HBO's 'Treme' premiered Sunday night, after months and months of local anticipation. We don't have HBO at home, but as we had a wedding to attend that very night, we found ourselves temporarily child-free, so we ducked out early from the reception and found our way to the Mother-in-Law Lounge, where they had a screen set up across from the bar for patrons to take it all in.
I've been reading this blog lately, so felt a keen awareness of everything that seems to be at stake here. I'm also keenly aware that I can in no be way objective about this show--there is something about seeing the heart and soul and guts of your city spilled in front of a national audience that precludes any sort of objective appraisal. And so much has been said and written about the premiere already, here and here and here, and so many other places, so much more eloquently and knowledgably than I ever could manage. But what's been going through my mind the last few days is what a stark contrast this show is to the one that aired a couple of years ago. Both K-ville and Treme can be thought of as having a similar purpose--to pay homage to a town and its people, to tell the story and profess a set of feelings--but one is like bad, pre-pubescent poetry, while the other is an aria, or a sonnet or symphony. Both hope to obtain the same objective, but only one manages to do so effectively.
The other day someone--someone from out of town--asked me if I liked the show. What could I say? That I absolutely and ecstatically fucking loved it, that I stood rooted to my spot in the bar for 90 minutes and hardly blinked or breathed, except during the scenes when we all danced and sang along to our favorite riffs or when a little sob of grief and shock escaped me while I watched John Goodman bring a little piece of Ashley Morris to the national stage? That being in that room with all of those people and that energy and watching this act of love unfold, so reverently, with such grace and nuance, made me want to get down on my knees on the sidewalk on our way back to the car and thank whatever god I don't believe in for bringing me to this place, for letting me be a part of this place, for leading me to this city I call home.
Yes, I told her. I really, really loved it. But, I also cautioned, I'm probably not very objective.