Steve Zahn

Greatest TV Pilots: Treme

A love letter to one of America’s cultural cornerstones, Treme is one of David Simon’s most optimistic works – and a terrific pilot, to boot.

Treme S04E04 promo pic, "Sunset on Louisianne"

Treme, Ep. 4.04, “Sunset on Louisianne” ponders legacy and loss

The reflective tone of last week’s episode is crystallized in “Sunset on Louisianne”, as characters ponder their legacies and impact while Big Chief Lambreaux quietly passes. Viewers expecting a dramatic, emotional goodbye for Albert may be disappointed, but they shouldn’t be surprised. Treme, like The Wire before it, prizes honesty over melodrama and an expected, comparatively peaceful death while sleeping is much more in keeping with this than the tearful goodbyes, waterworks, and last minute revelations of so many other cancer-related deaths on television. Over the past few episodes, Albert has grown increasingly tired and has started to fade.

Treme S04E03 promo pic

Treme, Ep. 4.03, “Dippermouth Blues” starts preparing audiences for the end

Season four continues along its bittersweet track this week, with everyone holding on for dear life as they say goodbye to 2008 and hello to 2009. Albert’s health is deteriorating, Janette continues to struggle with her new restaurant, and Terry feels the consequences of his season three evidence swap. Antoine reconnects with Jennifer, who’s drifted away from band after the death of Cherise, but he also gets a startling reminder of a certain portion of the population’s thoughts on race and history. At the moment, Treme looks like it’ll be going out not with the triumphant coming together of the season three finale, but a more sober statement on endurance. It may not be as much of an audience-pleaser, but it’s a fitting and honest choice.

Wendell Pierce and Steve Zahn in Treme, S04E01, "Yes We Can Can"

Treme, Ep. 4.01, “Yes We Can Can” a comforting, entertaining final premiere

Treme returns this week in glorious fashion, kicking of its final mini-season with “Yes We Can Can”. With more shows being produced with each passing year and a current frustrating sameness to much of this fall’s programming, it’s wonderful to get to spend even a few more weeks in this unique world. From the characters to the music to the cinematography, this is a show that feels like no other and just hearing the theme song makes any fan of the show feel instantly at ease, welcomed back to the colorful, inspiring, and occasionally harsh world of Treme.

DALLAS-BUYERS-CLUB

TIFF 2013: ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ an inspiring combat story against H.I.V. and AIDS

Dallas Buyers Club is an important film. Not because it tackles AIDS or bigotry or pharmaceutical companies or preservatives, although it does all that and more. It’s important because it shows one man who manages to overcome a 30-days left to live prognosis and makes a positive difference, all the while still being a real jerk, to put it politely. Based off of a true story, the material could have easily fallen into a Lifetime movie or docu-drama or a redemption story, but instead Jean-Marc Vallée’s Dallas Buyers Club is a compelling film about a real antihero, an alcohol and drug-abusing, flaming heterosexual Texan who contracts H.I.V. and lives to help himself and those around him, in that order.

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