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Rec Room: David Xia: Treme

April 19, 2010

David Xia.jpgWhen I heard David Simon on WNYC yesterday talking about his new television series Treme, I knew I had to watch it. Yes, Simon’s the guy who created and wrote The Wire.

Treme is a show on HBO about the eponymous New Orleans neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Only two days after its premiere on April 11, HBO announced that it would renew the show for a second season. After watching the pilot, that doesn’t surprise me. The plot is multilayered, the soundtrack is rich with New Orleans-style brass band, and the writing is candid and complex. We are introduced to the story of several families and individuals—a man who’s returned to find his home completely destroyed, a struggling trombone player who constantly stiffs cabbies, and a woman who’s searching for her missing inmate brother.

There’s tremendous anger in the first episode at who is accountable for New Orleans’s tragedy. The opening credits starkly portray black mold growing on the walls of once inundated homes. Creighton Bernette, a short-fused college professor played by John Goodman, exclaims to a British journalist, “The flooding of New Orleans was a man-made catastrophe. A federal fuck-up of epic proportions and decades in the making.”

But there’s also joy and celebration as Treme residents try to rebuild.

Bio: David Xia is an intern at Guernica. Read his last recommendation of the book When All Else Fails here.

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