The second season of David Simon's Treme premiered on HBO last night with a retooled theme song, a high-profile new writer joining the staff, and an increased focus on supporting characters like Lt. Colson, the weary police officer played by David Morse. But for fans of Simon's Baltimore crooks-and-cops milestone The Wire, there's still hopes that his his look at post-Katrina New Orleans will get, you know, entertaining. Here are the reactions to last night's debut
- Last night's opening didn't offer much in the way of action, but that was alright with Hit Fix's Alan Sepinwall. He notes a leisurely pace to start seasons is common "for both a David Simon show in general and this show in particular." Early episodes are "all about catching up with where everyone is seven months later, and getting to know the new guys, and laying some of the groundwork for what this year will be about."
- At The A.V. Club, Keith Phipps was impressed with the level of realism new staff writer Anthony Bourdain injected into scene of the displaced Janette (played by Kim Dickens, pictured) struggling to make it in a celebrity's chef's New York kitchen. Bourdain clearly knows the terrain, and Janette's exile was "realize[d] much more fully" than other plot threads involving characters making new lives in other cities.
- Television Without Pity's Mindy Monez agreed with Phipps that Bourdain's hiring should punch up the show's depiction of the food scene in New Orleans and beyond. "That hilariously evil chef Janette is working for is more entertaining than the entire cumulative first season," says Monez. "Could Janette actually be... entertaining this season? It finally seems possible."