Skip to content

Farewell, Treme

Like a hurricane
























A few weeks ago, HBO’s post-Katrina New Orleans drama Treme finished its run (I was on vacation, so the last two episodes were patiently waiting for me on my DVR). It was a remarkable show for many reasons, and the final episode managed to tie up many of the subplots into relatively satisfying bows. I’m always grateful when TV series know when to quit, rather than stringing out season after season long after the bloom is off the rose and things spiral into the annoying (I’m looking at you, Weeds).

Treme was at its strongest in its early seasons, particularly the first season that set up the background of the characters, struggling to rebuild their lives in the immediate post-Katrina world. After the tight focus of this time period ended, the show started to meander a bit. This was a series about stories, with numerous subplots revolving around interconnected characters, many of whom were based on real-life people. The characters were often archetypes: the civil right attorney, the Mardi Gras Indian chief, the jazz radio DJ, the cutting-edge chef, the bar owner, the police detective, the opportunistic developer. And musicians, lots of musicians: the middle-aged musician, the fresh young thing musician, the heroin addict musician, the conflicted about New Orleans musician. Dozens of real-life New Orleans musicians appeared in the series, and some became regulars, playing themselves (Kermit Ruffins) or fictional characters (Steve Earle). The shining light of the series lasted only through the first season, however. John Goodman, as Creighton Bernette, was dazzlingly good as a Tulane University professor and novelist who is unable to deal with his rage and sadness over the abandonment of New Orleans after the hurricane. He begins to record tirades on YouTube, one of which concluded, as a message to incompetent, neglectful politicians, “Fuck you, you fucking fucks.” stolen from Dennis Hopper in “Blue Velvet”.  Goodman’s character spends a perfect day of food and music throughout the city he loves, and then throws himself from a ferry. For me, the show was never the same.

But the true main character of Treme, as realized and vibrant as any other, was the music. It infused every part of the show, from passing shots of buskers on the corners to the biggest names on the stages of Bourbon Street. Characters struggled with writing songs, playing songs, getting songs right, reveled in the ease and natural synergy of playing with others, spoke with music when words failed. Music eased the despair in the wake of the hurricane and its tragic aftermath, an explosion of joy as ebullient as a second line swing. There is so much music to take in, in every episode, that websites sprung up to catalog what we were hearing ( The Times Picayune of New Orleans dedicated a page to the show (, with extremely detailed “Treme Explained” posts to fill the viewer in on the background of each episode’s characters and plotlines. I found this enormously helpful, as I am not really a jazz aficionado and am pretty ignorant of contemporary artists. But I would find myself constantly thinking “Who is that? He/she is GREAT!” as I watched the show, and through these links I was able to discover stunning new (to me) talent.

So thank you, creators of Treme and all the many artists who brought it to life. The show truly opened up a musical world to me, one as big and bold and full of joie de vivre as Mardi Gras morning.

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

The Daisy Jopling Band To Perform “Who’s Who” At The Transfiguration Church In Tarrytown, NY Sunday May 12th, 2024 7 PM ET

By admin | May 9, 2024 |

The Transfiguration Church in Tarrytown, New York Presents “Who’s Who”, original violin arrangements of iconic songs by The Who performed by the Daisy Jopling Band featuring the Sleepy Hollow High School Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, May 12th, 2024. Location: Transfiguration Church 268 South Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 United States Tickets are $25 and can be…

Cyborg Drummer/DJ DRMAGDN Headlining Montauk Music Fest

By admin | April 9, 2024 |

Major Label BMG Records Artist & Producer DRMAGDN Cyborg Drummer / DJ will be making his Montauk Music Fest debut this year in May. DRMAGDN will be the Official Host & MC of The Montauk Music Fest plus play headlining sets on Friday 5/17 and Saturday 5/18 from 10pm-12am at Gurney’s Montauk Resort (290 Old…

RED CARPET EVENT @ Chelsea Table & Stage 4/12/24 Featuring THE AMERICAN RELICS & DRMAGDN

By admin | March 25, 2024 |

On Friday April 12th, 2024 beginning at 6:30 pm ET  there will be a Red Carpet event pre-show sponsored by Tribeca Records at the trendy nightspot Chelsea Table and Stage located in the heart of Chelsea at 152 west 26th street (inside the Hilton Fashion Hotel) in NYC. The Red Carpet will be followed by…

Live Review: Composer Randy Edelman Live at Chelsea T&S “2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre” 03/16/24 and Record Release in NYC

By admin | March 17, 2024 |

There was an infinite vitality of velvet green flowing deliciously through the air as Composer Randy Edelman presented his 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre at the trendy new nightspot Chelsea Table & Stage in the heart of NYC on March 16, 2024….. a vivacious close to the spirited Irish Parade. His music is the…

DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer/DJ Debuts @ Chelsea T&S With Retro 80’s Party & Red Carpet Event 4/12/24

By admin | February 29, 2024 |

BMG recording artist, producer and World renowned, Global Touring Electrifying Powerhouse, DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer and DJ will make his debut at the popular, trendy night spot Chelsea Table & Stage (located at 152 west 26th street inside the Hilton Hotel) on  Friday April 12, 2024 @ 9:00PM. DRMAGDN will be celebrating his high energy brand of Electronic Dance Music (EDM)…

Going Steady: New Singles 2-23-24- 2-29-24 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

dance pop, gooey confection

US Top Ten Albums Tracking 2-16-24 – 2-22-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

75K EAUs is abysmal

Our Friend Tony Orlando’s Farewell Tour

By admin | February 25, 2024 |

“I still hit the ball, I just can’t run the bases!!!”

Sneak Peaks: New Album releases 3-1-24 – 3-7-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

contenders for the best punk rock around

Child Bite, Lamb Of God, Pantera At Madison Square Garden, Thursday, February 22nd, 2024, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

A three hours of hard rock, metal not metal, swift, loud, egoless pure metal

Scroll To Top