Hot seat: David Simon explains “Treme”
The show’s creator defends some surprising choices, and explains how it’s “a story of fundamental patriotism”
By Matt Zoller Seitz
A man of characters: “Treme” co-creator David Simon (left) with one of the show’s major characters, Albert Lambreaux (Clarke Peters). Writer-producer David Simon didn’t want to do this interview about “Treme,” the New Orleans drama that just wrapped up its second season. When I put in a request to HBO, the initial response that came back through a publicist was, and I quote: “Oy, what can I tell that isn’t self-evident?”
But I asked again, promising that this wouldn’t be a nit-picky discussion of plot and character, but hopefully an interview that talked about larger issues: the style and architecture of the show, its storytelling philosophy, its view of art and culture, and the ways in which it is similar to or different from Simon’s previous series, “The Wire,” “The Corner” and “Generation Kill.” And he said yes. The conversation ranged over nearly two hours. Excerpts follow.