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HBO’s Overlooked Treme: Are Emmy Voters Racist?

HBO's Overlooked Treme: Are Emmy Voters Racist?

I finally finished watching David Simon and Eric Overmyer’s brilliantly executed Treme, and reread the terrific NYT Magazine feature on how they put the series together, and why HBO was willing to indulge them. Overmyer looks back at season one and ahead at season two.

So it’s Emmy season and this series–arguably the best of the year–didn’t land one acting or writing nomination. No Wendell Pierce, Clarke Peters, Kim Dickens, Khandi Alexander, John Goodman, Melissa Leo or Steve Zahn. It scored just two, for directing and original music. Why did the series get slighted? As did David Simon’s critically hailed The Wire, which earned two writing nominations in its entire run. It’s probably the same reason that European audiences responded better to The Wire during the one season that favored more white characters. Even stateside, white moviegoers and Emmy voters seem to tune out material featuring too many every-day African Americans. It’s a question of identification, interest and engagement, I guess.

Music was a huge part of the show, providing its spine and often-meandering structure, which was fine with me. I could happily sit down and watch the whole thing all over again.

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