Series: 4 stars
Picture: 4 stars
Sound: 4 stars
Extras: 3½ stars
Consider the dense, multi-layered, centuries-old, and sometimes impenetrable culture of New Orleans — especially in the months just after Hurricane
Katrina and the ensuing Federal levee failures nearly drowned the city forever. Is any other scenario more difficult to depict on the small screen? Yet that was the arduous task chosen by David Simon and Eric Overmyer — part-time New Orleans residents and famed co-conspirators on Homicide and The Wire — who came up with HBO’s Treme. Season 1 is now on Blu-ray, coinciding with the airing of Season 2.
No one else in TV could have pulled this off. Simon and Overmyer understand that the magic of this great city resides in small, casual moments: the brilliant music that erupts spontaneously on the streets every day, or the way even strangers greet each other on those same streets with genuine warmth and interest. The result is a series that, clearly, isn’t for everyone — just like New Orleans itself. But then, if you prefer the manufactured drama of gunfights and car chases, you can always find it elsewhere, no effort required.
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