Breaking Weeds (parts 1-4)

Originally published on

Part 1

I hope Matt won’t mind if I do something a little different with my four posts today. I saw the latest episode (S05E09) of “Weeds” last night and it struck me just so. I wrote a little piece about it. Want to hear it? Here it goes:

You could say I was into the first season of weeds. I mean besides having a post-religious crush on Mary Louise-Parker from her super hot sexually frustrated Mormon wife in Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America”, this was going to be a show about weed! I smoked weed! Actually in the middle of a graduate program at NYU I had rediscovered weed in a big way. Weed and I were in the middle of a beautiful love affair and now it had Mary Louise-Parker’s face!?! And the first season was magical. The chemistry between Mary Louise-Parker’s Nancy and Romany Malco’s Conrad was enough to float an entire show. Not to mention you had Justin Kirk and Kevin Nealon being hilarious all over the place. It was clever, unpredictable and did something that few shows really do, it let its characters make decisions and suffer the consequences. Things weren’t necessarily going to be OK. In fact they were most likely going to turn out pretty bad. But in this case bad was good and “Weeds” was great.

Part 2

Fast forward to the beginning of the third season. I, like most people was feeling pretty high on weeds. The season two finale (pictured above) had been explosive and the new season seemed to promise so much. Mary was hot, the weed was smokin’ and Kevin Nealon was getting funny in a way no one expected Kevin Nealon to be funny and there were Olsen Twins running around! The whole show was getting grittier and darker. Nancy’s decisions had progressed from her simple motivation of protecting her family into something else. She had begun to really care about the power she got from dealing. The power had begun to corrupt.

And the fans went wild. People were giving Showtime cred for the first time since Huff (HA! Just kidding, Huff never got any cred). Things were good. But you know the saying: good weather makes bad tiding friends distempered. Weeds went ahead and did what you can’t do. It jumped the shark.

Come back in an hour when I apologize for using the phrase “Jump the Shark” in Part 3.

Part 3

Or at least people started saying it had jumped the shark (and no I will not apologize for using that phrase, it’s awesome) Nancy had left the suburbs (she left them on fire, but still) and moved to the beach. The show had been going so well and some how the energy just wasn’t there any more. All the black people were gone and they stopped using the title sequence. Some where between seasons 3 and 5, the show just threw a lot of the pot smoker, mary louise parker masturbating viewing group for a loop. And trust me, we’re the silent majority. It was somewhere around this time that “Breaking Bad” came on the scene and jacked “Weeds”’ premise line straight up from underneath.

“Breaking Bad” took up where “Weeds” left off and just went for it. The systematic deconstruction of Bryan Cranston’s Walter White made Nancy Botwin’s fall from grace seem soft and demure. We weren’t just using gateway drugs now, we were tweaking.

Back in an hour with the exciting to conclusion in Part 4!

Part 4

“Breaking Bad” has proven to be a more serious show at every turn. Despite employing some extremely talented comedic actors, the show is no comedy. Any funny moments that do slip by are so caked in tragedy they mostly serve as a chance for the audience to start breathing again. That alone gives “Breaking Bad” the leg up and I have been a vocal proponent, not only of the show but of its superiority to “Weeds” which I decided had become placid and docile. “Breaking Bad” has dealt with consequences and morality in a much more deep, meaningful and interesting way than Weeds. That is until this last episode of “Weeds”.

I am proud to say that “Weeds” is bringing it again. I don’t know if it was the breast feeding scene between Andy and Nancy or the shocking finale which actually managed to surprise me, but I am actually interested to see where it goes from here. Granted, “Breaking Bad” is off the air and the season 2 DVDs aren’t out yet, so there really isn’t anywhere else to go for my vicarious drug dealing thrills. But until there is, “Weeds”, you got my attention back.