Hurricane Treme Roars Back With A Bang

With Hurricane Lee about to hit New Orleans it’s a very prescient time for the magnificent Treme to return to our screens, watch the second series tonight on Sky Atlantic...
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When post-Katrina New Orleans set Treme hit our screens earlier in the year many complained that it was too slow moving, too worthy, too preachy. But more patient viewers saw the show unfold deliciously into the most rewarding series of the year. The characters were believable, the storylines absorbing, the setting fascinating, the writing precise and the music spectacular. Now it’s back for another run and, if last night’s opening episode is anything to go by, we’ve got another 10 episodes of top notch telly to look forward to.

The second series pick up 7 months after the end of the first (14 months after Katrina) and we soon catch up with all of the major players – trombone man Antione is still scratching a living and chasing the women, Chief Lambreaux surprisingly loses his digs, Janette is in New York slaving for a seemingly pathologically pretentious chef, violinist Annie has started a relationship with annoying DJ Davis, LaDonna is feeling pressure to sell her bar and Toni and Sofia are struggling to come to terms with the loss of New Orleans strongest advocate and ranting Youtube star Creighton.

With several wonderful performances peppering the episode it looks like we’ll be grooving on our settees for an hour a week for the foreseeable

We’re also introduced to a new character; architect Nelson Hidalgo who has come to the Big Easy to make big, easy money from the rebuild. It seems that police lieutenant Colson is also to have a larger role this series (actor David Morse’s name now appears in the opening credits so it seems a safe bet) and it looks like Chief Lambreaux’s son Delmond is being set up for a return to his home town. As the citizens of New Orleans continue the struggle to rebuild their lives, the tourists are gradually returning and the musicians that provide the city’s lifeblood are re-emerging in its streets and clubs.

One figure that is much missed is the aforementioned Creighton. John Goodman’s angry, righteous, scarily obese English teacher’s suicide at the end of the first series was that run’s one bum note in an otherwise faultless symphony. He provided much useful history, humour and heart and this first episode feels like it has a fat bloke-shaped hole in it.

The show’s producers know exactly what they’re doing, though, and you can be sure they won’t allow the loss of one character to unbalance the show. Certainly the music looks like it will be as superb as ever. With several wonderful performances peppering the episode it looks like we’ll be grooving on our settees for an hour a week for the foreseeable. Here’s hoping Hurricane Lee doesn’t mean series 3 will be set in 2011.

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