We watched the first episode of “Weeds” last night on Showtime. It’s about a suburban mother who sells marijuana in the neighborhood to support herself after her husband died.
Weeds is hard to categorize: comedy, drama, dark comedy, light drama? That’s a big part of why I’m confident the show will continue to be so enjoyable. Like other pay cable series such as “The Sopranos” and “Six Feet Under,” “Weeds” takes its own unique creative path apart from the usual boring broadcast crap.
I knew I was going to like Weeds as soon as the first bars of a long-forgotten song, “Little Boxes” by Malvina Reynolds, came over our tinny television speakers (we’re not surrounded by surround sound).
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky,
Little boxes, little boxes,
Little boxes, all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same.
Ah, a memory of the 60s. All hail to nonconformism! Though I have to admit that we hippies mostly acted and dressed alike. If you were part of my San Jose State College counterculture circle and didn’t smoke marijuana, why…you weren’t going to be part of the circle for very long.
The suburban mother, played by the marvelous Mary-Louise Parker, buys her stash from a black family that doesn’t live in the suburbs. A scene where Parker is nervously watching her marijuana being bagged (“I think you’re shorting me on that one!”) made me recall similar moments in my college days (the statute of limitations was passed long ago, hopefully).
My boys and I were truly honest and generous when we passed on the gift of weed to other tokers. But other people weren’t. We got burned quite a few times and ended up smoking twigs and god knows what else when an outwardly fine-looking baggie ended up being more appearance than substance.
Laurel and I decided to fork over $11.99 a month and add Showtime to our DISH network subscription because of the made-for-Showtime specials like Weeds that we had been reading about. So far it looks like our money is going to be well-spent, especially when you add in the value of the deliciously soft-core fare that runs on Showtime late at night.
Like “Passion’s Peak,” which I recorded a few days ago. This movie has some sort of plot, I gather, but that’s irrelevant. For the ideal way to watch direct-to-cable movies like Passion’s Peak would be to find a digital video recorder that has a reverse V-chip or TV Guardian feature. By “reverse,” I mean that the feature would filter out all of the extraneous plot line and dialogue and just leave in the sex and nudity. That would save me time.
Along these lines, Weeds takes a realistic view of teenage sexuality and drug use that won’t win the series any awards from the Parent’s Television Council. Parker’s younger son falls through a skylight. Then, a bit later in the show, the mother of her older son’s girlfriend makes Parker promise that she won’t allow their kids to have sex under her roof.
I should have seen this coming, but it was a funny surprise to see the two teenagers in bed—under the unrepaired skylight, naturally. “We aren’t having sex under your roof, Mom,” her son says when Parker discovers them.
Parker just shakes her head and smiles. I like Weeds.