Treme is a unique show, in that its quality is so consistent from season to season and from episode to episode. The little details are different from week to week, but the big picture of New Orleans remains the same.
The New Orleans Crawl
So far, not much distinguishes the third season from the second. There is one new major character, L.P. (Chris Coy of True Blood), a reporter investigating rumored incidents of post-Katrina vigilantism. As with all storylines on Treme, this one is developing slowly, as L.P. talks to various residents offering varying degrees of cooperation. It's slow going, which is realistic, but it can make the show frustrating at times. So far, this story lacks the emotional hook of previous investigations on the show. We don't even know who the victims were yet.
Annie on the Brink
This week also marked the return of Marvin Frey (Michael Cerveris), the potentially sleazy manager who now appears too ready to sign Annie (Lucia Micarelli). Annie recorded a demo, with Davis' (Steve Zahn) help, and now Marvin thinks she's ready, but she'll have to do a lot of touring through Texas and the rest of the Southwest. Will her relationship with Davis survive? Do we want it to? Perhaps more importantly, will this charming character remain a fixture on Treme if she leaves town?
Baby, Won't You Please Come Home
In another stretched-out storyline, Janette (Kim Dickens) is still working for David Chang in New York, and continues to contemplate offers to move back home, this time one from Tim Feeny (Sam Robards). Again, Chang, Dickens, and James Ransone as Janette's co-worker Nick (when he's around) are all a blast to watch, so even though this feels like a repeat of last season, it's still good.
The More Things Change
Albert (Clarke Peters) found out his lungs are scarred, from years of breathing in plaster, plus whatever toxins he got hit with post-Katrina. Nelson (Jon Seda) found a new way to work the system and make federal money. Sonny (Michiel Huisman) got to take Linh (Hong Chau) out to hear some music! Well, her dad did tag along. Oy. Antoine (Wendell Pierce) took some girls from the marching band to Preservation Hall. Cops mishandled evidence in the case of a murdered hairdresser.
I like this show and admire it. I want to love it, but with the way it jumps around and piles on the information without really progressing, I only reach that point sporadically.
"I'm glad I got you to nag me to death, now that your mama's gone."
--Albert responds to Delmond (Rob Brown) telling him to see a doctor about his cough.
"It's hard to explain. You'd have to be a girl. I mean, it's not overt. You know, it's just always there. The way he looks at you. I can handle it. He's just kinda like, oozy."
--Annie offers an explanation when Davis asks if Marvin hit on her.
"If I have to listen to any more karaoke, I'm gonna commit hara-kiri."
--Sonny complains to Linh about their family-centered dating routine.
"Difference between us and her: We're actually gonna do the work. See, that's the thing with these people. You don't have to game the system. It's already gamed for you. You just gotta know the rules."
--Nelson explains his new scheme to get federal money to Robinette (Davi Jay).
"Son, two things make life worth living. Fried food is one of them."
--Albert tells Delmond he doesn't plan to alter his diet to lower his cholesterol.