The Skinny: David Simon’s third season of “Treme” continues the series’ poignant, novelistic look at post-Katrina New Orleans through its melting pot of fascinating characters with superb music in both the background and the foreground. Rebuilding continues on all fronts as Antoine Batiste (Wendell Pierce) tries to introduce jazz to his middle school students, Albert Lambreaux (Clarke Peters) fights cancer while still prepping for Mardi Gras, Janette Desautel (Kim Dickens) struggles to maintain culinary integrity in a changing restaurant environment, and attorney Toni Bernette (Oscar-winner Melissa Leo) fights for answers surrounding a suspicious death.
Pros: An enviable concentration of talent is on display, whether it’s the top-flight cast, the high-quality writing talent (Simon, George Pelecanos, Anthony Bourdain) or the dizzying array of musicians who pass in front of the camera. Even the legendary Fats Domino makes an appearance in Season 3. As with all HBO Blu-ray editions, the video and audio transfers are a cut above cable and feature superb navigation for extra content and commentaries.
Cons: “Treme” has few negatives, but this is a series that only rewards patient and loyal viewership. Casual watchers must commit or “Treme” can come across as hazily plotted and formless. Stay with it, and all the stories and messages coalesce like an epic novel.
Extras: Music commentaries in all 10 episodes, five audio commentaries and song/artist information throughout.
— George Lang