David Simon excels at creating rich, textured, multi-strand narratives that serve as a kind of animating current meant to bring a particular setting to life. The Wire and Homicide: Life on the Streets gave us grimy, bottom-up views of institutional malaise and its deleterious effect on urban life in Baltimore.
His newest show, Treme (which has its third season premiere this Sunday), deals with New Orleans, a city equally as damaged by bureaucratic ineptitude and entropy, and further enervated by natural disaster in the form of Hurricane Katrina. Whereas his Baltimore opuses had their eyes set on crime, however, Treme finds its through-line in the singular and enduring culture of the Crescent City.
Of course, examining a slowly healing city through its music, food, history and potential future leaves a lot of characters of which to keep track. To help you gear up for the coming season, here’s a quick primer on where we left our expansive cast following the first two seasons.
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