Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What the heck is a "Gumbo Party"?

Simon and I were on the verge of watching what we hear is a quality movie, The Constant Gardener, last night, when we remembered that the series premiere of "K-Ville" was airing on Fox.

First, you must understand that no one here calls New Orleans K-Ville, in spite of what the spray painted graffiti may have implied. That is one of many errors on the show--including what was referred to as a "gumbo party."

A gumbo party?

Simon and I died laughing when Marlon Boulet, the main character, cried out, "I need some gumbo, man! It's what I do when I think!" as though gumbo were some "fix."

(I remember getting really agitated after the storm by how casually the phrase toxic gumbo" was thrown around. That ain't cute!)


No one makes fried shrimp po-boys at home. They're sold on nearly every corner, so there's no need to mess up the kitchen with all that messy frying for one dern sandwich.

The Upper Ninth Ward looks nothing like the Uptown-looking block that houses Marlon Boulet's two story, balconied house on an oak-lined street. HA!

Also noteworthy:

A chase that begins in "the Upper Nine" is, within seconds, along the neutral ground on the Westbank side of the Mississippi Bridge. Anyone who's driven here knows it takes ages to cross the river, especially now with all the trailers hauled by trucks clogging up traffic.

The singer who is shot in the show is local singer and actress Fahlonhee Harris, who, incidentally, was in the musical "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" with me back in my dinner theater days. HA, again!

The general mental stress portrayed in the main character is real and, I think, largely accurate. He goes from crying to pulling a gun in mere seconds, and anything will set him off. This is how it goes when you'd been through something like the cops here went through, and like the rest of us continue to go through in seeing the city flounder.

I loved the graffiti, "FEMA: Fix Everything My Ass."

The for sale signs everywhere: accurate.

But "gumbo party"? Never heard of it.

Anyways, we'll probably watch the show because it's fun to recognize landmarks on TV, and because it's FOX, so it's classic bad TV with terrible dialogue and glorification of stereotypes. In other words, irresistible like a train wreck. Many on nola.com seem to worry that the show will hurt the city and it's recovery, but I think their fears are unfounded. Shoot, TV shows draw tourists even when they portray settings as violent, right? And anyway, can we be hurt any worse that we already are? I find it amusing, and it was nice, for a moment, to laugh at how the writers got so much right--and so much wrong.

If anyone is having a gumbo party, though, let me know!

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