So what did you think of Treme?

I didn’t get a chance to see it because we don’t have HBO, and I wasn’t feeling well enough to walk down to Monkey Hill Bar or drive across town to a friend’s to see it. So instead of being one of the lucky ones to see its debut, I followed tweets and dozens of articles and blog posts that sprouted up during and after its airing. Most of the commentary and reviews I read were laudatory and encouraging, which is a promising sign.

After the show — and shortly before midnight — my cousin felt inspired enough to call me up. She’d seen one of my earlier Facebook posts encouraging friends to tune in, so she did, not knowing what to expect. She’s never been to New Orleans and recognizes only standard images: Katrina flooding, Bourbon Street balconies, jazz bands, red beans and rice.

“Thanks for telling me about Treme; it was good,” she said.

“Uh, you’re welcome … sure beats Jersey Shore, eh? And Sopranos and Real Housewives of New Jersey, for that matter,” I mumbled.

“Ummm, I guess … if you say so. Anyway, I know it’s late, just wanted to tell you it was interesting. And now I think I’m gonna come visit this summer, OK? Gotta run, bye,” she ended. 

And that was that.

Later the next day I fielded calls from friends who live up north and elsewhere. All of them were curious about what I’d thought of the show. “Was it accurate?” “Did I see any of the filming?” 

And, coincidentally, I did witness filming several times — actually, more like 15-plus times — as they’ve been in our neighborhood quite often for the past year, much to the chagrin of a few neighbors.

Anyway, it felt weird answering their questions about the show’s accuracies or if I recognized any of the locations. After all, I’m still floating in that purgatorial phase of “wannabe N’awlins.” So what the heck do I know? And to make matters worse, I didn’t even see the first episode!

Sadly enough, when I see promos for those despicable New Jersey shows — the ones with  tired tropes of “greaseballs” in track suits and obnoxious chicks ready to knock your head off or run you over — I can identify quite well. That’s just the way it is up there, or so it seems. And those are my home state’s stereotypes, so I’m used to them, though rarely amused.

But when it comes to Treme, I can’t really distinguish fact from fiction. Yes, I’ve had a Hubig’s pie, and I’m familiar with the common patois, but I’m in no position to judge, nor is any other non-native. So even if I had a problem with the show or any show that tries to pay homage, out of respect, I certainly wouldn’t criticize or cause a stink. And any TV show that’s willing to depict New Orleans in a creative, eulogistic light is one we can all appreciate.

So hopefully Season 1’s DVD will hit stores in time for the holiday season –– because every single one of our family members is getting a copy!

What did you think of the first episode? If you don’t have HBO, do you plan on getting it just to see the show? What do you hope Treme will do for the city of New Orleans?