Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Off topic: The Diaspora and Treme.

I love Treme. It took me a while. I wanted a hard hitting look at New Orleans like the one that dissected Baltimore in The Wire. It doesn't. I realized this week, as I tried to watch it with the sound off because hubby was asleep, that the story is at least half told in and about music. (Duh, you non New Orleanians say-- but come on, fish don't have a word for water.) I wanted it to be about the obvious corruption, crime and racial tension-- all different in flavor from any other city, because of our complicated past, but this is good too. At least now that I understand.

There are annoying sequences, where I'd have preferred less expository dialog and more action. There are slow, aimless sections of narrative (Do More With Lambreaux!) that should be steaming along like locomotives. But with the apparent suicide of Creighton, finally one plot line is starting to come to life, and maybe it can bring the rest of the story along with it.

You had to know when he started crying as he was typing the line about the rain that he was going to jump, but in case you missed the clincher in his discussion with the freshmen in his lit class, that is what Edna Pontillier does in The Awakening. So when he says she's not going toward darkness but toward a spiritual transition, he is idealizing the concept of suicide. It was the best thing that's happened to this show, philosophically. It opens up a whole new range of ideas and possibilities for the characters and plot. Everyone in the story is tied in one way or another to Cray. His wife is Ladonna's lawyer. His daughter is Davis's pupil. His death merges the two other major story lines-- or should I say, the slow uncovering of it will do so, and bring some focus to this fucking narrative. Now if only Davis will jump in after him.

1 comment:

  1. I guess they copped out of the Annie/Sonny crime-of-passion subplot, and I'm glad. (I like Annie, and her character is most likely to bring in the cajun/country musical influences which leave's me a chance in hell of guessing the chord progressions.) So they offed Cray instead, maybe--I picked up on the suicide at the same time you did, and it helped his character to fit the series.

    My issues with the series remain the heavy-handed artistic product placement, which is forgivable because the art is great. I've noticed that things move along best when the characters cross paths and interact, challenge each other. It needed a little more of that.

    Does the show go on from here? I wonder at what point they'll set a Treme 2010, now with oil.


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