tongue-tied lightning


Blogging Treme: Episode 2 “Meet the Boys on the Battlefront”
April 19, 2010, 3:38 AM
Filed under: misc | Tags: , , , , , ,

Last week, Slate Magazine published an article questioning whether or not David Simon was going too easy on New Orleans, that is, whether or not he was stacking the deck for the home team.  It mentioned the British reporter from the first episode and a moment with some street musicians in the second.  Watching early in episode 2 as they ridiculed some kids who had come down with a church group to help “gut houses and stuff” I wondered if Slate didn’t have a point.  I was pleased  when they were redeemed later in the episode.  They had been touched by Christ but not Kermit and tellingly, between their first scene with the street musicians and their last, they learned how to pronounce New Orleans.

I think the second episode builds on the foundation set by the pilot rather well.  We find out more about Creighton Bernette’s vocation.  We find out why Janette DeSautel doesn’t want anyone to ask her about her fuckin’ house.  We start to get a bead on Albert Lambreaux and the activities of Mardi Gras Indians are slowly being revealed to us.  At the same time, we’re being introduced to some new characters.  We start meeting character’s families. I’m not sure if we’ll see the tourists again but the street musicians seem like they might be coming back.

Davis McAlary continues to be my favorite character, at times it feels like he’s in there to provide comic relief, but he seems to really be in tune with the spirit of New Orleans.  Seeing him try to hold down a legitimate job in a Bourbon Street hotel is quite amusing.  I really liked seeing more of Rob Brown’s character, Donald Lambreaux but perhaps that’s because his more prominent scenes involved Allen Toussaint and Stanton Moore.

On that note, the music continues to be top notch.  We get another small scene with Kermit Ruffins who I’ve really been digging into after last week’s episode.  He may not be Miles Davis but he’s far more than adequate and his laid back party style really suits the show and the city it’s trying to portray.  Where else but New Orleans could someone like Kermit Ruffins exist?  To paraphrase one of my favorite quotes of the episode: “You come home every night smelling like cigarettes and pussy.” “That’s not pussy.” “What is it then?”  “Barbeque, Kermit’s barbeque.” “Honey, Kermit’s barbeque tastes right but not that right.”  I can’t think of a better place to leave off this week.

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