Sunday, May 16, 2010

Treme Season 1 Episode 5- "Shame, Shame, Shame" review

Teleplay by Lolis Eric Elie
Story by David Simon & Eric Overmyer and Lolis Eric Elie
Directed by Christine Moore

The opening sequence of this episode caught me a tad off-guard with LaDonna dreaming about meeting Daymo in his cell (with Keevon hovering above him) as the cell begins to flood with dirty water. Every David Simon production I’ve seen beforehand has never used a dream sequence before and maintains utmost realism. So, I was thrown for a loop but I liked the visual of the dream, and I see how it propels LaDonna forward. I just hope that the show’s writers continue to walk that fine line and not make a habit out of using that technique very often. But, being a David Simon devotee, I have the most faith in him.

LaDonna continues to be one of the most fascinating characters on the show as her mission to find her brother, leads to her court, to where she finds a seemingly dead end, as the ADA argues that there is no viable evidence to suggest whether or not Daymo was in custody at the time or after Katrina. And also, there is another reference to Daymo’s alleged drug use, which may not be true, given the information she finds out from Janette and Jacques. For some reason, I don’t believe that David has been using. I also did enjoy LaDonna’s moment of vengeance as she hires a process server to serve the roofer who has dodged his responsibility to Gigi’s. It was short but it was very sweet.

I think my favorite moment of this episode may have been the scenes between Antoine and Koichi Toyama, who may seem like polar opposites on the surface, but both have a shared love of music. In many ways, Toyama, knows more about music than Antoine. It was great watching Antoine and Koichi discuss music back and forth, to the point where it becomes almost a passionate heated debate. I’m like that with movies so I can definitely understand where the passion is derived from. So, that scene with the two almost coming to blows over a piece of jazz trivia is incredibly realistic. But, I did love that scene (after Toyama purchased a new trombone for Antoine) where Antoine plays for him. It’s so magical and touching in many ways- to see what music can do to make someone happy and create these emotions in them, it was very powerful. I did like that Desiree did get to see this moment as well. There was a look on her face where you can tell why she fell for Antoine to begin with and why she has feelings for him. He’s a talented- yet incredibly flawed human being.

The Annie/Sonny relationship is definitely on shaky ground right now. I can definitely understand why Annie feels so uncomfortable in this relationship right now. You have Sonny bringing in strangers (the bouncer from Houston) to stay with them without consulting her, and then he’s getting high again, and there’s just this bitterness that is brewing inside Sonny. He’s just so chaotic that he is ultimately not good or healthy for her. And the only reason, Arnie the bouncer gets the heave-ho at the end of the episode, is because Sonny is angry at him for sheltering Annie during the shooting.

I think I finally have a grasp on Davis as well. I know he is probably the least-liked of all the Treme characters but I had faith that Simon & Company would flesh this character out. I remember the backlash to Ziggy during the second season of The Wire, and he inevitably became one of the more well-liked and tragic characters of the series. I still think Davis has a long way to go, but the scenes of the musicians being enamored and impressed with his passion and enthusiasm, and also his understanding that his gay neighbors are not the enemy (after they took him in while he was drunk and laying in the street). It may be baby steps at first, but it seems that he is growing.

I think another stellar scene was Davina running into a friend during the parade. It’s a quick scene but beautifully played with raw emotion. It’s one of those moments where you run into a friend who you haven’t seen in forever and Davina’s case, thought was most likely dead. It’s simple but just a very memorable moment.

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