There’s Treme and then there’s Treme
Aaaaaand now HBO’s Back Of Town.
INT. FAKE WOODS
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.
(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
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.]