New Orleans and its music are at the heart of ‘Treme’

Wendell Pierce in one of the musical performances in the HBO drama “Treme.’’ Wendell Pierce in one of the musical performances in the HBO drama “Treme.’’ (Paul Schiraldi/HBO/File)
By Matthew Gilbert
Globe Staff / June 4, 2011

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The Globe’s Matthew Gilbert chatted about TV with readers last Thursday on Here are excerpts.

Q. Last week I was ready to claim that more was happening on “Treme’’ than either “The Killing’’ or “Game of Thrones.’’ This week, not so much.

A. Yeah, “Treme’’ had a little action for a moment this season! But I don’t expect big plot development on “Treme’’ so much as New Orleans portraiture in the aftermath of disaster. And good music. Great music, really. The way the performances wind into the story line is extraordinary. Never seen music and story work together quite so organically on TV.

Q. I’m running out of things to watch since the season is ending. What’s coming this summer?

A. A lot. “True Blood’’ and “The Closer’’ are coming back. Also, “Breaking Bad.’’ There’s a new USA show with Callie Thorne called “Necessary Roughness’’ that might be light fun. She’s a shrink for sports stars. Sounds hokey, but I love her. “Entourage’’ and “Curb Your Enthusiasm’’ are returning. The weirdest new show promises to be “Wilfred’’ on FX. It’s with Elijah Wood, who hangs with a dog who is a person. “Burn Notice’’ and “The Big C’’ and “Weeds’’ and “Rescue Me’’ are coming too, along with a BBC America suspense miniseries called “The Hour.’’ And a Ryan and Tatum O’Neal reality show. Can’t wait! Yeah, kidding.

Q. Kara DioGuardi? Hate her.

A. I kind of like her. Her new show, “Platinum Hit,’’ is not the best of the Bravo competition series. But I think she has an effective way of offering sincere, cool-eyed, and constructive criticism. I appreciate her intensity and focus when she’s judging. She doesn’t rely on quips or throwaway lines.

Q. I hear rumors of a future “Friday Night Lights’’ movie with the characters and actors.

A. Oh lord I hope there’s not a movie. The show ends beautifully, after an amazing five-season run. Let’s let it be. The “Sex and the City’’ movies have pretty much tainted my love for that series.

Q. With “Rescue Me’’ coming up to its final season, have we seen the last of the 9/11-inspired shows?

A. Nowadays, 9/11 shows up as a semi-regular subplot on a lot of the procedurals. But yeah, I wonder if the attacks will be the foundation of any new shows. Hard to imagine anyone doing it better than “Rescue Me.’’

Q. Are you watching “Game of Thrones’’? I’m a fan of the books and I am very pleased with how HBO has adapted it.

A. I am watching it religiously. It’s excellent. Too often, supernatural shows and historical dramas — of which “Game of Thrones’’ is kind of a mashup — don’t have rich characterizations. This one does.

Check out the full chat transcript at and check out this Thursday’s chat at noon on