Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mike Wants You To Step Into the Second Line

I have to admit, my mind has been on other things this week because come Friday I'm on my way to the annual American Library Association conference. This year's conference is especially sweet since it will happen in the granddaddy of party towns, home of the Who Dat Nation, New Orleans. To add to my excitement, the television show that I'm going to preach to you about is set in a place I'll be staying, a neighborhood just north of the French Quarter.

If you've read this blog before or had the ill luck to talk to me on a day when I'm thinking of it, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of David Simon and his past HBO television show The Wire. The Treme is set in its namesake neighborhood and pulls from the cast of characters that you'll find walking down the streets: the down-on-their-luck musicians hustling to get by, the bartenders weary of lending an ear, harried police and the lawyers keeping an eye on them. The show is rife with New Orleans' rich musical tradition, where you have at least one big name musician making a guest appearance; toss in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and you've got yourself something to keep your attention.

In contrast to his previous series, David Simon is taking his time in setting viewers up for major story moves; much like life, the earth-shattering moments aren't set up for a season's worth of wrap-ups. After all, the event that shook the character's bedrock has already happened, and they're just starting to pick up the pieces. It's this process of starting over that's the meat of the show, and the potatoes are memories of places, events, and things that came to signify what it means to live in New Orleans which are now just starting to show from under the receding flood.

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