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Treme Season 1, Episode 5

Season 1, Episode 5

To avoid becoming one of those fans who harps on an artist’s old classics as being better than the new efforts, I hereby resolve to stop comparing “Treme” to that other HBO show by David Simon, or even mention the other series except in the case of obvious guest star cameos.

Nor will I compare “Treme” to “Glee,” because, well, I haven’t actually seen “Glee” yet. (I know, people love it more than anything). From what I’ve heard, “Glee” is nothing like “Treme,” except that most of the characters are musical performers. But that might be a big deal. As anyone who remembers “Cop Rock” knows, serial television can’t easily accommodate the musical theater convention of characters breaking into song (outside of magic spells and dream scenes). “Treme” and “Glee” may be as close as we can get to actual TV musicals, and HBO's New Orleans show can feel a little more satisfying if you think of it as a musical, rather than apply the expectations of the usual drama set in a big, benighted city.