down in the treme maider gomez intxauspe   There is a TV series where nothing seems to happen. There is no action, no melodrama, no cheap emotion. In this TV series they shy away from narrative trickery and they simply focus on everyday normal life with all its ups and downs. This TV show, just like life itself, doesn’t make it easy for the viewer.

Treme is the brainchild of David Simon, the creator of The Wire. A guarantee of quality and wisdom. Just as he did in Baltimore before, he digs his scalpel into the different social stratum and classes of New Orleans and he exposes the city’s muscles, bones, sicknesses, scars and soul as if he were giving us an anatomy class.

If you visit Treme like a tourist with a guide book and maps, well, you’re not going to last here very long. A flying visit, no more. But if you drop any prejudices, and take a leisurely walk down the devastated streets as if talking a

Sunday stroll, the characters, scenery and music will captivate you. Sweat in the stifling New Orleans summer, enjoy the sweet sharp smells that drift out from the kitchens, look for shade it the long-flowerless parks, have a beer as you listen to musicians who are as poor as they are virtuoso…one episode after another, again and again, you’ll come back to Treme for more.

If there is a main character in Treme, it’s post hurricane Katrina New Orleans. The others, the human ones, are all secondary characters. But it is this group of secondary actors that empower this TV show that tells all and nothing. Treme tells stories of how the secondary come to the fore. This format choice by David Simon is no coincidence. Treme is the TV series for people who don’t normally appear in other TV series.

Having stated that the city of New Orleans is the main character on show, we must add that the show is one you listen to, not see. It’s enjoyable with your eyes closed too. That’s mainly because of the soundtrack. There is no way you can understand New Orleans without music. And that’s why music and musicians appear time and again on the show. Some musicians play themselves in cameo appearances; some of them play characters, like Trombone Shorty Andrews and the great Steve Earle. Followers of the series have been able to see and hear Elvis Costello, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Kermit Ruffins Sammie Big Sam Williams, Cassandra Wilson, Troy and many other musicians
on stage, talking about music, or eating prawns in Cajun sauce in some Creole restaurant somewhere in the city.

Treme is a must-see show for anybody who doesn’t believe that the TV set has become a dead box in the corner.