TREME: THE COMPLETE SERIES

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FROM THE BACK OF THE BOX:

Life after Hurricane Katrina as the residents of New Orleans try to rebuild their lives, their homes and their unique culture in the aftermath of one of the worst natural disasters in the USA.

FROM THE BACK OF MY BRAIN:

“Treme” underwhelmed me for the first season. After coming off “The Wire”, I felt that David Simon was trying to hard to force these characters upon the audience. That doesn’t mean that I need an episode explaining away the New Orleans culture. However, I need to be able to understand the general thrust of what’s going down. So many early episodes were spent lost in conversations that ultimately went nowhere. The only actor that seemed to want to include the audience was Steve Zahn.

As season 4 winds to a close, I have to say that it picked a great place to stop. So much of the series dabbled in obtuse metaphors and trying to understand who owns what culture. Ultimately, the cast came together in their shared sense of community. Seeing so many groups finally bonding and coming to understand what New Orleans meant to them is refreshing. You don’t end with that sense of dread that you got from the Baltimore of “The Wire”. “Treme” wants you to know that things will eventually get better after Katrina.

I know that I have ruffled a ton of feathers with my casual dismissal of David Simon’s body of work. The guy is incredibly hit and miss as a show runner, but when he nails it…he nails it. Unfortunately, David Simon doesn’t get many times to shine throughout this series. Still, it lasted a lot longer than many flawed conceptual shows on HBO. Hell, I still miss “Hung”. That being said, I will take ambitious adult programming over the usual schlock on network television.

The Blu-Ray comes with featurettes, interactive looks at the New Orleans culture and 16 audio commentaries. The A/V Quality sports an amazing 1080p transfer, plus you get a truly amazing DTS-HD 5.1 audio track. It makes the downtown scenes and the occasional material with the Indian tribes come to life. However, so much of this series was quiet dialogue. So, don’t expect a constant wow factor. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to fans.

RELEASE DATE: 01/28/2014

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