Saturday, September 29, 2007

K-Ville

Sorry it’s been so long since I posted folks, but I have basically had a week long cold punctuated by two exams. On ThursdayI took my first immunology exam, and I think I did well; it basically depends on how complete of answers the professor wanted, because mine were a bit on the minimal side.

Basically all I do now is study, except that I usually manage to catch one television show a night. Monday nights it has been the new Fox series K-Ville, which is a big deal down here in NOLA.

If you haven't seen K-Ville or heard the press about it, the premise is a cop show set in post-Katrina New Orleans. Various local reactions to the show have ranged from; "the show is great, not totally accurate, but shows what our lives are like down here" to "horribly insulting, how dare they make us look that bad". National Newspaper reviews have also run the gamut of these two responses.

My mom thinks that the outside world is concerned that K-Ville is not showing what life is like down here right now. That it is romanticizing the problems and minimizing the difficulties. I think that that perception is probably due to the fact that outsiders do not really know what the real issues in New Orleans are. A lot of the issues are horrifically mundane, nobody is running recycling, our insurance money is taking too long to arrive, the local and national governmental responses blow, ect. Some days this city feels like a sinking ship. This I feel the show captured well, for example: the problem with people stealing trees to use for landscaping rebuilt homes, people living off of FEMA checks, the frustration with loss of neighbors and neighborhoods as people decide not to return to New Orleans, ect. These are things I see happen every day down here, and the city does still need lots of help, as do the citizens.

However, the concern about the presentation of the crime of New Orleans on the show is valid. In the first episode, a two night Uzi shooting spree occurred, combined with a real estate plot to prevent impoverished people from returning to the ninth ward. In the second episode a prison kickback scandal ala Shawshank Redemption. Although crime in New Orleans is certainly sensational in terms of, say, the murder rate, it is not Hollywood sensational. It is mostly like crime in other big cities, just magnified by a whole bunch of other social problems, which make the solving and prevention of those crimes more difficult.

So far I am a moderate fan of the show. I am hoping it develops more from being a simple cop show to dealing with how the characters interact and their lives. If it focuses more on those things, and on the amazing culture down here, then K-Ville could be really great.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/13/arts/television/13kvil.html
http://blog.nola.com/entertainment/2007/09/the_kville_weekly_scorecard_ep.html


3 Comments:

Blogger Connor said...

You've made me interested in this.


It is true that even before Katrina, New Orleans was annually competing with the likes of Detroit, St. Louis, Gary, and Flint for the worst violent crime in the country... from what I've read and heard, it *has* gotten worse since then.

But by the numbers, any murder-driven crime drama is an impossibility, from Monk to Perry Mason. (There's a cynical joke that "once every sixteen seconds a little girl is molested on Law and Order.") Quite simply, unless you live in a literal warzone, crime, however bad, isn't *that* extensive.

While I think in most situations people can excuse that simply as suspension-of-disbelief, the fact that this film is set so specifically in New Orleans and deals with it so directly has made it a visible issue. So these questions, while they might seem obvious and quibbling about some other shows, are really valid and pertinent when they're being asked of K-Ville.

October 1, 2007 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger colin said...

Of course, Nora left out the most egregious error in the first episode: the major plotline begins with two murders in the French Quarter. The reality is that there have been zero homicides in the Quarter in 2007.

I'm actually willing to suspend disbelief in the cause of interesting story lines. My big annoyance is that they have the mentality that, because it's set in New Orleans, everything must be about Katrina (episode 1), corrupt politicians (episode 2), and/or hookers (episode 3). I wouldn't mind if those elements formed the canvas of the show. That, in fact, is what helps make it entertaining. It's a little off-putting when they beat the audience over the head with all this.

I find it interesting that Connor accidentally refers to it as a film; they are one-hour episodes, and I was just remarking after the second that each episode individually would make for a good two-hour film.

October 2, 2007 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Connor said...

Oops.

October 16, 2007 at 9:35 AM  

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