Pros:Great writing, great performances
Cons:The whole drug dealer thing won't be for everyone....
The Bottom Line: The Bottom Line wants a dime bag, and weigh it heavy.
What is this? A gardening show?
Readers, meet Nancy Botwin. Nancy lives in the upscale California community of Agrestic, filled with McMansions and money. She has two sons, a housekeeper, a pool and a fairly extensive wardrobe of questionably appropriate clothing. She does what housewives in Agrestic do - she goes to soccer games, participates in the PTA, is addicted to designer coffee........and is a widow who sells pot for a living. Whoops! Looks like Nancy is just a wee touch different than her friends and neighbors. Or maybe not so much. You see, nothing is as it seems in Agrestic and the Showtime TV series Weeds shows us just what we may be missing looking at these tony communities from the outside.
Season one of Weeds introduces us to Nancy and her family. Nancy (a smoking hot Mary-Louise Parker) is a young widow, her husband Judah having died of a heart attack while jogging. During this season those events are relatively recent and the whole family is still dealing heavily with the aftermath of Judah's death. Oldest son Silas (Hunter Parrish) is a teenager with a lot of anger (not surprisingly) and an ongoing relationship with a neighbor girl. He likes to think he is far more mature and capable than he actually is (again, no surprise there). Shane (Alexander Gould), the younger son, has been pegged as a nerd at school and is very actively grieving the death of his father. As for Nancy, she's in something of a freefall. Though she has started dealing dope to maintain her family's lifestyle, she doesn't really know what she's doing. Her confidence is mostly bravado and her life is one of perpetual crisis management.
Orbiting Nancy and her family is an interwoven group of friends, business associates, neighbors and assorted others seemingly put in place to further complicate Nancy's life. There's Celia (Elizabeth Perkins) who is a b......witch of the highest order and very much wants to be the center of attention at all times. And then there's Doug (Kevin Nealon), the accountant with whom Nancy entrusts both her finances and her secret (and a healthy dose of weed), Dean (Andy Milder) who happens to be unhappily married to Celia and a big fan of Nancy's product and Andy (Justin Kirk). Andy is Judah's brother, the black sheep who is just all-around trouble. But he does know a lot about weed and for this he has value. He can also cook. On the business end there's Heylia (Tonye Patano), Nancy's supplier and Conrad (Romany Malco), her son. But really, everyone here is pretty peripheral in Season One. You see, Season One is really Nancy's season. As the series progresses we get a better glimpse into the lives of the other characters, but Weeds Season One is really about Nancy Botwin, MILF dope dealer. And it works. Not just works, but works gloriously.
And the Emmy goes to...
Mary Louise Parker is almost singlehandedly responsible for pulling together the rest of the cast and delivering a sympathetic drug dealer with kids and a mortgage. Her Nancy has no sharp edges, she's all soft, slow smiles and rolling hips and the sad eyes of someone who has lost too much too soon. Mary-Louise Parker slips into this character like a second skin. Never for a second are you jarred out of Agrestic - she is Nancy Botwin, in behavior, movement, expression. You may not like what she has chosen to do for a living, but it's nearly impossible to hate Nancy. Also more than worthy of note on the acting front are Kevin Nealon who is the funniest he's ever been as the ADD accountant with a taste for any and every drug known to man and Romany Malco who smolders deliciously and gives the ensemble some nice zing. Elizabeth Perkins is perfectly hate-able as Celia and seems to relish every wicked scene. Her relationships provide some of the funniest moments in the series. She also provides a large dose of MILF-age, but she's so mean that it can be difficult to appreciate her finer attributes.
You should definitely avoid this series if.......
1. You are offended by drug use by teenagers and adults within the context of fiction.
2. You are offended by fairly graphic sex on your TV set.
3. You are offended by the notion of someone selling marijuana.
4. You are offended by foul language and the dropping of the f-bomb.
You should absolutely watch this series if....
1. You can enjoy a series that contains all of the above.
2. You believe that a posh neighborhood can be filled with potheads and dope dealers and get a dose of giddy glee from that premise.
3. You look for incredible characters, continually interesting story development and very sharp, witty, entertaining and complex writing in your TV viewing.
4. You like Mary-Louise Parker and both love and envy her ability to look this incredible.
Honestly, watching Season One of Weeds is like a stiff drink after the end of prohibition. It's smart, it's complex, it never forgets the moral dilemma of its main characters and it's superbly acted by all, especially the sizzling Ms. Parker. The humor is dry and the pathos sometimes heartbreakingly thick. Weeds is not a true comedy - it's a dramedy, with as much heartbreak, intrigue and peril as quips and one-liners. It's not for everyone, but if you know what you're getting into and are open to the premise, you can't do better than Weeds. Season One is a strong start to a great series.
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