Sep 10, 201310:41 AM
The Lighter Side
Exploring the humor and peculiarities of the Big Easy
New Orleans on TV: What To Watch This Fall
"Top Chef: New Orleans"
While watching the premiere of "Boardwalk Empire" on Sunday, I was happy to see that HBO finally announced when the last season of "Treme" would be airing (December) while giving us a trailer for the new Louisiana-based series "True Detective" starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey due in January. So when one goes away, another will appear. But not just one... New Orleans will soon be getting a whole host of shows to fill up your DVR.
We all know that when it rains it pours, and since the popularity of the supernatural in our books, movies and television seems to keep persisting, it makes sense that it would eventually make its way to New Orleans, as several of the new shows deal with vampires (of course), witches, the occult and aliens.
It should be fun to watch out for what show required all this preparation for what looks like a stroll through the past.
That's a pic my friend Holly shot while she was on a run through the Quarter. I'm guessing it could be one of several things.
Anyways, here are a few of the New Orleans- and Louisiana-based shows you might want to keep an eye out for:
"The Originals" (CW, Oct. 3)
This is a spin-off of "The Vampire Diaries.” "The Vampire Diaries" had way too many attractive supernatural creatures roaming around Mystic Falls (their fictional southern town), and they couldn't keep killing them off because the writers had already pissed off their fan-base by murdering a good 70 percent of the characters. So they just gave a bunch of the ancient vampires their own show.
I'll be watching because "The Vampire Diaries" is my guilty pleasure, but if the new show is as cheesy as the pilot episode they snuck in during the last few episodes of the fourth season of "The Vampire Diaries," I don't know if I can watch without cringing most of the time. They made New Orleans seem like it only consisted of the French Quarter and after you cross Esplanade or Rampart, you're in the swamp battling gators and werewolves. If there's a scene where someone serves up red beans and rice while saying "HEY IT'S MONDAY, the only day we don't eat gumbo!" I'm out.
Okay, I'll still watch, who am I kidding.
"American Horror Story: Coven" (FX, Oct. 9)
This will certainly be one that I have to watch live, no DVR for me. The third season revolves around witches in New Orleans in modern times while flashing back to the 19th century. Jessica Lange returns as the main character (I'm guessing, a witch) and Angela Bassett plays Marie Laveau, our beloved Voodoo queen. Kathy Bates plays Delphine LaLaurie, the aristocrat from the 1800s who performed ghastly medical experiments on slaves, allegedly. Her story and former mansion on Royal and Governor Nicholls (one of the most haunted places in America) is a favorite during Haunted History tours in the Quarter. I have no doubt that everyone involved will be amazing.
A series of creeptastic teaser trailers can be seen here.
"True Detective" (HBO)
The trailer looks pretty creepy. It consists of Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey giving each other confused looks while traipsing around in the swamp. There's an interesting "Blair Witch" twig object hanging from a tree, crime photos of murders, a guy who sort of looks like Mr. Tumnus from Narnia, and a forlorn song playing in the background. I'm sure it will be HBO's newest addictive Sunday drama.
Sounds like "Roswell" from several years back. High school... Aliens... Teen angst. I suppose we have our quota for vampires and witches filled for the moment, so why not delve into aliens?
"Top Chef: New Orleans" (Bravo, Oct. 2)
I can't talk about shows based in New Orleans without talking about "Top Chef," my former favorite reality show. I say former because you can only do so many seasons of a reality show before it starts getting old. I stopped paying sharp attention when the show went to Texas and I have no idea who won Seattle. I also just don't watch Bravo like I used to because of all the "housewife" shows they have on 24/7. I think they should just change the name to "The Real Housewives Channel" and be done with it. But with "Top Chef" being in our food-centric city, I'm sure that new life will be breathed into the series and it'll be fun and addicting to watch again. And it's about time this show was in New Orleans!
I think this is like "CSI: Supernatural Victims Unit." I usually like A&E reality shows ("Duck Dynasty," "The First 48," "Storage Wars"), but I can't seem to ever get into their original programming ("Longmire," "Bates Motel," "The Glades"). I hear this is a show about FBI agents who investigate crimes pertaining to the occult. It's another cop drama but the spin on it is that it's produced by Michael Bay, so there will probably be plenty of things that go SPLODE, possibly some robots that turn into cars and maybe some misogyny.
"Treme" (HBO, December)
And finally, of course, "Treme." The fourth and last season will air in December. I've been critical of "Treme" in the past, but I've watched every single episode, most of them a couple of times. I've also always loved reading Dave Walker's "Treme Explained" blog because I learn a ton about the city. I read every little bit of it when I first moved to New Orleans because I was a newbie right when the show started to air.
And I know it's unfair to compare it to "The Wire," but I can't help but do it. The thing is, when you're binge-watching a series on Netflix, you know a good show when you feel the need to keep watching episodes, even if it's 3 a.m. "The Wire" inspires that kind of watching. "Treme"? Not so much. I don't mind waiting a week between episodes, while I'm practically screaming at the television because I can't watch the next episode of "Breaking Bad" on Sunday night.
I like "Treme." I don't love it. And I think it also might be because there are no uber-charasmatic characters, no breakthrough performances, like Omar or Stringer Bell from "The Wire." Everyone on "Treme" is fine and good, but no one is iconic. They leave New Orleans itself to be the icon, but that only makes all of the characters lukewarm for me. Maybe the fourth season will change my mind, because I really, really want to love it, so I hope so.
Also, I know a serious spoiler because they filmed it on my street. So that should be fun.