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Treme

The entire series will remain available until April 30, 2013 on HBO Canada On Demand

 Life is hard in the Big Easy, as the New Orleans-based drama Treme has shown time and again over the course of its three seasons.

Season three takes place two years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and it continues to deftly weave together the real-life hardships and fictional dramas of novelists, DJs, musicians, politicians and chefs like a great jazz improviser.

In keeping with the show’s simmering tone, the finale, entitled Tipitina (after the famed New Orleans club), delivers a series of well-timed riffs instead of a basso profundo conclusion.

Expect civil rights lawyer Toni (Melissa Leo) to find a break in an important case, and social activist and DJ Davis (Steve Zahn) making an exit from the music biz while street musician Annie (Lucia Micarelli) sees her album finally released.

HBO has granted Treme an abbreviated five-episode fourth season, which will be the series’ last.

KEEPING IT REAL

• Like Treme creator David Simon’s other great series, The Wire, non-actors are often cast in key roles for greater verisimilitude. For example, the character of a politician forced to resign after he admits to taking bribes in Season 2 is played by Oliver M Thomas Jr, a former New Orleans city councillor who resigned in 2007 after pleading guilty to a federal bribery charge.

• The character of aspiring restaurateur Janette (Kim Dickens) is loosely based on New Orleans chef Susan Spicer.

• Treme has featured so many real-life chefs that it should probably air on the Food Network. Emeril Lagasse kicks it up a notch when he cameos as himself in an episode written by chef Anthony Bourdain. Other chefs who’ve dropped by include Eric Ripert, David Chang, Tom Colicchio and Wylie Dufresne.

• Many real New Orleans musicians have been featured in episodes, including Kermit Ruffins, Coco Robicheaux, Dr John, Art Neville, Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry and Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews.


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