Last year, Kish and I followed the HBO series Treme. We started watching because it was created by the same people who made The Wire, one of the best TV shows ever. That’s why we started to watch it, but I’m not sure exactly why we kept watching it. The show didn’t seem to be going anywhere, and we really didn’t connect with any of the characters or their stories. In fact, we found some of the characters to be insufferable and most of the others to be annoying. When one of the characters — a know-it-all, churlish professor played by John Goodman — committed suicide in an act that seemed completely inconsistent with his persona, we threw up our hands.
This year we’ve started watching again . . . and I’m still not sure exactly why. The characters are no more likable, or even understandable, than they ever were. Even though everyone apparently is struggling in the ravaged, post-Katrina world, they all seem to have enough money to buy drinks at any given moment. And boy, are there are lot of characters, and a lot of story lines! We see little snippets of their lives, and then there is a performance by a New Orleans musical act that is somehow connected to the story arc, and then we see another brief yet deeply meaningful episode involving someone else. It’s like TV for people with ADD who can’t stand to watch a scene that lasts longer than 30 seconds. The only positive thing about this year, so far, is a new, hustler-type character who is in The Big Easy to try to strike it rich from all of the federal cash pouring in. At last, someone whose motivations I can understand!
When I watch this show, I feel like I am just doing my duty for the people who created The Wire. I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who actually likes this show and can explain why.