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There’s Treme and then there’s Treme

June 3, 2011

Aaaaaand now HBO’s Back Of Town.



Three characters are huddled around an electronic campfire feeding it shreds of unwritten blog posts. A dutchie is passed from time to time, and sucked on hard when a neon sign that says DAY JOB glows extra bright. The tattooed, clean-shaven man is RAY, the handsome woman in a field hat is VIRGO and the frantic one having a bad hair day is MAITRI.


Back Of Town is apparently at the epicenter of the Truth vs.
, Muse vs. Character debate. What say you?


(Sighs. Shifts in her seat and reaches for blunt.)


Treme is a fictional drama set in a real place with fake settings
in which real people flit in and out, and we don’t read too much
into the fictional people that are based on some real people?


Hold the phone, what happened to my goatee?


Lolis wrote it out, dude. This also explains why I have
miraculously lost 50 lbs.


My “romance” post was an attempt to make people talk about the
story and the characters as they are, not as they are interpreted
to relate to everyone’s subjective view of real life history,
events and people.


Like me wanting Antoine and LaDonna back together, but that
may not work for the story? Whoa, I look good.


(now standing on a French Quarter balcony in bathrobe with
hot “model”)

The response of a number of viewers seems to be “I was in New
Orleans and that’s NOT what happened to me or what I know to be
true thus I am completely unable to comprehend or even appraise
this fictional treatment on its own merits.” Though I get the
Treme thing a little more because I understand about the way
all us humans can’t help but attach to recent trauma.

David Simon could post every week and urge otherwise but a lot
of those people would still watch and appraise the show through
their own subjective filter.


(transported to a pothole in front of CooCoot’s Market not to be
confused with Robideaux’s not to be confused with Winn-Dixie)

I totally see Simon’s and your frustrations, Virgo, but let me
play devil’s advocate for a second …


But you’re playing Maitri. Who wrote this crap? I need a raise.


(Have you seen the budget lately?) It’s hard even for me, who
keeps repeating that the show is not a documentary, to stop
looking for the real in the fictional. How can I do this when the
creators of the show themselves pick and choose who’s real and
fictional each week? I get “based on” but we, the viewers, have to
go back and forth between say “somewhat Ashley Morris” and “wholly
real Alan Richman” or “fake Davis” and “real Henry Butler.” And the
city is a very real, personal family member to almost everyone
involved. “Let the story live, breathe and be” is hard in a place
famous for its insularity and quirks …


Maitri, you ignorant slut! And where Ray at?




No, you da mo’fucker.


(off screen, probably eating red beans at Gigi’s)



Mo’ fu …ok, are we done? I was about to say that imagination and
letting things go are also New Orleanian qualities and I do wish
the viewers that inevitably cling to authenticity would exhibit
them from time to time.


I know. I do get it. I don’t feel it the same way you guys do,
but I see it happening and I understand why. There’s two different
shows being watched. There’s Treme if you aren’t from New Orleans
and Treme if you are. I think they’re both worth analyzing.


There’s a third show. It’s Treme if you’ve lived New Orleans,
but you know it’s just television that does the most decent job to
date of examining  post-Katrina realities. Come on, you made it
through The Big Easy and Katrina CNN Edition, but you gonna
whine about Treme?

Alright, we out. These Daisy Dukes are starting to chafe.




Ray enters the empty set, is relieved to see no one’s around, sits on a pallet and pulls out his laptop to write.


[Note: Virgo’s lines are indeed hers, for the most part. I can’t take credit for that quality of writing, even if it was just casual banter.]

  1. June 3, 2011 10:38 am

    Baaaaaahaaaaaaa!! Well done, Maitri, and you nailed it on all points with regard to the POV of the viewer i.e. not from here, from here, use-ta-be here. Bravo!

  2. virgotex permalink*
    June 3, 2011 10:57 am

    so I’m in a field hat AND a bathrobe? Hawt.

    I guess I need to talk to Simon or Lolis about casting, but I demand that the “model” be played by guest star Sasha Alexander, best known in the crass oeuvre of formulaic network television and whose talent(s) I appreciate in a TOTALLY cerebral and ironic way.

  3. Anita permalink
    June 3, 2011 11:15 am

    I just want to be Mimi.

  4. brueso permalink
    June 3, 2011 11:59 am

    I’m the Comic Book Store guy. Oh wait- that’s The Simpsons.

  5. June 3, 2011 12:06 pm

    I think I found where your 50 lbs went.

  6. dpb735 permalink
    June 3, 2011 12:29 pm

    Haaaaaaaahahahahahaa!!! Y’all are brilliant.

  7. June 3, 2011 12:35 pm

    Sorry, Anita. I’m already Mimi. Am currently looking for flowery tops to complete the look. And BIG rings.

  8. June 3, 2011 12:41 pm

    I did *not* just wet my pants. That’s the last of this morning’s coffee.

    I am still proposing a Mimi contest at Hi Ho, with categories of Proper Martini Posture, Wry Response, Extemporaneous Hip Hop, and the Mimi Bounce. Points awarded for costume, delivery, number of martini’s consumed during contest, and Bounce endurance.

  9. June 3, 2011 12:48 pm

    That’s fantastic.

  10. June 3, 2011 1:53 pm

    Missed our chance to set it at “A country road. A Tree. Evening.” Did anybody else get to see Wendell in Waiting for Godot down in the Lower Ninth Ward? That was fucking brilliant.

    As for playing the grumpy motherfucker in this script, I’ve been fastforwarding through all of Season 2 to watch just the Hidalgo scenes for a post I’m trying to write. That’d make anybody grumpy.

  11. June 3, 2011 2:36 pm

    so I’m in a field hat AND a bathrobe? Hawt.

    I can’t be screenwriter and the costume department. Like I said, have you seen the budget lately?

    As for playing the grumpy motherfucker in this script

    Oh, that’ s not how I cast you, Ray. Well, motherfucker – yes, grumpy – no. You’re the busy, nonchalant one listening, walking through the city and writing, writing, writing, while Virgo and I go back and forth.

    I’m the Comic Book Store guy.

    brueso, have you noticed that the voice of the guy who introduces the HBO shows sounds like the Comic Book Store guy? “Aaaaaannd nyyeeeoooowww.” You could play him.

    I am still proposing a Mimi contest at Hi Ho

    Mark, I’m totally Mimi in training. Sam, I’ve got some rings for you, baby.

  12. brueso permalink
    June 3, 2011 11:34 pm

    Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown!

  13. Anita permalink
    June 4, 2011 7:33 pm

    “Sorry, Anita. I’m already Mimi. Am currently looking for flowery tops to complete the look. And BIG rings.”

    But I’ve got an all over sequined Chanel style jacket and a HUGE green glass ring. I guess I’ll just have to hand them over!

  14. Anita permalink
    June 4, 2011 7:38 pm

    Mark, I think we are going to need a category for SHOEZ!

  15. June 5, 2011 8:48 am

    Nice, Maitri. Galileo would be proud.

    “How can I do this when the creators of the show themselves pick and choose who’s real and fictional each week?”

    That’s my only complaint with the show. I’m constantly confused by this swinging back and forth. Truth. Fiction. Kinda truth. Fictionalized but authentic. Documentary. Drama. It’s enough to drive a man to drink but fortunately I only have to walk to the kitchen!

    And I know he doesn’t read this so somebody might need to let him know I said this, but our local curmudgeon Jeffrey was right: because there is no clear delineation between fact and fiction viewers not from here and many who are will think it’s ALL real. So in the future we’ll find ourselves talking to people who “remember” or “know” what happened incorrectly because they saw it on Treme.

    Is that a bad thing? I will let you know when we get there. A lot of people think George Washington chopped down a cherry tree and I guess you could say that myth/lie has done no harm. As far as me saying publicly that Jeffrey was right, I KNOW that’s a bad thing.



  16. June 5, 2011 9:18 am

    Tim, what important historical detail have they gotten wrong? Brinkley transposed Bay St. Louis and Lake Borgne in the introduction to his Katrina book and I immediately put it down and never touched it again. You can’t take seriously a work of purported history so careless of the facts. The Treme team has been careful with the facts and creative with the characters as they should, because if they don’t engage the viewer in the character narrative the facts are meaningless.

  17. brueso permalink
    June 5, 2011 5:02 pm

    “brueso, have you noticed that the voice of the guy who introduces the HBO shows sounds like the Comic Book Store guy?”

    I hadn’t noticed this, maitri, but now that you’ve pointed it out, I definitely hear it!

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