Treme Season 1 Episode 1 Pilot Premiere:Do You Know What It Means S01E01

Treme Season 1 Episode 1 Pilot Premiere:Do You Know What It Means S01E01 – Treme season 1 episode 1 called “Do You Know What It Means” which was directed by Agnieszka Holland and written by David Simon & Eric Overmyer premiered last night on HBO.
Treme is a compelling one-hour drama series that is set in the fall of 2005 -three months after Hurricane Katrina took place and destroyed so many lives in the small New Orleans neighborhood of Treme.
Eric Overmyer has explained that the show uses fictional events and characters to shed light on the real massive engineering failure that permitted the flood to displace hundreds of thousands of residents.
But not all about the series is dark and gloomy,the series also honors the fallen heroes and the state’s great culture/music/art.
The plot of the first installment focuses on the celebration of the first “second-line parade” since the town was struck by the natural disaster and many of the local musicians and residents are reunited, but even more have not yet returned.
Here is a presentation of the series:

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.

As the story begins, more than half the population of New Orleans is elsewhere and much of the city is wrecked, muddied and caked in mold, while other neighborhoods remain viable. The tourists have yet to return, the money that follows them is scarce, and residents can take solace only in the fact that the city’s high levels of crime have migrated to Houston and Baton Rouge. And for those returning, housing is hard to come by, with many people waiting on insurance checks that may never arrive.

We must give credit to Eric Overmyer the man behind “Homicide,” and “The Wire” for doing his bet to capture the essence of the city ,musicians, chefs, Mardi Gras Indians and ordinary New Orleanians as they try to rebuild their lives, their homes and their unique culture in the aftermath of the 2005 catastrophe.
And by having New Orleans trumpeter Kermit Ruffins who once played for Elvis Costello in the very first episode ,you can tell that Overmyer wants this series to be as authentic as can be . That was the positive side of this new series,now for the negative part:
The series is maybe too artistic ,at the end of the day it looked like the show was showcasing the lifestyle of New Orleans,there were not enough real drama and real life stories to connect us to the characters.The story-lines were overshadowed by about 1000 images of trombones and rusty fences.The viewer was not given a reason why they should watch this show next week.

Here are few lines that stood out from this episode:
-“This is New Orleans dog; the police never come. And if they do, they’ll shove us out of the way and start looting their own selves.”

-“This is not a natural disaster! This is a man-made f–king catastrophe of epic proportions!”

-“You’re saying all you want is to get high, play trumpet and barbecue in New Orleans?”

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