Monday, May 10, 2010

Treme 1.5: Delicious!

Great music and scrumptious food are the fixings of Treme - and New Orleans.   Usually the music is so fabulous that it outshines the food.   The music was tasty, indeed, in Treme 1.5, but in this episode I give the edge to the food.

My favorite scene takes place in Janette's restaurant.   Tom Colicchio and three other world class chefs (Eric Ripert, David Chang, and Wylie Dufresne) walk in - you've seen Tom on Bravo's Top Chefs.   Janette and Jacques whip up a "low ball" dinner - Janette astutely realizes that there's no point in her trying to out-New York these New York titans.  I'd already eaten dinner, but if it were possible, I'd have taken a little of what Janette served up, right through the television screen.

Janette runs over to Davis in the Second Line parade the next day, bursting to tell him about what happened in her restaurant.   But Davis typically is so involved in his own streams of thought that he barely hears her.   Janette walks away, disappointed.  It's a sad statement of the nature of their relationship.

Meanwhile, in the best music of the episode, Davis sings and records a scathing song about George W. Bush - "Shame, Shame, Shame" - with an all-star New Orleans band.    But Davis is later punched in the jaw - he wrongly thinks he can say "nigger" in the same way a black man can - and he ends up about as embittered as we've seen him, in his room.

Albert's angry, too, about the projects still not opened, and providing homes to returning New Orleanians.   He barely controls himself when a conversation with a political guy in the street promises little more than the apathy de jour.   Albert's anger is one of the best elements of the series.

Creighton's anger is burning, too.   He puts up another YouTube video -  lambasting Bush for not coming through with his promises - and gets accolades not only from people on the street, but author Ray Blount.   But there's a big cloud on the horizon, as Creighton gets word that his agent is coming down from New York to see him.  He's sure the purpose of the visit is to take back the advance he received for his novel, which is now going on six years overdue.   But, optimist that I am, I'm thinking Creighton's agent is coming to New Orleans to ask him to write a book about what he's been saying on YouTube.

There are already some happier developments in town.  Antoine gets a visit from a wealthy Japanese fan, who buys him a new trombone and gives him a wad of cash.   This enables him to buy back his lost trombone, which Toni brings to some head cop played by David Morse, in hopes of getting some justice for Antoine.  No such luck - justice is still in short supply in New Orleans.

But the food and the music have never been better!

See also Treme! ... Treme 1.2: "If you ain't been to heaven" ... Treme 1.3: Fine Sweet and Sour ... Treme 1.4: New Orleans, New York, Nashville

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