The first episode of Treme introduced us to New Orleans, three months after Hurricane Katrina. Because the show lacks a central, fast-paced plot, we'll summarize this series premiere by going over the characters we met:
Janette Desautel owns a local restaurant. It's doing okay, still bustling with people on many nights, but it's a mess behind the scenes. Janette tells everyone not to ask about her "f-cking house" and struggles to come up with basic ingredients in the kitchen.
She's been sleeping with Davis McAlary, a DJ and aspiring musician. He's outspoken and passionate about the New Orleans music scene.
Among those in that music scene: Antoine Batiste, who has two sons he rarely speaks to with his ex-wife and another at home with a woman he lives with. They can barely pay their bills, as Antoine takes whatever gigs he can find around town. The episode ends with him playing a funeral and the camera panning back to see dilapidated, hurricane-destroyed homes.
That ex-wife is Ladonna Batiste-Williams. She owns a bar and she's searching for her brother. He hasn't been seen since the storm...
... but Toni Bernette, a lawyer, is trying to track him down. She at least procures a photo that does show him alive, soon after Katrina hit. This attorney is not popular around town because she's political and unafraid to take on the police or people in charge.
Toni is married to Creighton. He redefines the term "outspoken." We see this professor blow up at reporters and at NPR, going off about the "man made fuck up" that is the catastrophe of the levies breaking. Toni and Creighton's daughter seems amused by her parents and understanding of them.
Finally, there's Albert Lambreaux. Against the wishes of his daughter and his son (the latter, Delmond, is a successful musician around the country), he returns to his hometown. His house is destroyed and he's dedicated to fixing up a local bar. For what purpose? To get his old band back together.