Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Weeds on Showime

This is Season 8 of “Weeds”.   It’s been an adventure!

It started as a jaunt way back in Season 1. Nancy Botwin (played by Mary-Louise Parker) finds herself a young widow in a suburban community of Agrestic, California.  She has two young sons to support.  She starts selling a little pot on the side to make ends meet. Complications arise due to her various sexual escapades and criminal activities, but it is all light and funny.

By Season 2, things start to get a little darker, and with each season things get darker and darker.  It is not fun and games anymore. People are getting killed and Nancy herself, as well as her family, are in great jeopardy.  At the end of season 7, just when you think she has resolved all her problems, she is shot.  We don’t see the killer.

At the start of Season 8, we find Nancy in the hospital recovering from a gunshot wound to the head.  Is she scared straight or has the head injury given her a personality makeover? She is now all sweetness and light vowing never again to turn to her old ways.

Unfortunately her old ways are too deeply ingrained.  And besides, she has vowed to go straight before, and it has never lasted very long.
Her first lapse is with a volunteer at the hospital, a rather nasty man, who performs at the hospital as a clown.  He has a little business on the side also—baked goods with a secret ingredient—cannabis.  Worse yet, he overcharges.  Nancy pretends to have Mafia connections as she warns the clown that she will bring the Mafiosi in to punish him unless he stops charging the patients who are buying his goods for pain relief.  But a man has got to earn a living, so she says it is OK to continue to overcharge the staff. 

As the show has gotten darker, ratings have fallen.   The ratings have fallen a lot—down more than 50%.  A show where a happy-go-lucky MILF (it’s also the name she gives to her homegrown blend of weed) is quite different from one with plot lines that include  murder, prison, and sons, now grown, who are also involved in the criminal activities of their mother.

The show is now a dark comedy.  I still find it fun to watch.  The cast is very engaging and the plots are sprinkled with some less-than-deadly hi-jinks.  It is a very clever show, as we watch Nancy get into some extraordinary bad situations and extricate herself using her wits.

I watched it from the beginning and I will watch it to the end.  Season 8 will be the last season. However, if you have not watched it, I don’t recommend starting now.  Instead, get the DVD’s and watch it from the beginning as I did.