"Treme," Season 2, Episode 10

Season 2, Episode 10


“That’s What Lovers Do” marks the penultimate episode of “Treme’s” second season. You’d think that maybe, after 20 hours of dense, exhaustively researched presentations of New Orleans, David Simon and his showrunners could stop trying to prove how much they get the Crescent City. “That’s What Lovers Do” captures some of “Treme’s” strengths, but also harks back to its bad habit of “telling” bits of information rather than “showing.”

This week, for instance, several characters dine at Dooky Chase’s restaurant for Holy Thursday, which is apparently a big New Orleans tradition that had to be deferred following the hurricane. We see the restaurant, catch a few glimpses of people who clearly have genuine connections to the place — but don’t learn anything about why specifically it’s a big deal, or even what they eat there. Even the conversations we catch don’t push the plot along. It’s like an advertisement for the show’s own authenticity. The Times-Picayune's blog "Treme Explained" does a reliably good job of providing context for Dooky Chase and pretty much everything else on the show.

Frequently the famous-person cameos serve as the visual equivalent of namedropping — hey, look at the celebrity musician/chef/politician we know! The best nonprofessional actors serve a purpose by playing themselves, none more so than hepcat icon Doctor John. Chef David Chang’s not much a thespian, but his kitchen makes a credible venue for the breakthrough in Janette’s culinary apprenticeship. Chang fills a role for Janette like Harley did for Annie.