Expectations high for 'Treme'

by Nathan Stubbs

Expectations could not be higher for Treme, an upcoming HBO original series from David Simon

Expectations could not be higher for Treme, an upcoming HBO original series from David Simon, creator of the The Wire who has been compared to legendary storytellers from Dickens to Shakespeare to Edward Gibbon.

If you need an early taste of what's in store with Treme, HBO has recently released a new trailer for the series, which will star John Goodman, Steve Zahn, Wendell Pierce and Melissa Leo, as well as feature appearances from New Orleans musicians including Kermit Ruffins, Dr. John. Treme is set to premiere April 11.

The New York Times Magazine has also posted a lenghty feature about Treme from this weekend's edition on its Web site. Reporter Wyatt Mason visits the set and compares Treme with The Wire:

Whereas through its five seasons The Wire built a vivid portrait of urban America as seen through the prism of its institutions and professions-the police department, the drug trade, the dockworkers, the local government, the schools, the press-Treme, though no less focused on the workings and failings of 21st-century American urban existence, tells its story not through a city's institutions but through its individuals. [B]ecause so many of [The Wire's] story lines dramatized the futility of any of these characters' attempts to break through social and economic ceilings, the image of contemporary urban America that the show offered was one in which character wasn't fate so much as a fait accompli: In the land of the free market, Simon was arguing, free will wasn't going to get you very far. In Treme, Simon seems to be arguing for the very opposite idea: the triumph of the individual will despite all impediments, a show about people, artists for the most part, whose daily lives depend upon the free exercise of their wills to create-out of nothing, out of moments-something beautiful.