“Tremé” is back for its third season (and has been renewed for a fourth). I reviewed the season as a whole earlier this week, and in it noted that I’m only going to do brief write-ups of each episode until the finale, mainly providing you folks with a forum to discuss the show, because I’ve found over time it doesn’t lend itself incredibly well to chapter-by-chapter dissections, especially when I’ve read to the end before you’ve opened the book. But I have a few specific thoughts on the season premiere coming up just as soon as I get a hairstyle that’s, like, not a hairstyle…
We return to “Tremé” in the fall of 2007, 25 months since the storm and six months since the end of season 2. Some things are the same: Batiste arguing with cab drivers (and getting overlooked as always, this time for having the bad luck to get arrested away from the memorial), great music, institutional corruption, Anthony Bourdain writing good material for his chef buddies, etc. Other things are different. Money is coming into New Orleans, and construction/renovation has begun, as we can see in the tweaked opening credit sequence, which includes the show’s title getting a fresh coat of paint. Annie is confidently leading her own band, LaDonna is bristling at living under the same roof as her condescending Creole in-laws, and Big Chief Lambreaux is coughing at work. We also begin a season-long discussion of artistic intent and integrity with the scene at Delmond’s record release party, where his manager tells him, “Now it’s not enough to get a good review; you need the reviewer to actually understand the work.”
And despite it being a return for the series, we spend a good deal of time with characters leaving New Orleans for a bit, whether it’s Janette continuing her New York odyssey, Nelson going to Atlanta to see Oliver Thomas, or Terry Colson going to Indiana to see his kids. Terry’s ex-wife suggests New Orleans is a place only for “Dreamers and drunks,” but we see on Terry’s face in the final scene that this absurd, stupid, wonderful place has him in its spell, as it does so many other characters in the series, and it’s why we’re back here for another year.
As always, I’ll remind you to check out the great explanations of all the local color from Dave Walker of the Times-Picayune, and now I’ll open up the floor. What did everybody else think?