Treme's viewers may be dwindling in its third season, but this New Orleans resident still finds more than enough to like in a show that keeps finding new ways to love its milieu.
Oct 12, 2012
Take it from me that being a New Orleanian hasn't been all beer nuts and candy this autumn. On October 1, despite screeches of futile outrage from us peons and crustier protests by civic leaders that ended in Burghers of Calais-style woebegoneness, the Times-Picayune shrank on schedule to three editions per week, leading one wag to dub the reduced version the Times-Methadone and forcing many to the back-alley indignity of resorting to the Baton Rouge Advocate for their old-school daily fix. Our vaunted (and reviled) football team is 1-4 going into its bye week, making the huzzahs for Drew Brees's ongoing string of broken records sound increasingly like, well, broken records.
Adding insult to injury, nobody outside the city limits likes Treme anymore. That's an exaggeration, of course. But in some pop-cult wheelhouses, the mere continued existence of David Simon's NOLA-set drama has become cause for derision. Seduced away by Mad Men and Breaking Bad's trashier appeal—kidding, kidding, and yet not—the Emmys haven't been kind, with just two nominations for Treme's first season and bupkus from then on. Since the 2010 premiere, viewership has dwindled by roughly half, settling in at some 500,000 diehards: pretty piss-poor numbers, even by cable standards. Forgive me if it sometimes feels as if around 250,000 of them live within a 10-mile radius of me.