• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 11, 2010
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 46
  2. Negative: 4 out of 46

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  1. 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.. Expand
  2. Apr 25, 2011
    10
    The best show on tv.
    The acting and soundtrack are fantastic and the script writing is brilliant but what really makes this show so good is the how the director how combined all these great elements in a way that is unlike anything else on tv.
    most shows use spikes of over dramatic sentiment or dramatic reveals to keep the viewer involved but the director has chosen to let the show flow in
    a very natural pace.The positive and negative side of post cyclone new Orleans in a very interesting well balanced way. Expand
  3. Apr 25, 2011
    10
    It's rare to find a show that manages to feel as honest as Treme does. No bowing to flashy action or overextended plots, just something that again and again manages to look quite a bit like real life.
  4. Jun 10, 2011
    10
    As good as season 1. Makes me feel like each episode is too short and I eargerly wait for the next one. I don't think there's any other show that can make you connect to a city, its people and music like Treme.
  5. Jul 3, 2011
    10
    When I first started watching Treme I was able to relate to the story, but now it's as if it's not going anywhere. Yes there is the Jazz Music and some of that old Dixieland music. Treme really doesn't do any justice for New Orleans. I don't know how far they are into the aftermath of Katrina, but it is so much more around the city that has changed.one of the newest episodes that I have watched show a club like the 1950's.there is so much more to this city that people don't even realize.it is more cultural than most of the cities that I have visited. Treme doesn't even show the hospitality that is in New Orleans. It doesn't even show no matter how hard our struggles were after Katrina many of us wore the smiles on our face got on with our lives and was very grateful to be alive and back home to find our friends and family who could relate to our experiences of being away from home. I also looked at their mock version of the Jazz Festival believe me the crowd is more cultural than what they portrayed. Treme please move on from just showing the music and the Indians. There is so much more to New Orleans and the aftermath of Katrina Expand
  6. Sep 4, 2011
    10
    I love the story lines and characters, but what really sets Treme apart for me is the music and musicians and how they are integrated into the stories. Another huge plus for me is that the actors playing musicians actually appear to be playing (and, I understand they are in some cases). It always detracts for me to see obvious syncing whether vocal or playing. NOLA is also one of my favorite cities to visit and seeing the city struggling back from Katrina is very real. I have been back since Katrina and while the French Quarter is intact, a lot of the culture and feel has disappeared -- you only need travel a few blocks from the French Quarter to find dead areas from Katrina. Expand
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: 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]
  2. 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.
  3. 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.