Those who dissent from the majority opinion praising HBO's Treme may find that a recent recap from GQ speaks for you. Sean Fennessey writes that "the reliance on [music] comes at Treme's expense." And while fans of the show rush to defend it, I must say I read the criticism with some interest. As someone who vivisected every episode, it's a bit difficult for me to tell whether I truly, truly enjoyed the program or was just professionally obsessed. I know some New Orleans viewers — who generally embraced the show — were similarly confused: they had no idea what it looked like to non-residents, to those who were watching for entertainment and who were not overwhelmed by the emotional authenticity.
Fennessey's assertion that "[m]usic on TV almost never works" is a pretty vast assertion to these eyes, but his overall message that Treme was a good idea but not good television may find some sympathetic ears. (While we're at it, John McWhorter has written another worthwhile dissenting opinion.) What do you think? [GQ: Why Treme Failed]
Related At NPR Music: Our weekly rundowns of the music of Treme, with New Orleans native Josh Jackson of WBGO.