Late to the Party: Weeds
While I'm addicted to television, I'm also kind of opposed to paying for it, and only broke down, gave up my rabbit ears, and submitted to the tyranny of cable two years ago. One week after finally getting cable, I bought my Tivo, and it's all been downhill from there. But, for some reason I still hold the line at the most basic cable package, which is how I missed the first season of Weeds when it originally aired. But I recently downloaded it from iTunes and thoroughly enjoyed (yes, enjoyed!) a very long plane trip stuck in coach purely because I had this excellent show playing on my iPod the whole time.
Weeds stars Mary Louise Parker (LOVE HER!) as Nancy Botwin, a suburban mom turned pot-dealer after the untimely heart attack of her husband. (I was shocked to see her dead husband, shown in flashbacks and old videos, was the same actor who played the late sorta-lamented Denny Duquette. What's with that actor that makes casting directors think: "He's perfect for the part of the lovable guy with a bad ticker!"?) Nancy's a deeply grieving, deeply flawed, woman who's just trying to keep her family together and make ends meet with a very illegal business plan. The season sees her family slowly getting more and more fucked up as her need to make the mortgage payment (and pay her live-in housekeeper and for other status symbols that make up life in an upper-middle-class community in Southern California) has her getting deeper and deeper into the business. (Nancy should read the article Wilder posted, a big chunk of her profits are supporting her huge iced-latte habit.) I was expecting a really funny show, and Kevin Nealon, Elizabeth Perkins, Mary Louise, and the rest of the excellent cast seriously bring the laughs in this half-hour show, but what I wasn't expecting, but probably should have, were the touching and serious moments. Watching the relationship between Nancy and her sons slowly deteriorate as Nancy barely keeps it together was kinda painful, but very well done. If like me, you don't get Showtime, please download or buy the DVDs. This show is wonderful. (I watched the entire season AGAIN on my return flight. I liked it that much.)