I observed a David Simon media blackout in the run up to the premiere of “Treme.” I’m still fairly sure the chorus of people musing on the last season of “The Wire” contributed to some of my hang ups with it. So I didn’t click through to the December Vice interview that my nearly 50-year-old uncle somehow sent my way, and I skipped the early reviews from the usual suspects.
I also missed out on this exchange from Emily Nussbaum’s April 4 New York magazine profile until last week.
“Fuck the exposition,” he says gleefully as we go back into the bar. “Just be. The exposition can come later.” He describes a theory of television narrative. “If I can make you curious enough, there’s this thing called Google. If you’re curious about the New Orleans Indians, or ‘second-line’ musicians—you can look it up.” The Internet, he suggests, can provide its own creative freedom, releasing writers from having to overexplain, allowing history to light the characters from within.
I’m not sure I buy that the writing staff of “Treme” has gone quite this far yet. Sunday night’s episode offered some proof they haven’t when one character asked another to confirm that Galactic was that white-boy version of The Meters. It’s still pretty great to hear a writer think out loud about the influence the great Google archive has on his work.
It reminded me of a Mountain Goats show I saw last December. John Darnielle told a story from the other edge of the sword.
Audio courtesy of the peerless NYC Taper, who, yes, archived the night on the internet.