Thursday, April 8, 2010

Author Tom Piazza Writes for "Treme," The New HBO Show From "The Wire" Creator David Simon

Author Tom Piazza Writes for Treme, the New HBO Show From The Wire Creator David Simon My all time favorite television show is, without a doubt, “The Wire.” HBO’s drama about the Baltimore drug trade explored many facets of institutional dysfunction: law enforcement, education, journalism, and politics. It’s easily the grittiest, most realistic, intellectually and emotionally complex show I’ve ever watched. (It’s even the subject of sociology- and anthropology-based courses at Harvard, Duke, UC Berekley and Middlebury.)

Naturally, I am beyond thrilled that the show’s creator, David Simon, is returning to HBO this spring with a new series. His new show, which debuts on Sunday, is called “Treme,” named after the New Orleans neighborhood in which it’s set. Treme, which is adjacent to the French Quarter, has a rich and complex history; it’s the musical heart of New Orleans and thought by many to be the oldest African-American neighborhood in the country.

Rich and complex stories are Simon’s forte as a March 21 feature in the New York Times magazine points out. In many ways “The Wire” was more akin to serialized novels than it is to a traditional television drama. Partly this is due to the fact that the show itself is written by professional authors and journalists. Just as “The Wire” was written by novelists including Richard Price (Lush Life) and Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Shutter Island) the writing credits for “Treme” include Harper author Tom Piazza.

Why New Orleans Matters by Tom PiazzaTom has written two books on New Orleans: Why New Orleans Matters, a book-length essay on the cultural, musical and historical value of the city he wrote immediately after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina. He also wrote City of Refuge, a novel about two families dealing with the aftermath of the 2005 hurricane. A long time resident and passionate advocate for the city, Tom will surely add a new dimension to the authenticity of “Treme.” And I, for one, can’t wait to watch.

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