20 April 2010 | jatrudel
The mixed reviews were understandable - have patience, brothers and sisters
Yes, if you're a fan of David Simon you probably will be disappointed, but hold judgment until you've experienced both episode 1 and episode 2. In the first hour of the pilot there is a sense of the surreal. We feel a disconnect with the city and its characters. We catch glimpses of former New Orleans life but try as we might there is nothing drawing us in. New Orleans and its people are in a catatonic state. The city no longer has a soul. An hour doesn't seem that long but I must admit after sixty dreary minutes I was ready to pack it in, and then in the second hour the magic of Simon began creeping out of the cracks and crevices. It wasn't enough to convince me a compelling story would emerge, but it was enough for me to give it a second chance. A great story requires more of a setup than audiences are willing to give a writer these days. Thank god Simon never lets that influence him.
About a third of the way into episode two Simon had me. If you saw The Wire, that's probably the only criticism I had left. I can still see Bunk and Freamon. They were incredibly powerful characters and it's hard to dissociate Pierce and Peters from those parts. Wendell Pierce fills up a honky tonk stage as Antoine Batiste but aside from his trombone playing, I still expect him to wake up the next morning and head off to investigate another homicide. Same with Clarke Peters as the Indian. He's embraced his new role and already put his stamp on it, but in my mind he's still the recalcitrant Baltimore detective. I guess you could say that's pretty petty stuff. The new ensemble took over in the second episode and I can't wait for more. This is shaping up to be as good as The Wire.