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Monday, April 16, 2012

Buck jumpin' and havin' fun in the Treme!

More than a year ago, my sister-in-law Nan gave me a tip. She said, "Rent 'Treme.' It's a cable series about New Orleans after Katrina."

I finally borrowed the first season of the HBO series through an inter-library loan. We had it for one week. That meant Mike & I had 10 hours to watch in 7 days.

Pant, pant! We watched 'em all in time to return the set of discs to the library with no overdue fine. In fact, we couldn't NOT watch "Treme." (It's pronounced "TREM-ay," by the way, and its heart is a historic neighborhood right above the French Quarter.) The writing was great, the characters engaging, the plots thick, the acting superb. In short, the show was addicting. (I'll mention there's an abundance of salty language, but also some of the funniest lines you'll ever hear. Listen closely.)

Best of all, each episode was drenched, soaked, wet, sopping, oozing, runny, soggy, lashed, with MUSIC. It's all fabulous music by many real Louisiana musicians -- Dixieland, blues, jazz, even some Cajun, much of it seasoned with lovely Creole flavors from the Caribbean and Africa. Eventually I had to make sure I didn't watch an episode too close to bedtime, because the theme song would keep running through my head and I couldn't sleep: "Down in the Treme, it's me and my baby, we're all goin' crazy, but jumpin' and havin' fun!"

You'll like the show if you enjoy stories about regular people who tend to be "losers" in spite of being decent folk. You'll like it if you enjoy tales about people who persevere. You'll enjoy it if you ever visited New Orleans, or if you went down to help with hurricane recovery. If you like black humor, this is the show for you.

And I promise you'll like "Treme" if you love music.

Because of this show, I'll make sure that when I visit New Orleans next time, I'll explore beyond the French Quarter.

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