MTV may have abandoned actual music programming in favor of reality shows featuring seven twits running amok on the Jersey Shore, but fear not: David Simon, creator of The Wire (a.k.a. one of the best television shows of at least the last decade) is filling that musical gap with new series Treme.
Treme (that’s trem-AY without the accent aigu) is Simon’s third HBO effort about ten people, including a few jazz musicians, living in NOLA after Hurricane Katrina. That would make it musically interesting enough, but check out these deets from Flavorwire’s recent roundup: Musical guests include Elvis Costello, Dr. John, Steve Earle (who played Walon on The Wire), Allen Toussaint, Kermit Ruffins, Galactic and others; “the major theme is rebuilding, but [the show] will also deal with issues like education and crime as the show progresses.” These should be familiar themes for Simon. Not to mention John Goodman and The Wire alum Wendell Pierce (Det. Bunk) are among the cast. Interesting side note: Goodman currently lives in Trent Reznor’s former New Orleans home/studio.
Pierce, who plays musician Antoine Batiste, explained Simon’s delicate rendering of post-Katrina New Orleans (via TV Squad):
You know, a lot of times, you see, you know, bad TV movies about New Orleans and it’s Mardi Gras every day, and everybody is dressed up, and outside the window, you see a parade going by. I knew that David and Eric [Overmyer] had a unique ability to find the specificity in a culture and depict it in a way that was authentic. And so that’s happening, and that’s evident, and I’m happy about that. New Orleanians are very protective about their culture, and I think they would be happy about the specificity in the show.