• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 11, 2010
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Apr 22, 2011
    100
    Will Antoine achieve his musical dream? How long can Ladonna hold onto her business when her husband and sons (and now mother) live long distance in Baton Rouge? Theirs are among the myriad stories swirling in the funky gumbo of this one-of-a-kind drama.
  2. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Apr 22, 2011
    100
    You won't find a better rendering of time and place anywhere else on the sprawling TV landscape. This is still the real deal, through and through.
  3. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Apr 21, 2011
    100
    It was last year, and remains so this year--one of TV's very best.
  4. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Apr 19, 2011
    100
    Ambitious? As always. And if the first few episodes are any indication, tighter, even more evocative and as lush and lovingly constructed as possible when conveying the plight of the forgotten.
  5. Reviewed by: Jesse Hicks
    Apr 25, 2011
    90
    Simon's Treme is an equally astute portrait of "an urban people" still struggling to come back from a brink.
  6. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Apr 21, 2011
    90
    With none of the conventional plot techniques TV viewers are accustomed to, it is a collection of rich moments and poignant characters that loosely adds up to something quite powerful.
  7. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Apr 21, 2011
    90
    It remains, stubbornly and triumphantly, what it was: an unhurried exploration of the aftermath of a city's catastrophe, told through the experiences of those who didn't have the luxury of shutting off CNN when they'd had enough. And all set to some extraordinary music.
  8. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Apr 20, 2011
    90
    In season two, the strengths of Treme remain strengths, while some of the show's weaknesses have been much improved.
  9. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Apr 28, 2011
    88
    It takes awhile to adjust to the dissonance, but the muted naturalism of the superb cast draws us in. [9 May 2011, p.40]
  10. Reviewed by: Aaron Riccio
    Apr 22, 2011
    88
    Treme gives you the best, then, of dramas and documentaries: a moving snapshot of a city, and its flesh-and-blood people, in transition.
  11. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Apr 25, 2011
    80
    From scene to scene, Treme is novelistic in the best sense--a long, complex, involving story that takes a while to settle into, but that you can't put down and don't want to end.
  12. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Apr 25, 2011
    80
    Those who love it aren't likely to get that itch scratched anywhere else. Like jazz, though, that's a relatively narrow audience, one that Simon--perhaps even more so than in "The Wire" and "Generation Kill"--has chosen, for better and worse, to uncompromisingly serve.
  13. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Apr 25, 2011
    80
    The second season, beginning in 2006, about a year after the last, will probably not change minds among lovers or haters. There's somewhat more capital-D drama to the early episodes.
  14. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Apr 21, 2011
    80
    Some aspects of this show work better than others, but, in its generally excellent second season, the drama has cohered into a compelling, if sprawling, portrait of the Crescent City.
  15. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Apr 22, 2011
    70
    It's often difficult for them to shed the topical baggage they are made to carry and simply be themselves. Still, if you stick with them, you'll see Treme becoming a well-paced work of fiction rather than see Treme spending too much effort speaking truth to an indifferent power.
  16. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Apr 25, 2011
    58
    It's wonderful HBO is willing to subsidize so many artists, but Treme feels more like a tax write-off than an actual series.
  17. Reviewed by: Tony Norman
    Apr 25, 2011
    50
    There are scenes in the first five episodes of the new season that are as compelling as anything television has to offer. But the viewer has to wade through material that fails more often than not to deliver on its promise.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. Apr 28, 2011
    2
    What I -- and most other folks -- loved about David Simon's "The Wire" was the writing, the stories. Everything flowed from that. "Treme" is "The Wire" without the writing. Where is the tension? When is the show going to break out of this slow (but beautifully filmed, beautifully acted, beautifully scored) journey? Unless there is going to be a shift in its direction I can't imagine there will be another season. Case in point: John Goodman's Creighton Bernette drifted through season one without developing into a character we wanted to care about, and it wasn't John Goodman's fault. Yes, we got the whole "I'm pissed what's happened to my city" schtick, but that was the extent of his character? Really? Bernette, and many of the other characters, come across as permanently one dimensional -- more similar to characters in "Law and Order" than "Breaking Bad", the current gold standard for shows with great stories.

    With such as awesome cast (thank G-d Khandi Alexander's back on the TV) and a potential as wide and long as the MIssissippi, "Treme" could be much better, much much better.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 27, 2011
    9
    Treme is back - and thank goodness for it. No more raw or sophisticated a programme is there on television at the moment. Between the water damaged pastel shades of the abandoned tenements and the vibrant greens and pinks of vegetation pushing up through the cracked pavements, the fullest spectrum of the human experience is on show in David Simon and Eric Overmeyer's New Orleans drama; humming with music, energy and passion, Treme is so good it hurts - although there's no doubt that it isn't everybody's glass of Sazarac. David Simon is, of course, most famous for The Wire, his sprawling crime epic that cracked open the nebulous world of Baltimore gangs and let us see into its painfully beating heart; bywords for Simon's projects include 'complex', 'unpredictable', 'revelatory' and - most significantly - 'human', and undeniably the first season of Treme ticked all of these boxes. Opening with an irrepressible ambition and passion, the show took its time to introduce us fully to its world, a dazzling and alien place to many, but by the close of the first series the characters were friends. We traced their struggles, victories, failures and departures across a diverse range of lifestyles and themes, and on conclusion it would be nigh on impossible to feel unmoved by the various events that occurred along the way. But where next is the question, and much like The Wire the answer can only be deeper. Emergent themes for the series, based only on the first episode of Season 2, seem to be, on the one hand, dealing with loss, and on the other (more familiar to fans of Simon's past work), the failure of municipalities. David Morse was seen very briefly in the first series, the chief of police in a town so beaten down that it had been abandoned by most of its criminals, and we now catch up with events 7 months on to see that along with business, hope and civil society, crime is once again beginning to blossom on the streets of New Orleans. Morse is now a central figure therefore, so fingers crossed this new aspect might help Treme attract more attention from the old Wire crowd and bring the series to a wider audience. Also on show is acres of regeneration. Out of the shadows of ruined buildings, people are emerging to resurrect their city. At the same time as the city starts to show more signs of life however, its many residents are starting to reconstruct themselves. The rawness of the loss, confusion and determination of these characters is absolutely captivating, and anyone who chuckled at the self-referential 'Dickensian aspect' of The Wire will likely feel reassured that Simon and Overmeyer are continuing to weave the lives of multifaceted and emotionally true people into this socially conscious show in a way that would make Mr. Dickens proud. Of course any review of Treme would be remiss if it failed to mention the music. Treme might just be the best TV project in human history in respect to its treatment of music. The human experience without toe tapping, clapping, singing and dancing isn't really the human experience at all, and Treme is chock full of musical performances that are moving in ways that transcend the written word. The variety of style, tone, form, and quality on show in this programme is, quite frankly, astonishing. A show for music lovers of all walks of life, this programme is one in which scenes don't require characters to speak when they can express themselves better through their various instruments - the raucous and the soulful, the effortless and the laboured, the extra dimension music adds to Treme cannot be underemphasised. And there's the rub I suppose. Those not looking for extra meaning in such things, impatient for a driving narrative, might feel left out - if not completely baffled - by Treme's charms. It is, undeniably, an intellectual, sophisticated, nuanced programme, one about human culture and its struggles to survive in the face of overwhelming odds. At times raw and punishing, at others hilarious and absurd, audiences hungry for simple escapism are unlikely to find much satisfaction here. Fortunately, for those who seek leagues of depth in their television drama, Treme is back again to make you think, feel and marvel. It's great to see Melissa Leo return after her well-deserved Hollywood plaudits for The Fighter, as well as to be reunited with Steven Zahn's hapless Davis, Wendell Pierce's bumbling Antoine, and Clarke Peter's Big Chief Lambreaux who, throughout this episode, utters not a single word but owns the screen in his every moment on it. Newly emergent characters are also surfacing, but I'll leave those for you to meet in your own good time. Certainly though, I'd recommend doing so - couldn't recommend it more highly. So, roll on Season 2 basically. And get your friends to watch it - the last thing we need if the big cheeses cancelling this one.. Full Review »
  3. Apr 26, 2011
    0
    I was a huge fan of The Wire which was written by the creator of Treme. I watched last season and the first episode of season two hoping for character and story devlopment I might care about. It never gave me a real plot that I saw or really likeable characters. I am done with the show. I gave it a real chance to hook me and it never did. Full Review »