The first season of Treme faced the unique challenge of making New Orleans approachable for outsiders. Viewers had to be immersed (and entertained) in a world with hurricane aftermath, generations of racial tension and an exclusive music scene. Somehow David Simon successfully ushered audiences through this unfamiliar landscape, much like he did with The Wire, also for HBO. After a critically adored first season, Simon and company expanded on their Louisianan universe with another compelling eleven episodes. Continue reading for my full review.
The second season of Treme follows the interconnected lives of numerous families throughout post-Katrina New Orleans. Just like in the first season, each family has their own expansive storylines that allows the viewer to get a deeper sense of life in the city. Simon is much less interested in a straightforward narrative approach to the city than to lyrically drop in on series’ of families within different communities. The result is an inspired view of the many facets of the city, rather than a routine central storyline.
Like in the first season, music again acts as the glue that holds the city together and unites the numerous communities as one. The jazzy soundtrack helps immerse the viewer into the city and acts as a common thread throughout the numerous networks of characters.
While season two’s writing is as sharp as ever, the show’s performances once again contribute enormously to the show’s success. The series boasts a wide range of talented actors like Melissa Leo, John Goodman, Rob Brown and Steve Zahn.
Special features include a behind the scenes look at the music of the show, two behind the scenes featurettes, The Art of Treme and four commentaries tracks with cast and crew. There’s also really cool music commentaries where music experts discuss in-depth the songs from the show.
Treme is presented with Dolby sound in the four disc set. If you’re willing to commit a few hours of your time, Treme is definitely worth it.