WeedsTV Series |
This suburban satire opens strong, but loses focus.
Weeds came bursting out of the gate in its first season as a sharp, well-acted comedy-drama satirizing middle-class mores, but, by its third, as Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) got further away from her suburban life in the gated community of Agrestic, California, the show became more scattershot and cartoonish. Parker is a superb actress, and the series works best as a showcase for her exceptional range. Her character is the suburban mother of two boys, teenaged Silas (Hunter Parris) and pre-pubescent Shane (Alexander Gould), whose caring husband has died, leaving her in dire enough financial straits to turn to marijuana dealing in order to maintain her family's lifestyle. Her business grows quickly, enveloping her sons, her feckless womanizing brother-in-law, Andy (Justin Kirk), and her degenerate accountant, Doug (Kevin Nealon), as well as arousing the suspicion and ire of her hypocritical neighbor, Celia (Elizabeth Perkins). When rival dealers get wind of Nancy's operation, more than her lifestyle is threatened. The show develops well through its second season, gradually increasing the dramatic stakes and illustrating the violent nature of the business she has entered. When Nancy takes her family out of Agrestic in later seasons, the show loses its grounding, becoming increasingly absurd dramatically, and cruder and broader in its comedy. Parker keeps it from going too far off the rails, but it doesn't deliver the highs it once did.