Weeds returned where it left off last season, with Mary-Louise Parker’s Nancy pregnant with the child of the drug lord Esteban. This came as sad news to Justin Kirk’s Andy, or as he put it, “You’re a slutty, irresponsible, slutty slut.”
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Perkins’ Celia is being held hostage in Mexico by her estranged daughter Quinn, but the laugh-material here is that no matter which of Celia’s friends or family Quinn and her boyfriend call, none of them wants to pony up cash for the obnoxious Celia. And meanwhile yet again, Andy, Hunter Parrish’s Silas, and Kevin Nealon’s Doug plan to move out of the house and grow their marijuana crop in a national forest.
At this point in its evolution, it’s probably best to think of Weeds as a slapstick comedy no more rooted in any sort of realism than an old Cheech and Chong movie.
It was not always so: When Weeds premiered in 2005, creator Jenji Kohan had crafted a satire of suburbia that stood out from the Desperate Housewives/American Beauty/John Updike versions in two ways: (1) it starred Parker, whose wide-eyed intensity was more Manhattan-neurotic than Connecticut- or California-WASP, and (2) it was about pot-dealing. In its first season, there was real drama surrounding the question of whether Nancy could be a good mother while breaking the law.
Now that question is moot, irrelevant, up in smoke. We’ve reached the point where, in next week’s episode (don’t worry, no real spoiler here), Shane can take a cellphone pic of his aunt having sex and it’s played for both laughs and as a sign of Shane’s healthy resilience. I don’t know whether to laugh or be appalled, which I think is probably the reaction Kohan and her writers are going for these days.
For sheer wackiness, Weeds is hard to beat. I’m not buying most of what’s going on on Weeds this season, but it’s still good for a few chuckles — about the same as your average good network-TV sitcom. Weeds has become, in this sense, The Big Bong Theory.
Did you watch the Weeds season premiere? What did you think?