It was torture watching the first episode of Treme. It was like sitting through a one-hour-too-long movie, with no real plot line and too many characters. I hate that I didn't like the first episode.
But I can't say I'm surprised (or that I wasn't warned by Natalie Hopkinson's review). I didn't like The Wire until about four episodes in. When I listen to a CD, I generally can't give it a yea or nay until after the first few listens.
To be sure, I will continue to tune in every Sunday, expecting it to get better. The hour-and-a-half premiere was full of great music, and perhaps, most notably, Steve Zahn blasting Mystikal's "Shake It Fast" out his windows. Within the first 45 minutes, there didn't seem to be much dialogue or much of a story line at all. It picked up toward the end of the first hour, as Khandi Alexander (CSI: Miami and The Corner) and her lawyer begin talks of finding her brother who may or may not have been incarcerated when the hurricane hit. But that was it. (How many times does Wendell Pierce need to get in a cab without a dollar to his name? Three.)
Overall, it was verrrry slow moving, so I had plenty of time to check in on Twitter. As far as trending topics go, it was a faint blip on the radar screen. If we let Twitter tell the story of television success, then Brandy, Ray J, Chilli and the NBA's ex-wives, baby mamas and jumpoffs were winning in the ratings game on VH1.
I have a particular love for New Orleans. When I was in elementary school, every year I could look forward to going to Mardi Gras. Yes, in elementary school; it was a family affair. We'd go to visit my cousins, eat king cake, red beans and rice, and gumbo, gumbo, and more gumbo. That connection alone will keep me tuned in to the show.
New Orleans forever lives in my heart. And I'm hoping that other lovers of the city and viewers of the show won't be dancing and singing in Treme's second line.