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Weeds? More Like Tomatoes! - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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August 13th, 2007


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11:19 am - Weeds? More Like Tomatoes!
I never paid much attention to Weeds, but in the last year or so, multiple people started to pimp it to me, and I, as I do, refused because I watch too many shows already. Of course, after I deny you three times, I tend to succumb. One night after I came over to watch Entourage, upanashad forced me to watch the first episode of Weeds.

And then we watched another. And another. And possibly another.

I couldn't even figure out why it was so appealing, but I kept wanting more! (Okay, admittedly, I spent most of the pilot staring at Mary-Louise Parker's breasts. Hush.)

The premise of the show is this: Judah Botwin (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the most-killed man on television) dies, leaving his family to fend for themselves in the patch of suburbia known as Agrestic. His widow, Nancy, inexplicably becomes a pot dealer (one niggling flaw is that her reasons for getting into this line of business are never really sufficiently explained to my liking, but that's what our good buddy Suspension of Disbelief is for) in order to make the dough to raise her two sons, Silas and Shane. Silas is a rebellious teenager, and Shane is dealing with his father's death by becoming even weirder than he was before. Soon, her brother-in-law Andy hops into town and joins the family. As if the Botwins weren't enough, you've got Nancy's "friend" Celia Hodes, bitch queen extraordinaire; her husband, Dean, poor schmuck extraordinare; and her daughter, Isabelle, chunky child extraordinaire. Then you've got Heylia James, Nancy's dealer, and her nephew Conrad, who takes a special liking to Nancy. ALSO (whew), there's Doug Wilson, city councilman and pothead. Well, really, "and pothead" can generally be added to descriptions of most characters in the show.

The show is so packed that for the entire first season, I was actually convinced it was an hourlong drama. It blew my mind to discover that it was actually a half-hour comedy. Like Entourage, it's incredibly serial.

So what is Weeds really about? Well, I think it's a family drama. Nancy's pot-dealing ways merely provide a source of plotlines; the real heart of the show is Nancy's being the hottest mom since Lorelai Gilmore. Silas and Shane are a handful, since Silas is kind of a dick, and Shane is...basically, Shane is made of awesome. Like, he is seriously the oddest sixth-grader you ever did see, in a very endearing way. Then, competing for the title of Most Dysfunctional Family on This Show, the Hodes comprise a loveless marriage and a mother-daughter relationship covered in acrid, spiteful hate. While the family stuff is the heart, the business stuff is the meat, and it's also entertaining, and, most importantly, it includes a terribly amusing Indian guy named Sanjay. I don't know what it is, but there has been a notable rise in the number of non-stereotypical Indian characters in the last few years, and I like it!

What's interesting about the entertainment value of this show is that very few of the characters are particularly likable. Shane and Isabelle, the elementary-school children, are probably the only truly likable characters, in addition to Conrad. Nancy is good, but she can be kind of shady at times, and her mothering skills vary wildly. I kind of hate Andy, who is generally a free-loading waste of space but provides much amusement and nudity through his constant sexcapades. Celia is a layered bitch, but still a bitch. These aren't great people, but they're entertaining people, and that's what matters.

Agrestic is kind of a surreal little place, where the wackiest things can happen, and it just seems...normal. It's not in-your-face wacky or anything; it's just that a lot of the show makes you go "What the hell??" at the same time you're cracking up. It's surprisingly grounded, despite the quirkiness.

I've got to give a shout-out to the music, since the show has really good musical taste, having featured Sufjan Stevens, Regina Spektor, and Of Montreal, to name a few. It's also got really weird musical taste; I'm not sure what fifties bunker they found some of these songs in. Like Entourage, they punctuate the ending of each episode with a random closing-credits song, and, seriously, these songs are so weird. And then there're the opening credits, which use the song "Little Boxes" by Malvina Reynolds, who is more annoying than Joanna Newsom (and I actually got used to her voice). But, but, in the second season, Weeds has the best idea in the history of theme songs: each episode uses a cover by a different artist. It's so fun! Elvis Costello! Death Cab! Jenny Lewis! Regina Spektor! I'm looking forward to the Silversun Pickups version in the third season.

Weeds also really knows how to do a good cliffhanger. The first-season finale had a great ending, and the second-season finale topped the hell out of it with an "Oh my fuck!" cliffhanger that fans have been waiting to have resolved for over nine months, and I get to have resolved tonight. I really don't know where the show intends to go in the third season, but I know it will be lots of crazy fun.

Watch Weeds! It's more addictive than actual weed, and half as unhealthy.
Current Mood: highhigh
Current Music: Massive Attack - Man Next Door

(46 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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From:babsonite
Date:August 13th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
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I'm so excited you are into this show! It is so good!

I love Andy. Yes, he is a pratt and a waste of space, but he is also good hearted. And I loooooove Celia. I hate her at times, but she continually delivers as the most entertaining person on the show. (Though my favorite line comes from Lupita..."What do you call the thing between the dick and the asshole?" "The coffee table.")

The first 4 eps from season three are floating around online, if you are interested.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 13th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
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he is also good hearted.
Yeah, I do like his attempts to bond with Shane.

And I loooooove Celia. I hate her at times, but she continually delivers as the most entertaining person on the show.
"BE MY FRIEND!"

Though my favorite line comes from Lupita..."What do you call the thing between the dick and the asshole?" "The coffee table."
Heh, yeah, that was a good one.

The first 4 eps from season three are floating around online, if you are interested.
Yeah, I heard. I'd rather watch on the airing schedule, because otherwise, what, I get four episodes in a pop, but then I have to wait four weeks for the next? No way! (Shut up!)

(Although, thanks for reminding me that I don't actually have to wait for the airing tonight to get the premiere to watch with dinner...)
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From:annabelleonyx
Date:August 13th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
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Yep. Weeds is all kinds of awesome. I'm so glad someone has joined in on the love.
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From:upanashad
Date:August 13th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
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Of course, after I deny you three times, I tend to succumb.

Good to know.

Agrestic is kind of a surreal little place, where the wackiest things can happen, and it just seems...normal.

Ha. That's really true. If you start to think about it, the goings-on there are CRAZY, but they somehow don't seem that far-fetched in the context of the show.

As hateful as Andy is, if you think about it, the show would be lacking without him, just because he provides so much comic relief.

It's more addictive than actual weed, and half as unhealthy.

But weed is organic and it comes from the earth. Like...tomatoes.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 13th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
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As hateful as Andy is, if you think about it, the show would be lacking without him, just because he provides so much comic relief.
That is true. He just...I just want to strangle him sometimes.

But weed is organic and it comes from the earth. Like...tomatoes.
Note the post title.
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From:schnappycat
Date:August 13th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
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I've never seen the show, but was this when Mary Louise Parker was pregnant? Because, yeah, she had great boobs then.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 13th, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
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She even thanked her baby for them!

I'm not sure if she was pregnant when filming the pilot, but damn.
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From:punzerel
Date:August 13th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
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I watched bits of the pilot online and it seemed like a really appealing show, actually. I'll keep an eye out for the DVDs at the library.
(Deleted comment)
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 13th, 2007 07:09 pm (UTC)
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It's filled with family and friends and impending theatre!
(Deleted comment)
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From:ballroom_pink
Date:August 13th, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC)
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I love Weeds. One of the funniest and most insightful shows on TV. I love Shane Botwin to bits. I have the video of him giving his graduation speech on my LJ if you want to check it out.

BTW, I used to have that SN icon as well.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 13th, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
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Shane totally rules the school. He's come a long way from the pilot, going from outcast to hero.
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From:mutinousmuse
Date:August 13th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
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I watched Weeds throughout this summer on a laptop because I've been travelling a lot and it was something to do. Over the course of the first two seasons I found myself getting hooked, and then jumped at the chance to download the first four episodes on the third season. Dont' worry, no spoilers - but I can say that the third season has struck me as the best of the show thus far, and I do think that's saying something.

What's interesting about the entertainment value of this show is that very few of the characters are particularly likable.

Exactly! Which I think makes it pretty true to life. And okay, that sounds bad, but you know, I'm really glad that I'm not having my daily actions analyzed via a weekly one-hour drama. Heh.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 13th, 2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
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Dont' worry, no spoilers - but I can say that the third season has struck me as the best of the show thus far, and I do think that's saying something.
Awesome!

Exactly! Which I think makes it pretty true to life. And okay, that sounds bad, but you know, I'm really glad that I'm not having my daily actions analyzed via a weekly one-hour drama. Heh.
Heh. Seriously. It was a weird realization to make because, I mean, even on Oz, most of the characters were likable in their own way, and they were all criminals. But the characters on Weeds aren't wonderful people, but there are little smidgens of humanity that let you see why they are the way they are, and that, well, it's okay.
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From:raelee
Date:August 13th, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)
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'Bout time you got on the Weeds love train! Now we just need musey to force you to board the Chuck train. ;)

I think you're right that it's a family drama about the lengths you'll go to to take care of those you love, etc., etc. I can not wait until tonight's show. I am eager to see where they go from here. They impressed me last year with the way they handled the cliffhanger so I have a lot of faith that they are going to wow me again.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 13th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)

Spoilers for S2 cliffhanger!

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That cliffhanger was ridiculous. When Nancy opened the safe, I literally said out loud, "Oh my fuck!" (Followed by "Silas, you dickhead!") And if that weren't enough, he's about to get his ass totally busted. And Shane is off with a crazy woman. Like, I do not expect cliffhangers of this chaotic magnitude from a little Showtime comedy! That was worthy of Angel or Farscape. Or, more recently, Heroes.
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From:catatonia00
Date:August 14th, 2007 12:55 am (UTC)
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...includes a terribly amusing Indian guy named Sanjay. I don't know what it is, but there has been a notable rise in the number of non-stereotypical Indian characters in the last few years, and I like it!

That may be true but it's also because the same actor is on 30 Rock so you're seeing him double time. I can totally imagine you fawning over Nancy like Sanjay.

And then there're the opening credits, which use the song "Little Boxes" by Malvina Reynolds, who is more annoying than Joanna Newsom (and I actually got used to her voice). But, but, in the second season, Weeds has the best idea in the history of theme songs: each episode uses a cover by a different artist. It's so fun!

I was introduced to the redneck harpist ways of Joanna Newsom through "Cassiopoeia" so it wasn't like starting off with the screechy "Inflammatory Writ" like Malvina Reynolds's "Little Boxes." I told you the shuffling of opening credits with different artists was so much musical fun. From the way you've hyped up about S3, I guess it's gonna keep getting better. Wahoo!

Weeds certainly is a chalkful of entertainment, isn't it? But I'm incredibly terrified of their new promo shot of Mary Louise Parker with the snake. Arrgghh!!!
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 14th, 2007 01:04 am (UTC)
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That may be true but it's also because the same actor is on 30 Rock so you're seeing him double time.
I just realized that today and it blew my mind.

I can totally imagine you fawning over Nancy like Sanjay.
I so would!
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From:thekateyouknow
Date:August 14th, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)
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Yay, very excited for the new episode tonight! Silas is a jerk, but he's hot. And now I'm very ashamed of myself.
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From:tamarai
Date:August 14th, 2007 02:46 am (UTC)
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He really is. *joins in self-shame*
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From:squaringkarma
Date:August 14th, 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
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Mind spoiler tagging me the season 2 cliffhanger? I kinda can't remember. I think I might remember, but confirmation would be good.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 14th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)
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Look up. I just commented to Rae.
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From:latropita
Date:August 14th, 2007 03:51 am (UTC)
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I watched the pilot and first couple episodes and liked it okay. I hear it's pretty awesome, though.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 14th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC)
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It is!! You should watch more.
(Deleted comment)
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 14th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I know everyone's been blabbing about that one. I think I can live without it for now. There are many other things to watch.
(Deleted comment)
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From:maka2000
Date:August 14th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC)
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I started watching that show this weekend! Through OnDemand and TV-Links I'm pretty much caught up and I got to watch the Season 3 premiere last night. What did you think?

I personally like Andy because he's hilarious and has grown to care about the family and he does help the boys out when Nancy just can't handle problem (jerk socks anyone?)

each episode uses a cover by a different artist. It's so fun! Elvis Costello! Death Cab! Jenny Lewis! Regina Spektor! I'm looking forward to the Silversun Pickups version in the third season.

Last night's was sung by Randy Newman, I'm pretty sure, who also happens to be MY MOST HATED SINGER OF ALL TIME. Well, behind Melissa Etheridge. If she sings a version of the credits, I'll be ticked!
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 14th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
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That was, indeed, Randy Newman! And as far as I know, Melissa Etheridge will not be singing the credits.

The premiere was so funny. And crazy. Things keep getting more fucked!

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