Saturday, April 23, 2011

How to have a Treme marathon

Treme is the name of a neighborhood in New Orleans. It's also the name of a television series that is produced by Baltimore's David "Homicide, Wire, Corner" Simon. Simon has shown that he is an expert in making the location a starring character in a drama. Treme's previews promised good acting and noteworthy music performances. Along with the big name actors such as John Goodwin and Melissa Leo there are many exciting local musicians and a good seasoning of good cooks.

I have just finished a marathon of watching the first season. Here are my directions for how to do it.

First you have to have no TV, because if you had a TV you would be unable to resist paying for HBO and watching it when it first broadcast. Second you should have no local friends with class, because if you knew someone else who watched the show, you'd be borrowing the recording they made. Then you have to have patience to wait for it to arrive on iTunes.

I recommend not watching the episodes front to back. Yes, you should be watching your computer screen steadily as you would with any marathon. But, the experience is best stretched out by reading Alan Seppinwall's reviews on HitFlix and Dave Walker's (of The Times-Picayune) very informative blog after watching each episode. I even like to read the reader comments. All this gives me a feeling of being in the know. This practice goes back years ago to the mid 90's when I would join UseNet's Alt.TV.Homicide forum on the night right after Homicide had been on. I'm still in contact with many of the people I met there (Alan Seppinwall was one) although we don't meet regularly we did before Tivo. As it was with the early years of Homicide, the audience input is usually informed and entertaining. Treme requires a degree of intelligence and taste. Good jazz is not for the hoi palloi.

Because I include reading reviews and blogs about the show, it requires a pretty heavy investment of time. I'm on Easter break, but I have other things to do. That's where getting sick comes in handy. For the past two days I've had a sour stomach, an earache, and maybe a fever. I'm too sick to do little else but watch the show.

Another season is beginning and I'll probably have to wait a year to see more. Since I have it in my iTunes files, I'll probably watch season one again. It's very good.

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