As early as the first few minutes of last night’s Treme premiere, we felt like we had never left David Simon’s post-Katrina New Orleans. The singular characters, the obsession with music (evoked, this time, by a boy who wanders the streets playing the trumpet when his mother shoos him off the stoop), the multi-faceted portrait of a city in crisis — yes, the show that (like its predecessor, The Wire) makes almost everything else on TV look hopelessly shallow and contrived is back. Much has changed in the half-year since we left our characters. After the jump, we share our hopes for the cast in Season 2. Add yours in the comments.
Antoine Batiste: This trombone virtuoso and conflicted dad deserves both artistic fulfillment and financial stability. In an interview with the A.V. Club, actor Wendell Pierce mentioned that his character is going to try his luck as a bandleader — something last night’s episode foreshadowed. Here’s hoping this career move sticks.
LaDonna Batiste-Williams: With her younger brother buried, LaDonna’s mom has gone to live with LaDonna’s husband in Baton Rouge. Although she seems to crave time with her spouse, a particularly lively scene last night reaffirmed her passion for running the bar. LaDonna is one of our favorite characters on TV, and we want to see her find some balance without having to give up the work she loves.
Janette Desautel: Everything seems wrong about Janette’s life in Season 2. The New Orleans girl is cooking on a line in New York, under a nasty, whimsical chef. We want to see her back home, at her own restaurants, and maybe even rekindling the thing she had going with DJ Davis — who, in our humble opinion, is a far better match for her than for Annie.
Albert and Delmond Lambreaux: The chief is down on his luck, exiled from the bar where he was living and back to a house that isn’t safe for habitation. His son is tiring of talking New Orleans to New York know-it-alls who can’t help denigrating the city’s music. We say it’s high time that Delmond comes home, genuinely makes good with his dad, and finally realizes that Nola can inspire — not stifle — his ambitions.
Davis McAlary: In a way, DJ Davis is back where he was at the beginning of last season — working at a radio station that stifles his tastes and bereft of any greater cause. Of course, he does have Annie, who he adores. As much as we like her, we want to see Davis succeed in luring Janette back to New Orleans (it doesn’t look like it’ll be hard), where they can pursue their big ambitions together.
Annie: Boy, are we glad she’s done with Sonny and making a name for herself on tour. Keep doing what you’re doing, Annie, but know this: Davis isn’t the one for you.
Sonny: To be totally honest, we hate Sonny and hope he slips off the face of the earth. Or, you know, gets clean. Whatever.
Toni Bernette: She’s trying to put on a happy face for her daughter (who still doesn’t know Creighton’s death was a suicide), but Toni’s suffering is painfully clear. This season, we want her to take a break from crusading and spend some time dealing with her feelings of loneliness and abandonment.
Sofia Bernette: As she grows up, Sofia is going to have to learn what really happened to her dad. Whether or not that happens in Season 2, we’re actually relieved to see her posting Creighton-style videos on YouTube. It’s a healthy way to carry on his legacy and mourn at the same time. We hope to see more echoes of Creighton in Sofia, but we also want her to learn that giving up isn’t the answer.
Nelson Hidalgo: Season 2’s first new, major character is still an enigma. Nelson is a big-shot business guy from Dallas with family in New Orleans. He’s here to do some combination of help rebuild the city, cash in on the disaster, and engage in some high-quality cultural tourism. A touch sleazy at first glance, Nelson is either exactly what New Orleans needs or, as we fear, its worst nightmare.