It’s way too late on a school night for me to really dig into everything I thought about while watching David Simon’s latest opus, “Treme,” on HBO. What I have been collecting, however, are other peoples’ feelings about the show and I am positively fascinated by the response.
I’ll start with the obvious. Lots of people hated the show! For all sorts of reasons! Some of them deserved, some not so much! I’m sympathetic; I enjoyed ‘The Wire’ plenty, but only after my wife convinced me of its brilliance and even then I harbored some angst about the cult of David Simon. He’s arrogant! Read this great post-mortem with the essential Alan Sepinwall and you’ll see what I mean.
There are more glib, entertaining responses to the show. I loved the Awl’s shouting match. It embodies my internal dialogue — yes, dialogue — on the show almost too perfectly to admit.
I adored David Raposa’s plea to reconsider troubled academic Creighton Burnette, even if I never especially cared for his character, particularly because, as a recovering academic who labored in the language arts, I can understand his passion for others to share his view, to see the city as he does, to experience it in the rich body of work that has been produced in and about New Orleans.
The only conclusion I can safely draw from all of this is that I need to watch the entire series again, as soon as possible, probably between episodes of “Mad Men” and “Deadliest Catch” or whatever you watch in the summer months that isn’t Step Brothers on on demand.
(It goes without saying that I’m one of those people who LUUURRVEES THE MUSICCCCCC. I listen to it often via the Songs from Treme Tumblr, which I run through trntbl here.)
I work for a television company. When I started at Comcast three years ago, I was really in the dark about just how competitive television and film would become. Sure, lots of people were beating their chests, rooting for Hulu like the G.E.-owned product was some kind of underdog, but then Comcast bought that. Aside from Netflix’s efforts with streaming video — something I love watching on my HDTV via my Xbox 360 — there weren’t really any other companies really trying to make hay online.
How times have changed. Just as Comcast jumped in the pool with Fancast Xfinity TV, so has everyone else. The basic concept was always simple, but how do you get your television to play nice with the Internet? There are pesky rights issues! That seems to be changing, too. Now that companies like Google and Apple are involved, you can bet that it’s going to be all out war and consumers may come out winners.
But is it too much noise? Let’s talk about music for just a second. Think back about, oh, two years. Remember when every Tom, Dick, and Harry jumped into streaming music online. It was a veritable bonanza. The services may have been wonky and were likely incomplete, but users could cobble together a pretty extensive online music library that as totally legit. Flash back to the present: effective this weekend, the number of full length free streaming on-demand music services will be zero.
Maybe it’ll be different this time and we’ll all be living in a la carte utopia in just a year or two. It’s great that some of the big technology players like Google and Apple are in the mix. You know them for their most products, but it’s sometimes easy to forget that both of them have armies of lawyers who are trying to gain any toehold they can against the big cable providers. Ultimately, it pushes everyone in the right direction and we will all reap the benefits.
It’s easy to understand why some people feel completely overwhelmed by the entertainment options at their disposal. I do, too! When Netflix and Xbox 360 paired up to stream Watch Instantly titles, I suddenly found myself awash in on-demand options. Is it amazing (and a much better experience than watching on my computer?) Absolutely. Do I feel like like I can’t prioritize my entertainment options? Totally! All these options are a blessing and a curse to someone who likes more than his fair share of movies. How do I know where to watch them?
Here’s what I’ve watched recently and where:
- Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Comcast On Demand)
- Man on Wire (Netflix Watch Instantly on Xbox 360)
- The Horse’s Mouth (Comcast DV‑R)
- Gomorrah (actual movie theater)
- Salvador (Netflix DVD)
I’m looking for someone to pull together all of the entertainment options I have so I can manage them from a central hub. I want to be able to prioritize my Netflix queue by knowing if something will be available on Turner Classic Movies or not. I want to be prompted to record or rent when I search IMDB.com. I know I’m not alone. Who doesn’t want to get the most out of their cable and Netflix subscriptions? Isn’t stuff like this at the heart of the semantic web?
It would be an understatement to say I’ve been remiss in writing about Mad Men this season. The show continues to boggle my mind and last night’s episode, “The Jet Set,” was no exception. So while I’m still scratching my head, let me suggest you read Alan Sepinwall’s take over at What’s Alan Watching?
The hobo trope Alan teases out is particularly interesting. The Bob Dylan reference may be a little Young Indiana Jones, but we’ll see where it goes.The comments are worth checking out, too. Several readers take issue with how “Sopranos‑y” it felt, and I can’t disagree. If that show had a weakness, it was those indulgent, clunky flashback/dream sequences.
Some commenters also feel that this episode was an homage to Fellini and Antonioni, which is plausible, but poorly executed. Don would’ve been repulsed at a “Sick Soul of the Bourgeoisie” party, yet he felt seemed almost at home, even in the most awkward moments.
I’m still curious to see how everything pans out in the final two episodes. I cringe at the prospect of this show taking a turn for the bizarre at the last moment.
Mad Men is the sort of show that makes me wish more of my friends had cable and weren’t constantly playing catch up with Netflix. I’ve really liked season two so far, mainly for creative, conflictual pairings and, consequently, the unease that’s permeated episodes one and two. As Don’s assailed at work and at home, it’s unclear who he’ll become to survive. I can’t wait for tonight’s show!
(I should add that unlike last season, Helen and I make sure to clear the calendar to watch Mad Men when it premieres, unlike last season which we watched almost entirely on-demand.)