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Author Topic: Treme! From the creators of the Wire  (Read 25274 times)

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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #50 on: 13 Apr 2010, 19:33 »

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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #51 on: 18 Apr 2010, 14:33 »

I still miss Deadwood and Carnivale, especially Carninvale.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #52 on: 20 Apr 2010, 02:10 »

Just finished up the first episode (can't find streaming, but the torrents look to be 300+ seeders, so it doesn't take more than 20 minutes for the download) and yeah, I'm thinking that this will be similar to the Wire in terms of depth and scope, but it's gonna be hard to adjust to the changes in stakes - this is deep character study, not cutthroat gangster drama.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #53 on: 20 Apr 2010, 03:58 »

Also if you're playing along at home, Alan Sepinwall's got pretty good coverage of the show on an episode by episode basis, as does Dave Walker at NOLA.com, who reviews it as a native here.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #54 on: 22 Apr 2010, 19:32 »

I'll admit I was ever-so-slightly underwhelmed by the first episode of this. I liked it well enough but without the crime angle of the Wire it seemed to be lacking the drama. But after watching the second episode something's just clicked. I don't know what it is, but now I'm absolutely fascinated by these characters and I really care about what happens to them and I can't wait to see how their stories unfold and develop. I think my favourite character at the moment is Clarke Peters' Albert Lambreaux. For a lot of the second episode he seemed to be channelling Lester Freamon, wandering around the city slowly piecing together the whereabouts of missing people, wondering why the housing projects were boarded up - and then wham! Out of nowhere he beats the shit out of that thief, and he's definitely no Freamon. Amazing. And then that practice scene at the end, with just him and the one guy from his tribe who's turned up, and both of them playing their tambourines and singing about Katrina - I think that was my favourite musical sequence from the whole episode.

And speaking of the music - I've never been to New Orleans but as someone who lives in a city with a thriving music culture I can say that Treme is doing a simply superb job in capturing the depth and range and interconnectedness of the scene in a truly musical city. I have a feeling that the music in Treme is going to play the same role the jokes in the Wire did: the characters in the Wire had grown up in a broken city and they'd all evolved a black sense of humour to help them cope with it; the characters in Treme are still in shock and trying to adjust to a city that out of nowhere has suddenly been shattered, and they don't have the innate defence mechanisms that their counterparts in the Wire had - but they've got music, which is the spark of joy that keeps them going.

EDIT: Oh also, Lucia Micarelli. Yeah, I can stand to watch her, that's okay.

Really excited for episode three now!
« Last Edit: 22 Apr 2010, 19:35 by Inlander »
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #55 on: 23 Apr 2010, 17:39 »

I think episode two did a really great job of assuaging one doubt I had about the show in particular, that being: "Is Steve Zahn going to suck because he's Steve Zahn?" And hey look, character development, he's more than an incompetent ass. Gratifying television, truly.

And, you know, everything else about the show that's excellent.  It's a really exciting show to be able to follow. My excitement about the show doesn't even really have much of a focus yet. But episode two caught me really off-guard when it ended, mainly because I didn't want it to end, and having lost all sense of time outside the show, I had practically forgotten that there would only be a little bit of Treme before having to wait another week. Not any more though! Two days!

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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #56 on: 27 Apr 2010, 22:58 »

Treme is doing that David Simon thing where characters are complicated. While at the outset it might have seemed that he was a mouthpiece for Simon in his imperious anger at tourists and the like, it's since become clear that he's a pompous hypocrite. In the latest episode there are a couple of scenes - The opener, when he says "I want my city back", and the part where he's admonishing his gay neighbors, lecturing them on how they live in a "great black neighborhood" when he's just as white as they are - where we're supposed to see how absurd his "Real New Orleans" schtick is. That having been said, Davis comes off as a prick but he's basically a smart guy with very little self-awareness or impulse control and a real, deep passion for the music of the city - the classic arrogant music geek. He's sort of like McNulty from The Wire, but he's not as wiley.

Contrast Davis with Sonny, the Dutch busker. He's like Davis, but the real deal - where Davis is just a blowhard, Sonny's a real musician, and he has some real issues with bitterness and restrained anger. At this point I'm waiting to see how many episodes it will be before he starts beating Annie. He's shown some signs of being the abusive type - big romantic gestures (the bottle of wine) and highly possessive toward Annie, even when the gig she's been invited to can be good for her. I'm a little concerned over the references we've heard in episodes 2 and 3 to Sonny's having gone out in a boat directly after the storm passed - the implication is that it's changed him, but he doesn't seem to exhibit any signs of PTSD besides a general air of tension. I feel like Simon would be more careful than to explain away potential violence on Sonny's part on his experiences post-Katrina when he doesn't show any outward signs of mental disturbance.

Speaking of tension, how about Lambreux? When he's not interacting with Indian folk (sometimes even then) Clarke Peters radiates barely controlled rage, like a coiled snake. He's like Anton Chighur almost - I get nervous when he's alone with other people.

Besides that, the lady from Newsradio is turning out to be the breakout actor in the ensemble (she does anger and frustration perfectly) and I'm having trouble connecting with Antoine. He's basically a walking stereotype at this point. His arc needs a hook, and he doesn't really have one. John Goodman is funny and plays a good dad. Melissa Leo needs a role that isn't just getting other characters out of scrapes and acting as a ligament between stories.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #57 on: 27 Apr 2010, 23:42 »

Okay going back over it I'm pretty sure that Sonny is telling fish tales about post-Katrina experiences. Things are going to turn bad for Annie, and soon.

Anyway, there's been a lot of discussion 'round TV parts of the internet about the politics of the show's views vis a vis the role of "outsiders" in post-Katrina NOLA. A lot of people have taken umbrage to how prickly the show is towards the people who came to NOLA to "help rebuild" after the storm, but I think it's more or less justified, especially with the clean-scrubbed youth group kids of the second episode. I was one of those kids once. Went out to Nicaragua to "build houses for the poor". We worked 7 hour days, relaxed at night, ate out at "nice places" in town, and had 2 or 3 days of rest and sightseeing. We set the foundation for two houses. The actual building of the two houses was done by the natives, who were barely paid and had at least 12 hour days, and had little to eat. We came back from Nicaragua patting ourselves on the back for all the "helping" we did, when in fact we had done next to nothing. The natives resented us, and they had good reason to. We had taken a weeklong vacation to play at living in the kind of hardships that they felt every day, and at the end of the week we went back to infinite comforts, while they were left in no greater position than the one they had previously held. Of course they're going to be ornery.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #58 on: 28 Apr 2010, 20:03 »

Preview of the next episode.

Looks like Antoine's hook is going to be that he can't play the trombone any more after getting beaten up by the cops.

Also: more Anwan Glover.

Also also: PREZ!!

I think the show is still finding its feet. The problem with any David Simon show is that outside the confines of the show's central characters/community, everyone else tends to get painted with a pretty broad brush. That was a problem with episode three of Treme: the cops and the National Guard are all thugs! The tourists are all insensitive jerks! It wasn't a problem that occurred in the Wire so much just because of the sheer breadth of that show's community: however many cardboard cut-outs there were, they were overwhelmed by the sheer number and variety of living, breathing characters. Treme, on the other hand, looks to have a much tighter focus, and if it's going to keep that then this issue could become a concern.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #59 on: 28 Apr 2010, 20:29 »

Also, I don't know about Sonny. He's clearly got some arseholish tendencies but I think more than anything it stems from having a massive chip on his shoulder about something - perhaps about having stayed in New Orleans when everyone else fled. He clearly sees people as either phonies or "real": contrast his differing reactions to the two musicians who interacted with Annie in episode 3, namely Antoine and that other guy with the funny hat whose name I can't remember. Hat Guy is doing nothing more overt than talking to Annie, musician-to-musician, and offering her a gig - but Sonny doesn't like him because he's too much of a big-shot. Antoine, on the other hand, sings a drunken love song directly to - and with - Annie, but Sonny's reaction couldn't be more different: you can see him getting into it, and at the end he tries to get Antoine to stay and play with them some more. But then, Antoine's clearly just another ordinary musician, struggling to make a buck. I don't think Sonny's problems stem from jealousy and possessiveness so much as just straight-out arrogance.

I'm also warming to Davis. He's absolutely infuriating but he's so single-minded in his desires that it becomes something close to endearing. His interactions with Elvis Costello and with Creighton show that he's basically a social climber, but he's also desperate to let people into his world. Usually in an obnoxious and reckless way, sure, but there was a genuine generosity in the way he handled the tourist/volunteers from episode 2, which contrasted markedly with Sonny's reaction to them. Plus I'm tipping "Strippers Are Moving In My Neighbourhood" to be the break-out hit of the summer!
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #60 on: 05 May 2010, 02:23 »

George Pelecanos scripted the last episode, and we get a couple of characters that move forward a bit and a couple who don't seem to go anywhere. We get a telling comment from John Goodman's wife about how he's not leaving the house or doing anything constructive. He's very good at hiding it, but his rage is bottomless and it's taking up more and more of him. One wonders how his youtube video will play with the uni he works at. If people on the street recognize him, surely those outside the city will as well. Could turn out badly. Interesting how Delmond's (that's Clarke Peter's son, the trumpet player) arc seems to be taking place almost entirely outside of New Orleans.

Another episode, another slight from Annie against Sonny. Harry's right about the chip on his shoulder, and that he's projecting his insecurity at being an outsider on other people, but I still feel like as he continues to stew over his lack of control he's going to start taking it out on Annie. She's the only good thing he has going and he doesn't feel like he's worthy of her or that she respects him.

A partial resolution to the Antoine storyline and we're almost back to his arc not really having any sort of hook. His dental problem's fixed but according to Melissa Leo's character, his horn is missing, so he's got tough times coming.

Wondering where the restaurant arc could possibly go from here. It will only get worse, I'm guessing.

Lambreaux gets to display the less violent side to his strong masculinity, and he looks on track to becoming the de facto father of another family. Lots of potential for conflict there.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #61 on: 05 May 2010, 07:31 »

It was nice to see that Janette can turn down Davis cold and without a moment's hesitation when she's not in the mood (which looks like being most of the time, really). Clearly neither of them consider themselves to be boyfriend/girlfriend, so it's an interesting little dynamic going on between those two characters. At the moment Davis's interactions with Creighton are the episode highlights for me. We've obviously skipped a few piano lessons ahead since last episode: their interaction seemed to have evolved somewhat, and I think Creighton is starting to recognise that whatever his faults, Davis is at least somebody who's as one-eyed and passionate about New Orleans as he is.

I don't know about Delmond's storyline at the moment. I guess his function in the show is to represent the New Orleans diaspora, but if I understand correctly he left before Katrina, and he doesn't see himself as part of the city's musical heritage, and every time we go to see what he's up to we get yanked out of New Orleans. I thought his scenes were some of the best in episode 4 and I really enjoyed them, but I don't know if they belonged in the same show as everything else.

With each episode Sonny's chip gets explained (if not excused) a bit more: I think the show's hinting strongly that while he might be a decent enough musician, he's just not good enough to cut it in a town like New Orleans; Annie is clearly more talented and is getting offered gigs left right and centre; Sonny meanwhile is left to trek out to Texas with his fairly loserish mates to play one song before he gets turfed from the stage for a better, more recognised pianist. I think he moved to New Orleans thinking that just doing that would be enough, somehow - but it's not. On the other hand, he didn't seem angry at Annie for taking a gig with another pianist, as we supposed he might based on what he said to her: he was surprised, certainly, and I think he was making a little power-play by making sure that she knew he knew, but at the same I think that the way he sat in the bar listening to her play, and kind of smiled to himself, suggested that his request that she not play with another pianist was only half-serious at most.

I really liked the interaction between Antoine and his ex-wife's new husband (Leonard?). It was really refreshing to see a show that honestly depicts how most peope, I think, try to make a go of that kind of situation and try to get on with each other, rather than the usual boring "old husband hates the new husband" thing that we've seen a thousand times before.
« Last Edit: 05 May 2010, 07:33 by Inlander »
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #62 on: 11 May 2010, 20:44 »

So how many people here are watching this show?

I really liked this week's episode. I've felt in previous episodes that the "Fuck the police!" attitude was a bit too simplistic and knee-jerk, so I really applaud the show for pointing out so sympathetically just how desperate and frightened the police are. It was also a salient reminder that pre-Katrina New Orleans wasn't the magical happyland the show has sometimes risked depicting it as, and that the problems are much, much greater than just fixing flood damage and moving people back. I haven't always liked David Morse in the past but I thought he did a terrific job as the police lieutenant, and Melissa Leo's reaction shots were great too: the way her eyes displayed how her attitude was changing even as the police situation was explained to her.

Speaking of Leo, I realised last night just how much I'm enjoying her seeing a different kind of character from those she's usually cast as. She's typically played fairly shambolic, down-on-their-luck characters, so it's great to see her getting the chance to do something different.

And that interlude with the Japanese jazz fan was so bizarre and strangely touching. It's so rare to get a moment of pure generosity like that in a David Simon show, and it was also a relief to have the "do-gooder outsider" portrayed sympathetically in Treme for once. (Also I watched this episode just after watching the latest episode of the Pacific, so the contrast in Japanese-American relations was rather jarring.)

The only character who I'm a little touch-and-go about at the moment is Albert. In terms of character development I feel like he's spinning his wheels a little.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #63 on: 11 May 2010, 23:03 »

So how many people here are watching this show?

Downloading the first 5 eps now, it'll probably take a while, I think our bandwidth got shaped and it won't be back to full speed for 2-3 days. I'll be back with impressions after that, I suppose.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #64 on: 13 May 2010, 01:55 »

just something I stumbled across, though it's about The Wire, rather than Treme.  sort of an amusing/cool quote.

Quote
Michael Kostroff, an actor who was in town to volunteer for Obama and had a chance to meet him, told the Sun that Obama’s favorite TV show is his own: HBO’s “The Wire,” which chronicles Baltimore’s violent drug culture and the police who quixotically try to stop it.

Obama told the Sun his favorite character is Omar, a stick-up artist who steals from drug dealers and then gives the loot to poor people in the neighborhood.

“That’s not an endorsement. He’s not my favorite person, but he’s a fascinating character.”

on-topic I'll probably check out this show after I'm done watching the Wire, and if I still have as much spare time as I do now.  Even if this weren't on hbo (or whatever channel hbo uses for broadcasting in canada) I wouldn't watch it on tv, because I much prefer being able to choose when and where I watch things.  so downloading and then dvds I guess.  plus as Dovey and other people mentioned, that will mean I can stay up till 4 am watching 5 episodes or so in a row whenever I want (like I'm doing right now)
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #65 on: 20 May 2010, 00:59 »

I am really interested in this show. The first story arc is taking off at a roaring crawl, and I can only imagine that the writers intend to explore some very long term development and change in the characters rather than try and wrangle them all into a sweeping setup->conflict->resolution format you see in many serialized dramas. I caught an episode of The Sopranos on tv this morning and found myself reliving the joy of watching all 6 seasons in one summer, and after watching the wire in maybe a month's time, and I truly do love HBO's approach to high quality television series. That said, waiting every week for an episode of a show that is just beginning is such an arduous routine. Thank god Lost is a week away from being finished so I can be free of its grubby claws.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #66 on: 20 May 2010, 19:43 »

I'm watching it! I catch the new episode every week with a friend of mine.

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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #67 on: 07 Jun 2010, 16:38 »

After a 2-week break (can someone explain why?) and the anticipation of the Mardi Gras episode it was really amazing, probably my favourite episode as of yet. The story didn't really move on too much but there were inklings of what will happen next and they made Mardi Gras just seem so perfect, a real celebration of perseverance.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #68 on: 07 Jun 2010, 16:55 »

I was watching it as soon as it hit the net, but I've decided I'd rather wait until I can import the DVD and down it all in one go in non-blurry megavideo-vision.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #69 on: 07 Jun 2010, 18:23 »

Use the Wisevid links on watch-series. They're not blurry at all for me and my eyesight is pretty bad.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #71 on: 08 Jun 2010, 08:34 »

I'm really enjoying the different textures in the relationships between characters in Treme that we haven't seen before in shows by Simon & co. Interactions such as those between Antoine and the Japanese jazz fan, or Davis and Annie in tonight's episode, are really sweet and touching in a way that never would have been possible in shows such as the Wire or the Corner.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #72 on: 10 Jun 2010, 06:08 »

Oh yeah I guess there was one thing that I didn't particularly dig about the first episode, although it's kind of speculative right now, but if they are setting up Kim Dickens' character (the restaurant owner) to have an on-again, off-again thing with Steve Zahn then that is kind of weak, simply because the cliché of the strong/capable/independent woman who nonetheless has a weak spot for the unreliable/self-centred asshole is way overused and just gives me the shits.

Of course that being said, maybe when she told him to "fuck off", she really meant it, and will continue to tell him to fuck off. That would be nice.

Damnit.

I also squirmed at the part in Ep. 2 (I think?) where it's revealed Davis has rich parents. There's a few other examples in Treme (John Goodman's daughter, for one) where I feel they are leaning way too heavily on established character tropes/clichés that you keep seeing pop up in all manner of hacky sitcoms and episodic dramas, and that I would've thought that were below Simon and co.

Compare and contrast with characters like Kima and Stringer Bell from The Wire (actually, any of the characters in The Wire, come to think of it), who take standard perceptions of lesbian cop, or drug-slinging crime lord and completely confound expectation at every turn.

That being said, I'm really enjoying the depth of character Albert (Clarke Peters) gained in the first three episodes, partly because despite it being a David Simon et al production (set in a disaster zone, no less), I was very much not expecting a turn that dark that quick.

Oh oh and how awesome was it when Slim Charles (well, OK the actor who played Slim Charles) turned up in that jail scene. Awesome!

Anyway I am still behind, I've only seen up to the end of Ep. 3
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #73 on: 10 Jun 2010, 06:15 »

I dunno Dovey, you all know how much I adore the Wire but it's always seemed to me that almost every single character in it is an archetype or stereotype; that they rise above it is simply because we get to spend so much time with them that we come to see them as fully fleshed-out human beings rather than just characters. I mean, the maverick Irish-American cop who drinks too much and whose marriage is falling apart? Really?

Also, I'm not going to spoilers you but stick with Davis, he gets a lot better, and his relationship with Jeanette gets fleshed out a hell of a lot and quite satisfactorily without Jeanette seeming any the weaker, in my opinion.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #74 on: 10 Jun 2010, 06:30 »

Oh goodie, hooray!

I'll be honest, I was actively trying to avoid mentioning McNulty for exactly the reasons you point out. He's the exception. But I think even though a lot of the characters are pretty arch, that's only if you were putting their chief characteristics down on paper. I'm re-watching S1 right now and the main thing that's struck me is how fully-formed the characters are right from the get go, and how even though they are maybe set up as being standard cops n' robbers archetypes in the first scene they appear in, there is something within the same episode which goes on to make things significantly more complex i.e; the scene where McNulty finds out Kima is gay, the chess scene, the scene where D visits Stringer in the strip club with the day's takings, and continues right through the entire show with Frank Sobotka, and Bunny Colvin and all of the boys in S4 and so on and on.

And of course I'm not throwing Treme under the bus for these very minor indiscretions and as I mentioned in my first post about the show a lot of the appeal is in the anticipation of things to come. Hell, I even kind of like Davis in a perverse sort of way.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #75 on: 23 Apr 2011, 17:37 »

New season starts tomorrow, folks. Be Prepared.

I have been looking forward to this all year. Cannot wait.

Going to have to buy some whiskey to go with it, I do believe.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #76 on: 23 Apr 2011, 20:23 »

David Morse's cop is now a regular character, yay!
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #77 on: 25 Apr 2011, 01:32 »

Oh man I just started watching this show, it's so good.
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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #78 on: 09 May 2011, 18:34 »

So LaDonna's storyline sure did take a turn for the worst, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. I tried to avoid the kneejerk negative reaction to them including it in the plot, and they do seem to be taking extra care in presenting it in a more subtle/"real" way. And considering how heavily the season seems to be focused on the increase of crime, it was most likely inevitable.

And I know this show tends to pair up dramatic scenes with more lighthearted ones, but having Antoine's band practice right next to something as heavy as LaDonna in the hospital was much more jarring that I'm used to. All that considered, Khandi Alexander's performance was still excellent throughout (as always). That final shot was devastating.

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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #79 on: 14 May 2011, 01:58 »

And for those of you who care, it was picked up for a second season.

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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #80 on: 14 May 2011, 20:04 »

You mean third.
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KurtMcAllister

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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #81 on: 14 May 2011, 20:11 »

Shit.

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Re: Treme! From the creators of the Wire
« Reply #82 on: 16 May 2011, 04:21 »

It was great to see Albert in better spirits but the I remembered it was because of the road home thing and we all now how that's going to end.
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