Treme: Season 1, Episode 10

I'll Fly Away (20 Jun. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 149 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 3 critic

In the Season One finale, Toni's concerns about Creighton turn to anger; Albert and the Indians suit up for St. Joseph's night.

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Title: I'll Fly Away (20 Jun 2010)

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In the Season One finale, Toni's concerns about Creighton turn to anger; Albert and the Indians suit up for St. Joseph's night.

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20 June 2010 (USA)  »

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When Davis and Janette are riding in his car, the windshield has multiple prominent cracks. When we then see them from the front, in a shot through the windshield, it appears to be crack-free. See more »

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User Reviews

Season 1: The loose plots may weaken and some characters annoy but it is still an engaging, colourful snapshot of life with great music
4 November 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

If I'm honest Treme was one of those shows that drifted from a "want to watch" list onto my "I really should watch that" list. Big fan of Homicide LOTS, Generation Kill and of course The Wire, I should really have been rushing to get hold of this show – not watching the first season when the second one is already back on screens in America, but I don't know, something just put me off about it. Perhaps it was the weight of The Wire on the show but somehow I convinced myself that it was a box to be ticked almost as much as it was a show to be enjoyed.

Fortunately the show itself won me over in that regard fairly quickly because it isn't overly heavy and it isn't a chore even if some of the criticisms that had given me pause on it turned out to be accurate. As everyone knows, the show picks up the lives of a collection of characters in NO in the year after Katrina. So we have a young couple who play music on the street, a chef struggling to keep her business going, a lawyer trying to get justice for a woman who has lost her brother in the legal system, her husband struggling with his writing and his rage at the failure to protect and restore the city, a radio DJ drifting his way through life, a trombone player talking his way through life and so on; suffice to say it is very much an ensemble piece and the only real combining thread is NO itself.

This puts a lot of pressure on the show to make "real life" as interesting as possible but also keeping it realistic. I think it did this well and it did bring out a mix of colourful characters within New Orleans while also exploring the hurts, the hopes and general feelings of those in the aftermath of Katrina. It handles issues ranging from depression through to political decisions about the future through to low-level looks at the culture and music. All of these work well. When topical issues are explored through the characters you don't ever really feel like you are being preached at or shouted at (even when Creighton is doing his shouting) and likewise when the music is played, you don't feel like it is a touristy thing or filler – it is part of the life and culture and that is how it comes across.

Unfortunately the show does suffer a little from this same approach – necessary to do what they wanted to do perhaps, but it does still suffer a little. The individual plots tend to be just that – individual and separate from one another, even if they overlap in terms of people, they are pretty separate. Some work well, others don't; some engage, others I didn't care for. This goes for the characters too. Lambreaux was engaging in terms of culture and politics but it stand up well over the duration however Antoine, Ladonna, Janette and street musicians Annie & Sonny all worked well for me. By contrast I didn't really like Davis as he was irritating as a character and his plots just tended towards nothing; he seemed to always have the lion's share of each episode as well – although perhaps it just felt that way. Similarly I didn't think that Creighton was a particularly strong character, although I quite liked him all the same. As I said though, the real character here is New Orleans and she is presented well through the characters and the culture – battered and beaten but still full of great jazz and colour, the show brings this out really well and even a very casual jazz fan such as myself enjoyed the music a lot.

Overall, Treme lacks a real direction and it never really packs a consistent narrative punch but yet it is engaging, warming, colourful, musical and entertaining. Not all of the characters work and not all of the threads go anywhere but mostly the show is good and I enjoyed it. Room for improvement for sure, but good enough for me to come back to season two to see if they do.


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