"Treme" concerns itself with survival -- of a culture, a city, of downtrodden individuals -- but it also dares to explore the highs and lows of a passionate life. The series captures the romance of those fleeting moments when your whole existence rests on a few staccato notes, tripping out across a crowded room, but also digs into the dark times when you can't afford to pay your utility bill or buy a sandwich for lunch. This fragile balance, walking the line between creative rapture and destitution, not only personifies the artist's life, but reflects the at once ethereal and impoverished nature of New Orleans itself. Even in a few of the clunkier scenes, where Creighton's daughter laments the unbearable oppression of Catholic School or Davis sticks it to the man by stealing his CDs back from a closed-down Tower Records, some struggle to transcend the ordinary can be found.The full article-review is here.
And if the residents of New Orleans, from the very wealthy to the very poor, have something in common, it may be this shared drive to achieve something richer and more satisfying than the average life. Likewise, Simon and Overmyer's characters want to shrug off the rules of the straight world and follow their bliss wherever it leads, whether to the jam session or the poorhouse, if that's what it takes. In fact, Davis, Zahn's utterly convincing slacker DJ, may be the most ambitious of the lot, since ambition for the rest of these characters means doing something that feels right, that feels worthwhile. When Davis tries to get Kermit Ruffins to introduce himself to Elvis Costello (who came to hear him play) and Kermit shrugs it off, Davis is incredulous.
In the meantime one of the "historical figures" in The Year Before the Flood is playing a bit part in today's shooting of Tremé. He's thrilled.