We were talking about how everyone was on medication, but what use was it when the “demon” was reality and not a figment of the mind. It sounds to me that the Albert Lambreaux feels the same way.

  58. Dexter St. Jacques permalink
    May 17, 2011 9:29 pm

    No prob.

    Dave Walker did a good job of breaking everything down here:

  59. May 17, 2011 11:09 pm

    Okay, okay, new Sonny theory! He figures out he won’t make it as a musician and that his life is getting no where so becomes Annie’s manager instead.

    I got a couple poles if someone has the bait, Virgo.

  60. May 20, 2011 11:21 pm

    I’ve enjoyed all the episodes, and have had to go back and watch them to get idea’s for my creative end in it all. I have to say, seeing the actors in the room last week, and serving them drinks, addressing them by first names like I’ve known them my whole life, and then watching the show? I s like an episode, inside an episode… and everyone’s pretty much on the same page.

  61. May 21, 2011 9:02 am

    Do we really think Sonny will be as 1-dimensional as he is made out to be here?
    The girl in his bed in the last episode – that wasn’t the same girl from Mardis Gras from Season 1 (which would may be trying to tell us where he is headed…..)? I just have a difficult time thinking a DAVID SIMON character, introduced, would be as transparent as Sonny has shown (especially with how he was introduced in Season 1….when his original backstory had to do with his rescues).

    Sonny represents a few things (that certainly can be vamped upon to tell a different side of the city). He is an outsider-transplant who was drawn to NOLA because of the music. He is a musician, though, not a particularly great one (it isn’t just impecable technical skills that cause musicians to thrive in the New Orleans music scene). He is currently struggling to get off of street gigs (suggesting we would likely see the story unfold to how he develops into a performing musician with a band / tour / gigs).

    Or maybe he just gets killed next episode and thats that.

  62. May 21, 2011 11:37 am

    Agreed. I totally don’t get where “asshole addict” implies “he’s gonna kill somebody, we just don’t know WHO yet.” I get that there’s probably still latent Zach/Addy impressions hanging around, but just because we’ve established he’s not gonna kill and cook Annie, nothing in this character says murderer.

    Other than the outbursts last season, the guy has been nothing but sad. I feel bad for him. He’s not that good a musician so he’s watching his life dream come apart, he’s got an addiction he can’t beat, he keeps getting robbed and taken advantage of by everyone around him, after (unlike any other character we’ve seen) literally saving lives during the storm, and like everybody else he’s got that PTSD thing. Probably more so, given what he experienced after the storm.

    I think Sonny ought to be afforded more compassion than he’s getting. Fuck, Omar used to kill people and steal their drugs, and y’all loved him.

  63. May 21, 2011 12:15 pm

    Oh I loved Omar. And I’m not saying Sonny IS gonna go sproing. I have a soft spot in my heart for his character, but you said the magic word: PTSD. Given the stressers he’s had, i.e. saving lives, losing Annie, his musical dream not going the way he’d hoped, the thefts: all of that combined could cause him to lose it in some way. Actually I’m hoping he gets a grip and pulls out of his funk.

  64. May 21, 2011 12:44 pm

    And re his addiction, he’s pretty fucking high functioning. He’s not “dope fiending,” scrambling around, robbing people, stealing copper pipes. If he was dope fiending, he wouldn’t have had any instruments left to be stolen, he’d have pawned them himself. As my social worker ex used to say, “if they’re buying groceries with their money, I’m not worrying about them at the moment.” Doesn’t mean he couldn’t drop off that cliff any time after he picks back up once, but he IS trying to make a living, doing his thing.

  65. May 21, 2011 12:46 pm

    Exactly. He hasn’t sunk anywhere near as low as, say, Bubbles.

  66. May 21, 2011 12:56 pm

    Or the people in The Corner. THAT was some dope fiending. One of my ex’s good friends was a recovered addict who was a peer counselor in the agency where they worked. Once back in the day when she was deep in the shit, she got mugged and beat up. Instead of running away, she followed the guys that did it. Because she knew they were going to go score and they’d lead her to some dope.

    Anyone who watched The Corner knows that this team could do that with Sonny, and they aren’t.

  67. May 21, 2011 1:30 pm

    My flip earlier post channeling Peter aside, he is sympathetic in a sad sack way. He’s not one dimensional. You want to feel for the guy in spite of his early assholery to Wisconsonites and the way he treated Annie. If he seems more pathetic and sympathetic perhaps that is more a reflection of ourselves. This show like the city is full of dreamers: Antoine dreaming of his own band, Janette dreaming of her own restaurant, Toni dreaming of justice. Creighton and Sonny and Jeanette remind us that not every dream comes true, that this is not some wonderland but just a different flavor of the same hard world. If we believe that Janette comes home, finds love and opens another restaurant, someone will certainly be left standing at the bus station with a beat bag, the P. A. calling out other places, then gone in a cloud of diesel stink.

  68. May 21, 2011 5:33 pm

    my assumption was…..’Treme’ is about the music scene of New Orleans. Not necessarily second-line jazz, not swing, not Dixie-land, not soul-funk-R/B…its EVERYTHING all mixed together that transcends any type of genre (if you’re not familiar with it, you will struggle to wrap your head around how you can’t label it).

    Antoine is FROM New Orleans
    LaDonna is FROM New Orleans
    Davis is FROM New Orleans
    Chief is FROM New Orleans
    Janette…..she is from Alabama – transplanted for the (soul of what ) food (represents….contrasted against the decadent scene of NY)
    Annie / Sonny are outside transplants to the city for the music

    I’m assuming the story of Sonny will be one of those “soul-mate” musicians who are play for the love of the music. And this is really what the NOLA music scene is about… isn’t about record deals and corporate bullshit – which is the story I believe Simon is trying to present.

    You have musicians destined for the city. Again, I draw the comparisons of Anders Osborne…..Jon Cleary….etc…. people from thousands of miles away, who have fallen in love, adopted, and become a part of the city. My assumption is that this is what we’ll see from Sonny. A guy completely vapid with nothing, finally realizing what the city represents, accepting it and embracing it, and understanding what the art of music really is about (maybe we’ll see this from Annie as well). The ‘success’ he is looking for isn’t going to be music notoriety or acclaim, but of falling in love with his craft.

  69. May 21, 2011 9:02 pm

    By the way, if anybody else is keeping score at home, the official ass count is:

    Davis: 1
    Janette: 1 (panties)
    Antoine: 1
    Sonny: ? (don’t remember, I might have blocked it out)
    Annie: 1 (panties)
    Albert: 0
    LaDonna: o
    Toni: 0
    Delmond: 0
    Hidalgo: debatable from an anatomical standpoint

    (not including random strippers or any of Sonny’s hookups.)

  70. May 21, 2011 9:11 pm

    The meds help with real demons as well as brain chemistry ones.

    And I don’t know that depression is incompatible with rage and the occasional giggle. Nobody is one note all the time. You’re right, it was good seeing some of the old LaDonna. There’s not a one right way for her to feel all the time.

    Not sure I saw Albert’s happiness in next week’s previews; he was mulling over some mail from Road Home, right?

    Speaking of next week, did anybody notice the map that Hidalgo’s mentor was redlining for him? All those blocks along Canal and S. Galvez. Is he gonna be a force behind the whole bulldozing of lower Mid-City to make way for the VA hospital?

  71. rickngentily permalink
    May 21, 2011 9:37 pm

    one last post before the next round.

    i loved the way the bows in annie’s hair on christmass morning were the color of italy’s flag.

    is annie of the same heratige as her portrayer?

  72. brueso permalink
    May 21, 2011 10:23 pm

    I can’t recall actually seeing Omar kill anyone- the most he acknowledged was shooting a dealer in his ‘hindquarters’. He also just stole drugs from dealers. The man had a code, and that was admirable.

    Having said that, I haven’t the foggiest idea what will happen with Sonny, and for that, I’m grateful.

  73. May 21, 2011 10:31 pm

    He killed Stinkum, Stringer Bell, that guy in prison, and a bunch of Marlo’s soldiers, and almost killed Wee-Bay, Avon, and Brother Mouzone.

    Sonny, on the other hand, slapped his girlfriend, was mean to some kids from Wisconsin, and almost blew a guitar gig. But he lacks a code.

  74. brueso permalink
    May 21, 2011 11:21 pm

    OK he said he never raised his gun against anyone that was not in the game, and so far as the show showed, we never saw him do anything different. He did kill people that tried to kill him or killed the ones he loved. (Brother Mouzone was a mistake cause String had lied to Omar, and when Omar realized it was a mistake, he called an ambulance). So, I was disagreeing with the idea that he ‘killed people’ as though it might mean anyone. In fact, when he killed one of the lieutenants near the end, it was a sign of how much he was starting to lose it.

  75. May 22, 2011 2:57 am

    Yes I think it’s Sonny 1. I’m pretty sure we’ve seen his butt with both Annie and crazy Mardi Gras girl.

    Do we have an official Death Pool count yet? Another two episodes and we need a definitive count. Winner gets a Chaos doubloon or something.

    Also, I find it interesting that this particular episode, with the exception being Dinerral Shavers’ death, was not upbeat but much less catastrophic and traumatizing than the week before, lulling us into a kind of sweet dream vs. nightmare. See, though, this leaves me with a real sense of dread. Knowing how Simon et al operate (btw I think the terms “Simonized” and “the Pen of Pelecanos” need to be on tshirts) I’m completely expecting that this week the bottom will drop out in some way that we’re totally prepared for.

    As for Omar: He is Obama’s favorite Wire character and when I met Mr. Simon the first time, I took a Netflix disc of the final episode of the Wire (before I bought the set) with me. I had written a la South Park, “OMG. He killed Omar!” Mr. Simon laughed and signed it, “Yes. I did.” Omar had a code and much has been made of his code in all of our comments, but that was a different type of show so I’m not buying Omar had a code and Sonny doesn’t. I still say that PTSD, given the photograph we saw on the wall, can be an explosive thing. LaDonna will deal with her PTSD in a slow way I think. Toni dealt with the suicide of the teacher in a visceral way (nevermind the last time we saw that tree in that house, Creighton was wearing a Saints Santa hat and a robe and reminiscing about an ornament so the emptiness in that scene was like negative space in a painting). Sonny, though, is seen pulling a baby out of an attic possibly handed to him by ancient grandma. He clearly hasn’t processed this and what he saw (and felt) is all held in his head. I still maintain that he could go sproing at any time and in a totally unexpected way. You can all call me crazy when we get to the end of the season and Simon does not have that be the story line.

    Between you, me and the very crowded lamp post that is Back of Town, nothing that Simon does will surprise me. Wait. Let me re-word that. Everything Simon does surprises me and that’s the joy of watching/reading his work. The Corner was different, very, from the Wire which is very different from Treme. I’m loving the anticipation (just flashed on Rocky Horror “an–ti–ci–pa–tion”) even if it is tinged with dread. If he didn’t change it up, we wouldn’t watch.

  76. May 22, 2011 5:23 pm

    Hahaha, D was talking about this just before I read your comment! He says he is with you 100%. I think it went something like, “If Simon subjects us to Davis’s ass, it’s only fair to grace us with Annie’s.”

    Rewatched the last episode. Tonight will be the Crime March episode, most likely, and we’ve lost another snare drummer since.

  77. CalliopeJane permalink
    May 23, 2011 12:06 pm

    Yes, Ray, people misunderstand the use of anti-depressants. They were not to help because our problems were “all in our heads.” Rather, the external difficulties of post-K NOLA caused our bodies to produce stress hormones that can have real physical impact on brain chemistry. The meds can help with that chemistry, and it does not at all suggest that the stressors were not real. It’s just like if you get an infection from stepping on a rusty roofing nail – treating that infection in your body in no way implies that the city wasn’t really and truly littered with roofing nails all over the place, and just because the antibiotics didn’t pick up all the nails doesn’t mean the meds are worthless.

  78. May 23, 2011 4:01 pm

    Omar was loved because he was a man defined by strength, fearlessness and a strict code of ethics. They weren’t the ethics you or I would have but he believed them to be right and the show’s audience went along with it because there was humanity to them. Ultimately it was the same code that brought him back from paradise to the streets of Baltimore and his ultimate death.

    Sonny? He shows weakness, insecurity, blame, ineptitude, condescension, poor decisions. No code.

  79. May 23, 2011 4:29 pm

    Yeah, I get all that. I get that a lot of people could find Sonny unsympathetic. I don’t get where that leads to the logical conclusion that he’s either a murderer, or begging to be killed off. He’s just a garden variety high-functioning junky and a mediocre musician with an inferiority complex and assholish tendencies. To the extent that I identify with his less-desirable characteristics, I have a lot of sympathy for him. Unfortunately I lack fearlessness and a strict code of ethics, so when I get around to racking up a body count I will probably lose my remaining admirers.

  80. brueso permalink
    May 23, 2011 4:36 pm

    Had there never been an Addie/Zach, people probably wouldn’t haven’t been guessing that Sonny was going to be similarly as dangerous.

  81. May 23, 2011 4:41 pm

    Maybe you should be on the show.

  82. May 23, 2011 4:48 pm

    If only. My term of imprisonment wraps up right around the time they finish shooting Season 5. At this rate I’ll probably be notable as the only New Orleanian other than Skooks to not be on the show in any form.

  83. May 23, 2011 5:15 pm

    Not if we can arrange to cloroform Skooks and have him depict a drunk passed out over the bar.

    And if Sonny has enough character to stay sober while his roomates are dealing, find a gig and show up (he was there last nite) he may surprise us all.

  84. May 23, 2011 5:51 pm

    They missed their chance when they didn’t mention him calling the crime march, “march of the yuppies.” That was some classic Pants man.

  85. May 23, 2011 8:42 pm

    I’m glad Simon & Co have a project to bless the visual literary world…..It amazes me how much this writing and directing staff can deliver in such little time (1 hr). Facial ticks, glances, or body gestures seem to reveal more about characters or their predicament than words or pages of scenes ever could. I just marvel at the amount of direction and thought that has to go into these productions.

    When I watched the 5 season series of “The Wire” much of it was back-to-back gorging. The nuances of the scenes I cannot recall any other production that has even come close. One scene (season 2, I believe) is the passing glance (total scene time was less than 30 seconds) given by McNullty when he attempted his first creep with the port customs security officer…..scoping out her living arrangement and piecing together her notes and family pics… could see his mind churning and coming to the conclusion that he couldn’t qualify her (or the drama that would come along with it) and wasn’t in any state to get serious with her (though that changed in S4 as he matured).

    One thing I am having a difficult time understanding is the continued vitriol against “Treme”, even from fans of “The Wire”. I don’t know if it is perspective (The Wire wasn’t a masterpiece until it had set the groundwork for all the connected stories) or just the fact that the central theme is celebrating the city through minority protagonists.

  86. Tommy permalink
    May 25, 2011 10:11 am

    I’ve found myself liking this show less with each episode I watch. I endured last season because I thought things would improve after the writers had time to get the chararacters and plots in place. So far this season is more of the same. The writers seem much more concerned with flaunting their insidery New Orleans knowledge (“Gumbo Ya-Ya means ‘everybody talking at once!'”) than developing character or advancing the plot. The cameos and name-dropping are incessant. My least favorite aspect might be all this self-serious talk about “culture.” I go to great lengths to avoid people who trade in that kind of pretentious provincialism so maybe I don’t have any business watching this show in the first place. I’d like to get through this season before I write this show off altogether but revisiting that silliness over the Alan Richman article in last night’s episode might be the last straw for me. It was bad enough when people got worked up over that article right after it was printed but it’s especially hard to take when creators of a TV show pretend to be just as outraged four years later. Basically, I think this show panders to histrionic New Orleans bloggers.

  87. doctorj2u permalink
    May 29, 2011 7:33 pm

    I am so sorry the story of New Orleans post-Katrina travails is not entertaining you. Don’t ever doubt, though, that the story you are watching is the absolute truth. I lived it and I am not a New Orleans blogger.

  88. May 31, 2011 3:59 pm

    Ok, Ok. I uh, I felt sorry for Sonny when he got fired from Antoine’s band. But I felt sorry for Ziggy when his duck died too.

  89. May 31, 2011 4:03 pm

    Yeah, for everybody who thinks that Sonny (or even Davis) are totally irredeemable as humans, I got one word: Prezbo.

  90. doctorj2u permalink
    June 1, 2011 7:51 pm

    Sorry Ray. What does “prezbo” mean? I don’t have a clue as to what you mean.

  91. June 2, 2011 12:09 pm

    Ah, Prezbo. In the Wire, Prezbo was a police officer (also if I’m not mistaken a ranking officer’s nephew or son-in-law) who was pretty much inept at being a street cop but was a whiz at puzzle solving. At that he was brilliant. He subsequently became a teacher, and was great at that after a rocky start as well. His whole name was Roland Pryzbylewski, I think I have that spelled right but who knows. And he was played by Jim True-Frost, who also plays Delmond’s manager in Treme.

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