David Simon and Eric Overmyer – best known for HBO’s The Wire – were under tremendous pressure to follow up that critical darling with their second HBO outing: Treme. Despite the obvious moans about it being too different from The Wire, the Post-Katrina take on the locals trying to go about life in New Orleans was one of the best things on TV when it debuted two years ago.
Proving that last season wasn’t just a fluke, season two, out now on DVD, is just as solid, relying on fantastic writing and compelling characters about cleaning up homes and lives after the life-altering natural disaster. The second season focuses many of the plot lines around the increase in violent crime and corruption with the government clean up contracts. And if you though the killing of John Goodman’s character was sad, what until you see who dies this time around.
Music, of course, continues to play a major character in show as well, with Dr. John, Steve Earle, John Hiatt, the Radiators and many, many others stopping in for cameos (Earle actually goes way beyond a cameo, playing local musician and mentor Harley Watt).
The DVD also includes plenty of behind the scenes extras that go above and beyond most TV to DVD releases, including looks at the music and culture of New Orleans, discussions about local food and a history of Mardi Gras. There’s almost enough here to bide your time until season three.
Treme – The Complete Second Season/4 DVDs/600 mins./HBO Studios/2012