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David Simon Sees in HBO’s Treme Way to Diagnose American Disease

Treme is in its fourth season of filming here in the Crescent City. David Simon, its producer, has been very faithful and fair in depicting the city in ways that have never been done before. It even paints a not so pretty picture of some of the politics and such that has caused the city to be lacking in a lot of areas. So it really shows the place the good and bad, warts and all.

David Simon Sees in HBO’s Treme Way to Diagnose American Disease

hbo treme david simon new orleans

“Treme” producer David Simon at the Rising Tide conference at Xavier University.

What really stands out is above all is Simon’s love of the city, its people, its music and its culture, and is many charms that’s really unlike anywhere else in the U.S. According to a recent article in an Australian newspaper there is apparently more going on in the HBO series Treme than meets the eye.

Simon considers the show a microcosm of the problems plaguing America today as this article from The Border Mail relates:

New Orleans is the US. The hurricane is the financial crisis. And the lack of preparation for either was more than an accident of history – it exposed a flaw at the heart of the US. ”A lot of the things New Orleans presumed to be true in 2005 – about the levees that were protecting their city, about their infrastructure, about their place in the American firmament as a major city – a lot of that got washed away by the flood,” Simon says.

Simon has long been fascinated with New Orleans. He and co-writer Eric Overmyer (a bespectacled, professorial counterweight to Simon’s intensity) saw in Katrina’s aftermath a chance not only to celebrate its unique people, music and food, but also to diagnose the American disease. ”Pay attention to the things that the characters are trying to reform,” Simon says in response to the libertarian accusation, listing the (rorted) housing policy, the (corrupt, violent) police department, the (impotent) state’s attorneys office, the (crippled) school system.

I think the thing that has saved New Orleans time and time again is that it has such a strong sense of itself, its place in the world and, of course, its culture. So although the city has scores of problems, what big city doesn’t, New Orleans still attracts thousands of folks every year to experience what makes this city truly unique and its inextinguishable joie de vivre.

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