But these stories sometimes have to battle with the show’s impulse to show how awesome New Orleans is. Some of the real-life characters, playing themselves, become distractions — as when we see a dramatization of Elvis Costello and NOLA legend Allen Toussaint recording an album they really did make together following Katrina. And rap — a dominant force in New Orleans’s musical life, and another window into this troubled community — is scarcely alluded to. This is the city that brought us not only Toussaint and Louis Armstrong and Tuba Fats but also Juvenile and Lil Wayne. If coming episodes don’t dig deeper, Simon could end up being something the show is perhaps too quick to ridicule: a tourist.
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