Today, Variety announced that Melissa Leo — the veteran character actress who received an Oscar nomination this year for Frozen River — will join the cast of “Treme,” David Simon’s new HBO series that will focus on musicians in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Leo will play a civil rights lawyer alongside a couple of standouts from Simon’s “The Wire” — Clarke Peters (Lester Freamon) and Wendell Pierce (Bunk Moreland). Filming begins next month.
Simon, a frequent visitor to the city and a longtime New Orleans music fan, said… that the stories told in “Treme” would reach beyond the music scene to explore political corruption, the public housing controversy, the crippled criminal-justice system, clashes between police and Mardi Gras Indians, and the struggle to regain the tourism industry after the storm.
“It’s basically a post-Katrina history of the city. It will be rooted in events that everybody knows,” Simon said. “What it’s not going to be is a happy stroll through David Simon’s record collection. It should not be a tourism slide show. If we do it right, it (will be) about why New Orleans matters.”
…Annnnnnnnnd that sound you hear is me breathing into a paper bag. I want David Simon to make a series about anything and everything that’s raw and ugly about America. Baltimore? Check. The Iraq invasion? Check. Post-Katrina New Orleans? Big boner in anticipation. Ooh! Ooh! Do Detroit next!!!