New Trailer, Images, and Featurette for HBO’s TREME, the New Orleans Series from WIRE Creator David Simon

     March 15, 2010


Early in the new year we got our first look at the teaser trailer for Treme, the upcoming series from The Wire creator David Simon.  Consisting mostly of slow pans about New Orleans, it didn’t reveal much, though the scattering of various instruments hinted at the musical nature of the show.  HBO has released a new trailer that imparts all sorts of great imagery, though it still doesn’t reveal much about the narrative–we’ll let the logline do that: the show “explores the lives of several struggling musicians and other New Orleans locals in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina”.  The new trailer rather beautifully lingers on said musicians dancing and parading through the street amid the destruction, and gives us a look at cast members Steve Zahn, John Goodman, Wendell Pierce, Clarke Peters, Khandi Alexander, and Rob Brown (among others), plus an Elvis Costello cameo.  The 1:37 clip is often reminiscent of the mostly headless “Way Down in the Hole” montages that primed the viewer for each episode of The Wire.

The show’s debut date of April 11 is now less than a month away, so get excited.  Hit the jump to check out the trailer and the full plot synopsis.

Here’s the official synopsis for Treme:

TREME begins in fall 2005, three months after Hurricane Katrina and the massive engineering failure in which flood control failed throughout New Orleans, flooding 80 percent of the city and displacing hundreds of thousands of residents.  Fictional events depicted in the series will honor the actual chronology of political, economic and cultural events following the storm.

The drama unfolds with Antoine Batiste, a smooth-talking trombonist who is struggling to make ends meet, earning cash with any gig he can get, including playing in funeral processions for his former neighbors.  His ex-wife, LaDonna Batiste-Williams, owns a bar in the Central City neighborhood and splits her time between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, where her children and new husband have relocated.  Concerned over the disappearance of her younger brother David, or Daymo, unseen since the storm, LaDonna has turned to a local civil rights attorney, the overburdened and underpaid Toni Bernette, for help.  The government’s inconsistent and ineffectual response to the devastation has spurred Bernette’s husband Creighton, a university professor of English literature and an expert on local history, to become an increasingly outspoken critic of the institutional response.

Tremé resident Davis McAlary, a rebellious radio disc jockey, itinerant musician and general gadfly, is both chronicler of and participant in the city’s vibrant and varied musical culture, which simply refuses to be silent, even in the early months after the storm.  His occasional partner, popular chef Janette Desautel, hopes to regain momentum for her small, newly re-opened neighborhood restaurant.  Elsewhere in the city, displaced Mardi Gras Indian chief Albert Lambreaux returns to find his home destroyed and his tribe, the Guardians of the Flame, scattered, but Lambreaux is determined to rebuild.  His son Delmond, an exile in New York playing modern jazz and looking beyond New Orleans for his future, is less sure of his native city’s future, while violinist Annie and her boyfriend Sonny, young street musicians living hand-to-mouth, seem wholly committed to the battered city.

The ensemble cast of TREME includes Wendell Pierce (“The Wire,” HBO’s documentary “When the Levees Broke”) as Antoine Batiste; Khandi Alexander (“CSI:  Miami,” HBO’s Emmy®-winning “The Corner”) as LaDonna Batiste-Williams; Clarke Peters (“Damages,” HBO’s “The Wire” and “The Corner”) as Albert Lambreaux; Rob Brown (“Stop-Loss,” “Finding Forrester”) as Delmond Lambreaux; Steve Zahn (“A Perfect Getaway,” “Sunshine Cleaning”) as Davis McAlary; Kim Dickens (HBO’s “Deadwood”) as Janette Desautel; Melissa Leo (“Homicide:  Life on the Street”; Oscar® nominee for “Frozen River”) as Toni Bernette; John Goodman (“The Big Lebowski,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”) as Creighton Bernette; Michiel Huisman (“The Young Victoria”) as Sonny; and classical violinist Lucia Micarelli as Annie.