Saturday, May 2, 2009
Recommendation: Weeds Season 1
I've got to give Jose Duarte credit, he is the one who insisted that I utilize my Netflix subscription to watch Season 1 of Weeds on Instant Watch. This (in addition to his correctness in the cause of promoting WALL-E) just about make up for his over-hyping of Ratatouille.
Weeds stars Mary-Louise Parker, who I enjoyed greatly as Amy Gardner, a feminist foil to Josh Lyman on The West Wing. Here Parker plays Nancy Botwin, a suburban housewife who loses her income and turns to selling pot to make ends meet. She has to deal with a two sons, one a misbehaving teen and the other a ten-year-old with a disturbing pattern of anti-social behavior. The cast is rounded out by Nancy's sources for pot (one of whom is the great Romany Malco), her accountant Kevin Nealon, a good-for-nothing brother-in-law, and her friend Celia. Celia is played by Elizabeth Perkins and is one of the best characters I've ever seen on TV. She's an unmitigated bitch, but sometimes you can't help but root for her. She rules the PTA with an iron fist and torments her daughter to get her to lose weight, but she cuts through all the bullshit and has this aura of righteousness about her.
The great thing about this season was that it kept introducing complications and new characters through all ten episodes. It didn't glorify drug-dealing, although I guess it could be accused of downplaying drug use. It was nice to see Nancy encounter obstacles and struggle to get through them.
The bottom line is that Weeds is quite clearly the product of very talented people. Parker, Nealon, Malco, Perkins and the rest are all performing at peak capacity and it's obvious the writers and the show's producers are all top-notch. Even the people who pick the music do a phenomenal job. The theme song is a catchy song called "Little Boxes" which decries suburban life, but all the other songs used in the series are fitting.
Weeds is a great show, and if I had Showtime I'd be tempted to try and get through all four seasons before the fifth opens in June. As it is I will still watch them, but I can take my own sweet time about it.