Friday, February 16, 2007

Weeds—Season One

Weeds is a Showtime comedy series, the second season of which aired last fall. Season One is available on DVD. It's about a suburban mom, Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) whose husband suddenly drops dead of a heart attack, leaving her to support their two sons and maintain their comfortable suburban California life. In order to maintain the lifestyle to which she is accustomed, she turns to selling marijuana, which, as it turns out, is a pretty lucrative venture in the not-so-sleepy suburb of Agrestic. It's a whole new world in many ways, and Nancy's journey is by turns funny, painful, touching, and downright absurd.

Okay, I admit it. I'm shallow. I grabbed this box set because Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Supernatural) is in this show. Of course, after the little teaser picture of him on the back of the box, it turns out he's only in two episodes. But I can forgive that, because he burns up the screen, especially in his second appearance in "Dead in the Nethers".

Plus overall I found this to be a pretty enjoyable show. It got a lot of belly laughs out of me, and I enjoyed the characters. Mary-Louise Parker is wonderful as Nancy (I think I kinda have a little girl-crush on her now), and Elizabeth Perkins is equally good, managing to make Celia likeable by the end of the first ten episodes. The show could wander into some pretty dark territory, but every time it looks like it's going to, it veers into something completely absurd to undercut itself. (And sometimes vice-versa--Celia's painful revelation immediately after a plane drops a load of Coke bottles into her bedroom is classic.) My only real quibble, aside from the underuse of Mr. Morgan, is that we're never told exactly why Nancy decided to turn to dope dealing to support herself after her husband's death. One has to wonder if she tried other jobs. Maybe that last stint behind the counter at McDonald's just did her in.

I haven't seen the second season, and I hope it's as good as the first. I'll be keeping an eye out for those DVDs.