Monday, June 21, 2010

Treme Season One Finale: Happy Sad Life

A memorable Season One finale for Treme on HBO last night,  complete with a satisfying flashback coda which showed what most of our characters were up to when Katrina blew in.

The music was about the best of any episode, which means fine indeed, and I give first place a tie between two excellent performances:  Lloyd Price singing a few lines of "Stagger Lee" (I met Lloyd a few times in 1969-1970, when I was recording my Twice Upon a Rhyme album in Herb Abramson's A-1 Studios near 72nd Street in New York City, and it was great to see Lloyd still looking and sounding good); and John Boutté (the great Treme intro song) singing some of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home to Me" as part of McAlary's attempt to serenade Janette into not leaving New Orleans.   You know what?  I also have to put Steve Earle and Annie (Lucia Micarelli) singing "This City" in first place, too - the music was just that good.

As to the story, some happy endings, some not, as befits life:
  • McAlary's not able to persuade Janette to stay, though she could always come back.  And McAlary has his job back as dj, and Annie showing up at his door near the end.
  • That's because Annie and Sonny are pretty well done - his last scene has him drugging out
  • Antoine gets a thousand dollar gig - the one with Lloyd Price (and Allen Toussaint) - but blows most of it on cards
  • Albert had the happiest story - in good with his family, and walking with full feathers and not getting arrested or beat up by cops - because the Sgt has a conscience, and no doubt on the Lt's orders stops his men from doing their worst
  • Creigton has the worst - he's gone, leaving a wife, daughter, and a fine career as a professor, author, and videocaster - it wasn't really Katrina, it was something inside of him
  • Ladonna finally gets some closure, putting her brother Daymo to rest in full New Orleans style
And that brings us to the coda, which finally tells us what happened to Daymo as the storm came in.  The finale was wisely 90 minutes not 60, and it only scratched the surface of this excellent, original nexus of characters and stories.  Fortunately, they'll be next season, and I hope many more to come.

8-min podcast review of Treme

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 ... Treme 1.5: Delicious! ... Treme 1.8: Passions and Dreams ... Treme 1.9: Creighton

And: My Favorite Moment in Treme (Season One)

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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book
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