This started slowly and creakily. Ours is a household that loves New Orleans, and we were wary. Despite all the protestations precisely to the contrary we heard the filmmakers utter in interviews, it seemed to us the show was bogged down in a lot of explaining, pandering, cliches, and oversimplification. Its New Orleans is a place where everyone eats rice and beans on Mondays, everyone knows who Kid Ory was, everyone dances second line every other day. I’ve been watching The Wire lately, and they don’t make everyone in Baltimore eat nothing but crabcakes; I think N.O. gets singled out for this kind of overtypification simply because it seems, to people from other parts of the country, like something of a foreign country. I almost want to call the show’s vision of N.O. a kind of orientalism. I hope viewers realize there are square people who live there, too. There’s only one square person on the show–a dentist–and he’s been banished to Baton Rouge.
All that said, things did pick up and we wound up sticking with it, even developing an iota of affection for the initally hugely irritating and grotesquely caricatured Steve Zahn (as Davis). I don’t know if we’re going to make it much further, though. Looking over the remaining chararacters, I find that the only one I really want to know much more about is the one played by Wendell Pierce (Antoine Batiste). I am fervently hoping that the troubled couple of young musicians (Annie (Lucia Micarelli) and Sonny (Michiel Huisman)) fall off a ferry as quickly as possible.