Cheers to Khandi Alexander for her tour de hurricane force on Treme.
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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.
In an early episode of Treme's second season, a disc jockey asks one of the show's musician characters how his new album is selling. "Selling?" the musician replies in almost disbelief. "It's jazz, man."
The dialogue is a perfect metaphor for the HBO drama, whose co-creators, The Wire's David Simon and Eric Overmyer, have always favored atmosphere and character over plot. Like that incredulous musician, Simon is more concerned with art than television ratings, because he says it's the...
HBO is heading back to New Orleans with the Season 2 premiere of Treme on Sunday, April 24.
Treme chronicles New Orleans three months after Hurricane Katrina as its citizens struggle to put their lives, and their city, back together. Among those citizens are a part-time DJ and jazz aficionado (Steve Zahn), a bar owner torn between staying in New Orleans or settling in Baton Rouge (Khandi Alexander) and trombonist Antoine Battiste (Wendell Pierce).
From the beginning, Treme co-creator and executive producer Eric Overmyer has insisted that HBO's post-Katrina New Orleans drama is a different animal from The Wire.
And Overmyer says Sunday's 80-minute finale (10/9c on HBO) proves the point again. While Overmyer's co-creator David Simon often ended seasons of The Wire with big thematic statements, Overmyer says their approach with Treme was to remain solely focused on the characters...
In its own way, the sudden death of Treme co-executive producer David Mills just days before the series premiere is a potent metaphor for the show itself.
The Wire, Treme writer David Mills dies at 48
As the HBO drama's cast and crew mourn Mills' loss, they also celebrate him by continuing...