Monday, August 23, 2010

Weeds: A Transformation

Last Monday (or earlier if you count the online leak) marked the premier of the sixth season of Weeds. When the show aired in August of 2005 it was considered ground breaking, and it was. The series begins with Nancy Botwin trying to take care of her family after the sudden death of her husband. She had never worked before and did not have a steady income to support her family. Her brother in-law Andy gave her the name of a drug dealer to help her deal with her pain. Instead of taking drugs, she decides that she is going to deal them instead.

The show began as a dark comedy; there was humor intertwined with the pain of the Botwin's. Like many TV shows it also exposed the hypocrisy of suburban life with all the parents smoking weed and they tell their children not to. It was quirky, funny, and smart. So my question is "What the Hell Happened?!"

I am not saying that the show is no longer entertaining. It is, it definitely is. My problem with the show is that Weeds Season 4-6 and Weeds Seasons 1-3 seem like two completely different television series. The show is a spectacle now. It is insane and completely unrealistic. I am not saying that the show began as completely realistic, but it did seem relateable. I felt for Nancy; I felt her pain and I understood why she was dealing drugs and doing what she was doing. She was doing it for her family. Nancy is now bat-shit crazy. Her whole family (besides Silas) is bat-shit crazy. I mean Shane just killed someone and has no remorse. Actually I take that back, Shane has always been insane. He has bitten a kids leg during a karate match, recorded a terrorist video pretending to chop someones head off and masturbated to pictures of his mother. "My name is Shane/ I bring the pain/ Up from the streets of Agrestic" where the first few lines of the rap he wrote 5 years ago. So yes, Shane has always been this insane I guess. Celia even called it out in Season 1 when, after finding out Shane had been hunting wolves, she told Nancy that "killing small animals is the first sign of psychotic behaviour." Celia, you were correct, this kid is psychotic.
But that is not the point.

I do miss the more normal characters from the beginning of the series. Conrad is one of my favorite TV characters ever. He was funny and caring. I loved that he slept with Celia in season 1, and I loved how much he cared for Nancy.God I miss Conrad, I hope they somehow bring him back.

This has become more of a ramble than a focused article, but the gist of it is that Weeds is not the same Weeds that aired five years ago. I didn't notice as I was first watching it. It is kind of like how you don't notice someone close to you has changed becuase you see them everyday, but when you look at old pictures it pops out to you. I am not saying that the show is worse or better, it is just so very different.

What do you think? Do you think the show has stayed true to what it was when it first aired? Do you like it more or less now that it is insane? I want to hear your thoughts.



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