Thursday, August 12, 2010

'Treme' to get more 'Wire-y' next season

Posted By on Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 12:41 AM

Kermit Ruffins
  • Kermit Ruffins
Eric Overmyer, the co-creator of "Treme," talked to a packed house at the Clinton School tonight. Or rather the Clinton School's director for public programs Nikolai DiPippa interviewed Overmyer onstage. Once the former got sufficiently mic-ed and quit mumbling it was fantastic.

And newsy: Overmyer revealed that next season of "Treme" will jump a year in the future from where last season left off and focus on crime, the police force and New Orleans' severely troubled public school system.

Woo-hoo!

Like I said in a mid-season critique, season one gave us great characters, a sense of place colored with anthropological detail but NO DRAMA. In an abstract sense, it's cool that David Simon was able to take what essentially began as a police procedural and elevate it into THE GREATEST TV SHOW OF OUR TIME (say it in a booming voice, as if from above) and then parlay that into a show about New Orleans that's so character driven that nothing happens.

But less so on the screen.

With new focus in familiar territory (Overmyer was on the writing staff of "The Wire" on season four, the school year; surely the best season) that's still way different enough as to appear fresh (New Orleans schools and crime are similarly terrible to Baltimore's, but wildly dissimilar as far as the particulars go), I'm way geeked up for next year.

More from the talk:

Overmyer said that the scene with Elvis Costello and Steve Zahn in the bar watching Kermit Ruffins was born from legions of stories of really famous people—Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman—making the pilgrimage to whatever out-of-the-way bar Ruffins plays in regularly to see him and him always failing to recognize them. The best story along those lines Overmyer told had Ruffins and his band going to Houston to open for Willie Nelson. After their set, Kermit and co. walked into an alley for a "safety meeting," which is to say, they walked out for a joint. From somewhere nearby, Willie spotted the weed circle and joined it. After a little bit of puff-puff-passing, he got called away, and after he was gone, Ruffins asked his mates who that "cool-ass old white dude was."

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