Thursday, January 11, 2007

Weeds - Season 1 (2005)

Weeds - Season 1

Weeds is a 30 minute episodic drama / comedy (or dramedy) series that started on Showtime in 2005. I've just finished watching the first season - the show is very, very good, but no matter how adorable Mary Louise Parker is (especially when she swears), I didn't find myself loving it.

Nancy Botwin (Parker), a resident of the 'idyllic' suburb of Agrestic, has recently lost her husband and turns to dealing cannabis to support her two children (Silas and Shane) and their suburban lifestyle. Nancy's best friend is Celia, a bitchy woman who has issues with her husband and daughter (actually, daughters, but she ships one of them off to boarding school after the pilot episode). Nancy's troublesome brother-in-law Andy moves in with the family after the first few episodes and adds to her problems. The other major characters are Heylia and Conrad, Nancy's suppliers, and Doug, her accountant and customer.

The show revolves primarily around Nancy, but usually features multiple characters and storylines. Nancy has to deal with her supply, her distribution methods, the competition, managing her domestic finances, and taking care of her family. Her kids are having problems dealing with the death of their father, and Andy gets involved in disastrous schemes and with various women. Celia has her various domestic problems and her fellow (bitchy) PTA members to contend with. And, most amusingly, Nancy's dealers have to contend with Nancy's lack of experience.

The writing is terrific, both as a drama and as a comedy. For the most part, the show is grounded in reality with only the occasional outrageous event taking place. It features a lot of swearing and sex, sometimes to its detriment - it often feels like they're flaunting the fact that they can, just because they can, and it feels excessive and unnecessary. The acting is excellent across the board, particularly Mary Louise Parker and Justin Kirk, who plays Andy (and who gets some of the funniest moments and lines). Despite all of these positives, however, I just don't care much for these characters, which is the main reason I'm not a huge fan.

Personal feelings aside, the show really is very good and is often laugh out loud funny, and I highly recommend it. It doesn't click for me, but it obviously does for a lot of other people. I can't end this post without mentioning my fondness for the the song used in the opening credits - 'Little Boxes' as performed by Malvina Reynolds.

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