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Too damn pretty this year

June 5, 2011

Keep your top on. This is a family thread.

  1. brueso permalink
    June 5, 2011 10:27 pm

    My Christ. This one was SO rich and layered. We all know how great the cooks are, but even though we’ve eaten at this restaurant so many times, I’m tempted to never go back cause it feels like can’t be better again.

    Toni at the river- so heartbreaking- and more of the same later when she was with Davis while Sophia slept (Davis showing again that for all the scattered energy, there’s a big heart.)(On the other hand- not going to the Cajun Mardi Gras with Annie cause he couldn’t let go of his ritual? He’s got some ways to go in the ‘adult relatiionship’ business). Was glad to see the Cajun celebration. I was only living in N.O. for one Mardi Gras, but when I found out later about how it was done a couple of hours away, I kinda wished I’d been out there away from the crowds. And Sonny out in isolation by the water- an unexpected and welcome way for that subplot to go.

    And it’s definitely probably past overtime to ponder how accurate or made up the details of the some of the things depicted in the show are, but I was kinda amazed at how easy it was for Seda’s character to be on a Zulu float.

    Mmmm… So much to savor. And I’m personally in the process of trying to drop some pounds these days, and the last thing I needed was to see some King Cake. I had the complete Pavlovian response when they pulled it out of the box.

  2. June 5, 2011 10:41 pm

    People whose accents practically cry out for close-captioning: any random Point a la Hache oysterman, and Eric Ripert.

    Best episode this season. Although I totally called the king cake baby. “Ziggy’s gonna get it…wait…wait…this bite right here…wait for it…BAZINGA, pay up.”

  3. June 5, 2011 10:45 pm

    Cas thinks Albert was making use of the hotel room with the hot filmmaker chick. Thoughts?

  4. June 5, 2011 10:51 pm

    This was a fun episode! Yes, there was a moment of worry there about Toni’s daughter, but I knew as soon as Davis saw her that he would step up and watch out for her. The whole Zulu thing has me worried, though. Yes I’m sure they had to get Zulu’s permission to do all the stuff they did, but damn, the script practically screams that Zulu is the corrupt politician’s happy hunting grounds. No doubt that all carnival clubs are used to some extent for business networking–I’m not naive. But this plot line is being driven by a politician convicted of public corruption playing himself (more or less, see prior thread discussion on real vs. fiction in Treme). So it really drives the viewer to one conclusion.



  5. June 5, 2011 10:52 pm

    Ray–the chief is definitely giving that documentary film maker an “exclusive.”



  6. Virgotex permalink
    June 5, 2011 10:54 pm

    Agree with Cas because of the flirting recap in the previouslys.

    I always turn off the close captioning on the first time through so it won’t distract me. As a result, i I caught about four lines of dialogue the whole episode.

  7. June 5, 2011 10:57 pm

    Ray, tell Cass that after I got over my initial, Delmond-like mixture of shock and laughter, my thought was he was in there with the filmmaker.

    That moment was too much for me. It broke almost an hour of unexplainable sadness and then we were back to Sofia and Colson.

    Nelson is becoming one with the culture that he is a part of killing. There’s a whole show right there.

    Tim, I saw that. All these guys getting indicted with Meffert?

  8. June 5, 2011 11:02 pm

    This mean I ain’t gonna get the shoe?

  9. June 5, 2011 11:05 pm

    I like that that guy from Pine Leaf Boys mocked his own “magical Cajun” line from last season as a corny pick-up line that only works on city girls. Kind of awesome.

    I’ve never seen that ashes thing at the river. I need to check that out next year I think.

  10. Virgotex permalink
    June 5, 2011 11:09 pm

    “Is this your problem or you a dope fiend?”

  11. June 5, 2011 11:20 pm

    I hope folks who maybe just got HBO back up or decided to watch for the first time tuned I tonight. The visuals were worth it even if you didn’t know the storyline.

    I am glad Davis was there for Sophia, and the “you got a problem with this stuff or are you a dope fiend”—“Dope fiend” exchange was great. Sonny down there, not in a rehab, being offered alcohol and snatching it quick, was insight to the long road Sonny has ahead of him. No N.A. rules, no chiding by recovery-people about any rules for kicking, just Sonny trying to maybe hang onto an income stream by kicking for a while. I like this character, cast in a show which has Steve Earle, too. Steve Earle is a brilliant man with all sorts of knowledge regarding chemical addictions, really, you ought to hear him talk about it. In the show, Harley brushes against the Sonny character a little bit, and I keep thinking back to The Wire and how Bubs was helped so much by the Earle character there, and I wish he could break character and jump in and grab Sonny and start talking to him.

  12. June 6, 2011 12:16 am

    Definitely feels good, this one. I guess each season of the show is committed to one “Mardi Gras” episode — just like we are, living here, and that’s a good thing. The Sainte Anne ritual by the river? I’ve beheld that only once, and it dawned on me while watching it was 2007. Cathartic.

  13. Anita permalink
    June 6, 2011 12:34 am

    “Do you know what time it is? It’s Daddy time.” Chalk up another one for Desiree!

  14. racymind permalink
    June 6, 2011 4:24 am

    The Big Chief was doin’ it with the filmmaker. While Delmond was looking at the trail of clothes on the hotel floor with a look of surprise on his face, I heard the woman’s voice in response to Albert say “it ain’t that kind of movie”.

    And excellent piece below, Ray.

  15. bayoucreole permalink
    June 6, 2011 7:26 am

    This mean I ain’t gonna get the shoe?

    @ Dexter, that was my favorite line of the night! It’s sooo me!!!

  16. June 6, 2011 9:58 am

    I get an awkward feeling thinking about people going to the St. Anne ritual who don’t have a present emotional need to be there. I guess it’s another part of the “curated to death” thing but I wouldn’t go anywhere near that scene unless I had the unfortunate duty to participate. Wouldn’t going there to specifically observe that moment would be akin to the tour bus that drove by and took photos at Ashley’s funeral?

  17. June 6, 2011 10:20 am

    Someone mentioned how easy it was for Hidalgo to wind up on a Zulu float. If memory serves, that year it would have been easy. Zulu’s membership was decimated, with so many of their members in Atlanta or Houston, some not coming home at all as they had no home to come back to. If I remember right, Zulu changed their route that year, rolled barely half of their floats and were actively soliciting for members. I’ll have to check on that but that’s what I remember of that year with regard to Zulu.

  18. June 6, 2011 10:38 am

    @varg: Gotcha. Like I said, I’d never heard of it til last night, so the nuances would be lost on me other than what I can read on Dave Walker’s explainer post. I don’t have ashes, just dead people I’m mourning, so I guess I would pass so as not to be a tourist.

  19. virgotex permalink*
    June 6, 2011 11:13 am

    Not the best judge of this, I know, but I would hazard a guess that anyone who didn’t want witnesses to their mourning wouldn’t choose to take part in this particular ceremony.

    I mean it’s not like you’d be sneaking into the back row at private funeral for a stranger.

  20. Michael P permalink
    June 6, 2011 12:08 pm

    Regarding the St. Anne ritual, I’ve seen this many times and it is not a problem to be there if you are respectful (stay out of people’s space, leave your camera in your pocket).

    Regarding Zulu, pretty much anybody with the money can ride, many friends who are not members have done this over the years. Dave Walker’s column has a link that includes a phone number for people to call if they want to ride next year, it’s no more complicated than signing up and paying.

  21. NickTheChiller permalink
    June 6, 2011 12:43 pm

    “Remember, don’t drink too many beers. You’ll be going to the bathroom all day.”

    Good advice.

  22. dpb732 permalink
    June 6, 2011 12:54 pm

    Absolutely loved this episode! It got the feeling of Carnival just right. So many laugh out loud moments moments and lines: Desiree to Antoine, “it’s Daddy time!” That was freakin hilarious. The ship captain to Sonny; “this your problem, or are you a dope fiend?” and hands him the beer after Sonny admits to being a dope fiend. Ha! Sonny’s growing on me, as improbable as I thought that would be last season… Delmond and his Nola lady entering the hotel room only to find that is is already occupied, and the look on Delmond’s face when he realizes what’s going on (I’m betting it’s the documentarian that’s in there with Albert) and pulling his girlfriend out to the hallway and both of them just about to bust a gut cracking up and trying to keep quiet at the same time… Too funny. Oh and definitely the “so I don’t getting the shoe?” moment. Holy crap, this episode was good.

    The dark side: the devastating awfulness of LaDonna spending Mardi Gras day alone with her valium and scotch in Baton Rouge… Khandi Alexander had better win an Emmy for her performance this season and I’m not kidding! She is quite simply phenomenal, shows so much with a look and body language and a couple lines than seems possible . The seamier side of Mardi Gras, after the sun goes down and people get into all sorts of ill-advised and potentially dangerous situations. Sophia was lucky Davis was on hand to rescue her. She would have ended up date raped by that guy for sure. Wonder how long that luck can hold out… Toni emptying creighton’s ashes out of a Hubigs pie wrapper was a nice touch, and just heartbreaking that she had to do it alone. Damn, pissed off teenagers and their selfish and implacable sense of righteousness! She is going to cause more pain before she’s through…

  23. dpb732 permalink
    June 6, 2011 1:35 pm

    Oh, a couple more appreciated moments: the look of dawning terror on Annie’s face at the Cajun Mardi Gras when she turns to Earl and rather urgently asks ‘what have you gotten me into?!” But once she let herself go along with it and ended up having a pretty great time. though I bet she’ll be all about St Anne’s next year… I’ve never been to Cajun Mardi gras myself (like Davis, I just can’t imagine not being here on Mardi Gras day!), a couple friends of mine went this year and described a very similar experience.

    I also really appreciated how the show dealt with Annie finding Sophia half dressed passed out at Davis’ when she came home. Any other show would have had her immediately leaping to conclusions and getting “excitement” mileage out of the ensuing misunderstanding/poor communication between the two. instead, it became apparent how she implicitly trusts and maybe even loves Davis, and that he is certainly in love with her. I really liked the no drama sensibleness with which she solved the problem of contacting Toni too. TV is always showing “dramatic” and “passionate’ romantic relationships in which no one trusts eachother, and they fight all the time, and make up, et cetera, ad nauseum… It’s refreshing to see this relationship played so naturally. They may or may not be in it for the long haul, but regardless, it’s a healthy relationship and I think they’ll always respect and like each other.

  24. June 6, 2011 1:41 pm

    Wow, alphabet732, you got it , you got it. Good summation. As I was watching and Carnival kicked in , I knew one thing; this was going to be my favorite episode , mostly upbeat, and it was.
    How messed up Davis was, being passed over for all the great handouts at the parade, and how perfect was Nelson Hidalgo’s line, “…and that’s got to be a working number…” and when that phone check worked, it was just a matter of time before he had her , and by the way, I guess we can call that (the bedroom shot) the “money shot”. Pretty good. Pretty pretty pretty pretty good! (aplologies to Larry Davis, of course)

  25. June 6, 2011 1:51 pm

    “I mean it’s not like you’d be sneaking into the back row at private funeral for a stranger.”

    Sure. But once you get people going there for the spectacle alone, then, well, I’m at a loss for words as to why it seems awkward but it does. I’m not talking about commenters in this thread as much as visitors. Never having been a part of that ceremony, I think probably people want to commiserate and would prefer empathy rather than sympathy from the onlookers. I work in Jackson Square and I can see every weekend that there isn’t much that’s not sacred from iPhone cameras and probing tourists. There’s certainly more to it but, who knows how many will be compelled to see it now that it’s been on TV. It’s safe to assume they will all intend to show respect but, what I have seen over and over again is people cherish their moments with phones and cameras held out in front of them and best intentions are a grey, blurred, overlapping area.

  26. June 6, 2011 2:10 pm

    The split second of complete understanding and agreement that passed between the two men who love LaDonna – well done. The look on Janette Roomie’s face when that first bite of king cake took him over. The unsaid shit that passed between Toni and Davis. It was little things like that through this entire episode that did it for me.

  27. dpb732 permalink
    June 6, 2011 2:42 pm

    Thanks, Dexter.
    Oh, and “go easy on that skirt, I may need it next year…” and ‘if this is right, I can’t imagine what’s wrong in this town”. Fantastic. Damn you David Simon and Eric Overmeyer for making me like even Nelson this episode!

  28. June 6, 2011 3:41 pm

    Don’t feel lonely there, alphabet. And this song is dedicated to Nelson Hidalgo’s performance last night.

  29. dpb732 permalink
    June 6, 2011 4:25 pm

    Ha! Nice.

  30. adrastosno permalink
    June 6, 2011 10:39 pm

    @Sam: Zulu almost always has spaces for non-member riders who are willing to ante up but there were even more slots that year than usual. It even happens with KdV: DS marched with Mama Roux and Eric picked the year I sat out to march with PAN. Oh well, what the hell…

  31. June 7, 2011 11:26 am

    As is most usual we just got to watch “Carnival Time” last night, the day after the first broadcast. The Toni – Sofia arc broke my heart and I was in tears in every one of their scenes. It started right at the beginning with her asking Sofia’s permission to give Creighton’s ashes to the river. Then, on Mardi Gras, when she entered, performing Creigh’s gesture presenting himself to his family and the Day –turning on the cd player to “Carnival Time” on repeat, like Creigh did — I’m crying just remembering it.

    Like last season’s Mardi Gras episode, this was the best episode this season, at least so far. Treme no more repeated last year’s Mardi Gras anymore than 2007 repeated 2006. Like last year’s there was Mardi Gras magic, but it was so different.

    That Davis found the slightest of pretexts to remain in New Orleans’s Mardi Gras was the magic. He literally rescued Sofia. He didn’t exactly rescue Annie last year, but he gave her something magical.

    That Janette got Mardi Gras in NYC by sympathy of her chef, this was light-hearted magic, which Janette sure deserved, and it made me happy like it made her.

    Sonny got an intervention from a place you wouldn’t expect — someone cared. Sonny isn’t used to having anyone care about him. Not to get too excited about this, but still, that made me happy too. Like you all — ay-up, best line there, along with Desiree’s.

    That was the upside-down of Mardi Gras too — Antoine so carefully set himself up with on at 2 and one at 4, and Carnival laughed at him. It was then magic for his boys, grooving at the Mother-in-law!

    Now, Delmond and Albert — wow! Could there have been anything more pretty? That is the Donald Harrison Indian costume style all right. Gads, that was gorgeous.

    David Simon wrote this one … whoever shot the Cajun Mardi Gras did a wonderful job. It was also a very nice viewing feeling to be out of the claustrophobic crowds that are the many days of New Orleans Mardi Gras and into the more spacious celebrations in the relative country.

    Love, C.

  32. doctorj2u permalink
    June 7, 2011 6:24 pm

    “Carnival Time” was almost the perfect episode. It was not as emotionally wrenching as some in “the first three months”, but boy, what great TV. Thank you “Treme” team.

  33. June 8, 2011 9:09 am

    The only thing that bothered me was that last week Jacques was in jail and in such jeopardy, Janette had to fly back to NOLA to see him (though it’s not like she would have had the cash to bail him out and she said Susan Spicer knew some immigration lawyers). This week, Janette is back in New York and his name isn’t even uttered. Is he still in jail? Has he been deported? I don’t think they should have dropped a story thread like that when they did and then have a great show like “Carnival Time” that suffers from amnesia when it relates to that story.

  34. June 8, 2011 9:37 am

    And someone always has to miss Mardi Gras. Last year it was the Big Chief. This year it was Sonny. And — as you say, maybe Jacques. Probably Jacques, Anything to do with la Migra takes freakin’ forever and costs enormous amounts of money.

    Love, C.

  35. virgotex permalink*
    June 8, 2011 9:38 am

    I thought about that too, after the glow of the ep had worn off, Edward. It was uncharacteristically choppy. I haven’t sat down and done the math, but just based on the progress of Albert’s suit, the fact that the band now has instruments, etc, I think we can assume some weeks have passed since the last episode. Still…

  36. June 8, 2011 9:54 am

    The May 22 episode ended with the March on Violence, which was January 11. This week started with Muses, which was February 15 that year. So everything that happened in the May 29 episode supposedly happened between those dates. Yeah, seems like a lot came together, but we know that the band director was down in the office raising hell about instruments last week. Maybe he called in a favor with Liguori? Riiiight.

    I was gonna try to use the Pigeon Town Steppers as a way of placing last week on a timeline, but they parade on Easter, which hasn’t happened yet on the show. Even by March 29, the parade fees thing was an open question (good description of the real life situation in this article from the time):

    So I guess this was one of those Magical Hubig’s moments.

    Sigh. I could really use a Magical Hubig’s right about now.

  37. June 10, 2011 9:23 pm

    My only complaint was that after Toni emptied the ashes from the Hubig pie wrapper she tossed it into the river.


    Oh, but wait, that’s just another touch of NOLA authenticity, isn’t it? Sad but true. 8-P



  38. anotheroutsider permalink
    June 16, 2011 7:52 pm

    It’s late to reply in this thread but I’m hoping someone will throw me a bone here!

    About to visit NOLA for the first time, and I’ll have a couple teenaged boys in tow. I was thinking our opportunitites for seeing some good live music would be really limited, but watching this episode gave me some hope. Antoine took his boys to the Mother-in-Law, and they’re younger than mine. Is this creative license, truly possible, or only because Antoine’s got the connections to pull it off?

    Hoping to catch Kermit at Bullets or Rebirth at the Maple Leaf but I’m thinking both are a longshot!

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