26 November 2013 7:15 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Let’s face it: HBO doesn’t expect many people to watch the final mini-season of “Treme,” which explains its sentencing to scheduling Siberia — five consecutive Sundays in December. Yet co-creator David Simon (“The Wire”) has earned the right to finish his story, even if it’s one of limited dramatic heft. In a way, what Simon has said about the show is telling: Despite its efforts to dramatize the plight of New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina, the more enduring legacy might be simply pumping money into the city via the show’s lavish showcasing of the area’s music and cuisine.

From that perspective, “Treme” might be classified as much as a heartfelt public-service announcement as a fully satisfying drama. And while the show boasted a gaudy array of talent, its commentary on the Crescent City and national indifference to its struggles seemed to dissipate as the seasons progressed, »


- Brian Lowry

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