*In the wake of Sunday’s season finale of HBO’s “Treme,” the show and one of its characters have been given extraordinary props by two separate media outlets.
Below, The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman, in his piece “How ‘Treme’ Found Greatness In Ordinary People And Counterintuitive Storytelling,” tries to pinpoint the exact ingredients that make this show stand out from the rest.
See, you could put 10 critics in a room, and even if seven of them agreed on the greatness of Treme, none of the seven would probably agree on what merits got it to such exalted heights. Nor would they likely agree on whether the show is going about its business the right way, even as they lay some praise on it. Treme is quite the enigma, it turns out. And if you haven’t discovered that yet — or, one might assume, the show itself — then start renting or buying the episodes from the beginning (and say a little prayer that HBO’s largesse continues toward this gem).
Before going any further trying to contextualize the achievements of Treme, it’s necessary to talk about something series co-creator David Simon isn’t too keen to talk much about anymore — the fact he previously created arguably the greatest drama in TV history with The Wire. Just the fact that Treme is even in a conversation about top-tier television series is something of a miracle after that. The burden of expectation on Simon (and, in some sense, HBO) was enormous following The Wire, and the odds were long that a follow-up act would be any good. Why? Because making even one excellent series is rare. Repeating greatness in the arts is no easy feat. More so in television than almost any other medium — even music, with the dreaded sophomore album. So that achievement — and it’s enormous — needs to be thoroughly understood before moving forward.
Click here to continue reading Goodman’s piece.
Meanwhile, at TV Guide, “Treme” star Khandi Alexander was singled out for a big “cheer” this week in the outlet’s “Cheers and Jeers” blog.
The website’s Bruce Fretts wrote:
As her character, bar owner LaDonna Batiste Williams, raged at the rapist who attacked her — and the legal system that temporarily freed him due to a clerical error — Alexander powerfully embodied the citywide anger at the lawlessness in post-Katrina New Orleans. The actress, who was unjustly denied an Emmy nomination for her fiercely nuanced turn as a recovering drug-addict mother in Treme creator David Simon’s 2000 miniseries, The Corner, deserves long-overdue recognition for this role.
Alexander’s was only one of many encore-worthy performances in the HBO drama’s sprawling 90-minute season finale. Other standouts included Steve Zahn (DJ Davis bid farewell to his band, the Brassy Knoll, and to Season 2 by spinning Louis Armstrong’s “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams”), Kim Dickens (Janette helped free her imprisoned sous chef and pondered a move home from New York City to New Orleans to open a restaurant), Jon Seda (opportunistic Nelson saw the flood of money from rebuilding projects shut off due to a political scandal) and Clarke Peters and Rob Brown (Albert and Delmond’s father-and-son reunion was sealed with an ecstatic appearance at JazzFest).