Anybody catch the premiere of “Treme“? David Simon’s much-anticipated new cable drama, about musicians toiling in the ruins of one of New Orleans’s oldest neighborhoods, may be the boldest show ever made, according to the NYer’s Nancy Franklin. If she’s right, Simon—creator of “The Wire,” which is widely touted as the best show ever made—will need only to create the funniest show ever made in order to secure the triple crown.
I didn’t see the premiere since I don’t have HBO, but I did visit Treme two years ago. Afterward, I wrote this. One hopes Simon’s take is more succinct.
Speaking of media that’s worth your time, you don’t really need a critic to tell you David Simon dramas deserve your attention. But over at WaPo, the Howard Kurtz wonders aloud whether or not people need a local pro to tell them anything. Here’s the key bit:
The litmus test, then, is whether the journalist or the critic, by virtue of his expertise or connections or digging or sheer writing skill, adds significant value—that is, value beyond what a reasonably intelligent political junkie or foodie could produce in his spare time. Those who can will survive; the rest may be swept out by the online tide.
Kudos to Kurtz for avoiding the alarmist “is criticism dead?” tack. Because what he’s really describing here is a process that would preserve the best criticism while amputating the long tail of mediocre critics.
Speaking of the allegedly waning public interest in professional criticism, WSJ is not ready to cede criticism to the blogs yet. On Friday it published a lengthy exegesis on Robert Frost’s “Directive”—arachaic territory, maybe, but let’s see the Twittersphere do it better!