Quite a bit happened on the third season premiere of Treme. Antoine Batiste and a large group of musicians tried to honor the death of a renowned tuba player with a street parade, but the event was broken up by the New Orleans police. When Antoine mouthed off, he was arrested, only to be released by crusading lawyer Toni. Meanwhile, musical gadabout Davis watched his girlfriend Annie debut her new band, “Annie T. And the Bayou St. John Playboys,” thus continuing her rise to music stardom. We saw New Orleans expat Janette hard at work in David Chang’s restaurant, being stalked by a regular customer who loves her cooking. We saw Delmond celebrating the release of his new album, which is getting great reviews by a critical establishment that still refuses to understand New Orleans. We saw that LaDonna and her sons had moved in with Colson’s elitist relatives. We saw Nelson visit the imprisoned Councilman Thomas.
Some of this was based on true events. All of it happened in the first fifteen minutes of the episode, before the re-introduction of incorruptible cop Terry and emergent hipster Sofia and a host of other characters and subplots and musical performances. The show was not much-watched in its first two seasons, and I can imagine that anyone who tuned in was instantly dizzy with the array of people and places and events. Heck, I’ve watched every single minute of Treme, and I still couldn’t have told you half of those names without Wikipedia. (Treme is one of those HBO dramas where you mentally label characters instead of learning their names: “the shady Texas guy,” “the chef,” “the Dutch guy who’s always on drugs,” “Steve Zahn.”) READ FULL STORY »