Money makes the world go 'round, but on the third season of HBO's Treme, it just makes life in post-Katrina New Orleans that much harder.
"The first season you saw the people come back," co-creator David Simon tells TVGuide.com. "The second season, the problems began to come back. And this third season, some money and some opportunity starts to present itself. But in this country, nothing is free and nothing is without strings. Everything is a hard choice."
Wendell Pierce and Jaron Williams
Cheers to Treme for letting Wendell Pierce cut loose.
Want more Cheers & Jeers? Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!
The immensely appealing actor, best known for his role as...
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...
This weekend, HBO offers up a comedy special (Talking Funny), a new movie about an historic TV phenom (Cinema Verite) and the return of a distinguished drama series (Treme). All are worth a look. It's actually an HBO grand slam if you count Game of Thrones, the triumphant adult fantasy series that was renewed for a second season shortly after the first episode aired. (HBO has a tradition of doing this, but rarely in recent years has the network's enthusiasm been so well deserved.)
In Thrones' eventful second chapter (Sunday, 9/8c), you begin to sense the series' range, as many characters begin disparate journeys through the sprawling land of Westeros: dutiful Ned Stark heads out with...
Matt Smith and Karen Gillan
Supernatural (Friday, 9/8c, The CW)
Winchesters, meet Colt! As in: the real Samuel Colt, whose infamous demon-destroying gun has loomed large throughout Supernatural's mythology. This week, Dean gets to play cowboy — Sam is less thrilled — when Castiel sends the brothers back in time to the Wild West to get some guidance from the proverbial horse's mouth. Speaking of weapons, over on Fox's Fringe in the same time period, an apocalyptic scenario is triggered when Walternate revs up the doomsday device "over there," in hopes of rocking our (and specifically Peter's) world.
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).
Andre Braugher blows into a midtown Manhattan café on a blustery December night. He's a half hour late for an interview, having gotten snarled in Yuletide tunnel traffic en route from his suburban New Jersey home. He flashes a Hudson River-wide grin, and all is forgiven. Suddenly, it hits you: Despite his regal bearing and well-earned reputation as one of TV's finest actors (six Emmy nominations, two wins), he's not that far removed from Owen Thoreau Jr., the slightly schlubby, regular-guy car salesman he plays on TNT's Men of a Certain Age. And that's...
At its languid but intoxicating best, HBO's Treme dances and grooves to its own peculiar and particularly New Orleans beat. Call it the rhythm of life. And, naturally, death. But mostly life. Such is the case in the series' languorous 80-plus-minute finale, infused with sorrow but also overflowing with a defiant resilience and joy in the moment that captures the ebullient nature of this national treasure of a city.
Plot-wise? Let's not dwell on that. As Professor Creighton Bernette (John Goodman) told his students in the penultimate episode, before presumably stepping off the ferry to put an end to his blocked creative life, "Don't think in terms of a beginning and an end. Because unlike some plot-driven entertainments, there is no closure in real life — not really." Could be a testimony to Treme itself, which has taken some knocks for its often oblique approach to actual narrative. (Ominously, Cray added when asked about an upcoming test, "In the end, every one of us will be tested, and every one of us will be found wanting.")
Creighton's suicide, and the grief and rage of his widow Toni...
When Treme co-creator David Simon approached Khandi Alexander for his new HBO drama, she didn't even have to read the script.
"I said, 'It doesn't even matter what it is, I'm in," Alexander tells TVGuide.com. "It was just the opportunity to work with David again. To be in the company of someone you feel so comfortable with creatively and personally, there was no second guessing. It was a yes before I read the material."
Treme overcomes tragedy, on-screen and off
So Alexander, who played a drug addict in Simon's Emmy-winning HBO miniseries The Corner, was even more thrilled when she saw just what Simon and co-creator Eric Overmyer were up to with their look at post-Katrina New Orleans...
The Wire, HBO's critically acclaimed series about the municipal struggles of Baltimore, will debut on July 18 on DirecTV.
DirecTV will air all five seasons in HD, uncut and commercial-free.
Watch full episodes of The Wire
"By adding The Wire to our Sunday-night lineup, we are...