I should've known to just trust David Simon. Mr. Simon, I'm sorry for doubting you, if only for a brief moment in time. I genuflect at your altar.
Treme is, beyond all else, a beautiful work of art. I feel like I know each and every character on the show. They all seem familiar to me. It was genuine and real, almost scarily so. I mean, does it get more New Orleans than the following dialogue exchange?
Davis: "All you want to do is get high, play some trumpet and barbecue in New Orleans your whole damn life?"
Kermit Ruffins: "That'll work."
I think not!
Here are a list of things I loved about the show, in no particular order.
-A bag of Zapps on the kitchen counter.
-The disdain expressed for Chinese crawfish.
-Everything about the characters played by Wendell Pierce and John Goodman (whose character, as previously noted, is based on Ashley Morris). Pierce especially nails it, but he is a New Orleans-born musician himself, so that's to be expected.
-The Mardi Gras Indian.
-A reference to Hubig's pies.
-Davis, the character played by Steve Zahn (whose bare ass I could have gone without seeing), working at WWOZ and blasting Mystikal to piss off his neighbors.
-John Goodman's character trying to toss the British TV guy's camera into the canal.
Did I miss any highlights?
Also, I watched the show at home, alone. I was invited to a couple of viewing parties but decided that I didn't want anything to distract me from soaking it all in. I'm glad I did that. My only regret is not flooding my apartment and hanging a model airplane from the ceiling with a George W. Bush action figure in it to, you know, set the right mood. But I got by okay.
So far this year the Saints have won the Super Bowl, the city elected a new mayor and it's recovery is now being serialized by television's preeminent genius. 2010 looks like it'll be a good year for New Orleans.
(Also, the Times Picayune's Dave Walker put together a handy guide to explain some of the show's more obscure references to non-locals.)