Stereotypes in TV are used to make you 'take in' a character in very little time. A TV-show without any stereotypes therfore obviously takes longer to penetrate. Throughout the first three episodes of 'Treme' there just seemed to be a lot of weird people wandering around doing practically nothing, in a devastated New Orleans (it is set three months after Katrina).
Once I got the drift of it, though, it was definitely worth the wait!
The actors resemble real people, as opposed to Hollywood actors, and their acting is downplayed and well-nuanced. (Who knew Steve Zahn was so skilled?) The settings all look genuine, and not like a TV-studio somewhere. The use of modern jazz to such a high extent is a daring choice, and not one that sets well with me, but despite the ubiquitous music, this is a brilliant TV-show, differing from everything that at least I had seen before on TV!