HBO’s renaissance continues Sunday night with the premiere of Treme, David Simon’s new hour-long drama about New Orleans musicians that takes place in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Here, four things any informed viewer ought to know before hitting the couch tonight (or whenever you end up watching it).
It’s a Reunion!
With Mr. Simon’s involvement, it should come as no surprise that Treme as like a de facto reunion of The Wire. As such, the cast features many familiar faces that disciples of Mr. Simon’s former series will surely recognize: Wendell Pierce (“Bunk”) and Clarke Peters (“Lester”), both veterans of The Wire, are part of the new series’ sprawling ensemble.
When the Levees Broke…
Wanting to keep things as real as possible—and simultaneously help with the economy of New Orleans—Mr. Simon shot the series locally and even hired many non-actors from the area to take roles. Included in this local flavor is Phyllis Montana LeBlanc, a New Orleans native and Hurricane Katrina survivor whom Spike Lee memorably showcased in his documentary, When the Levees Broke.
R.I.P. David Mills.
One of Mr. Simon’s longtime friends and co-writers, David Mills, died on the set of Treme at the end of last month from brain aneurysm. He wrote two of the episodes from this season of the show, the third and seventh.
How Do You Say…
There’s no accent over the second “e” in the title — but Treme is indeed pronounced “truh-MAY” and not “Tream.” This may not seem like a big deal, but it’s essential information if you skip the show but can’t resist pretending you saw it on Monday morning.
Treme premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. on HBO.