29 March 2006 | Shapster11
Great ensemble cast scores in this dark horse series
WEEDS is the anti-Christ type show for the people lobbying for wholesome story lines. The title only begins to tell all the things about this program that would have it on a Jerry Falwell morals hit list. Maybe that is why I like the show so much.
Mary-Louise Parker leads a great cast with superb veteran performers such as Elizabeth Perkins and Kevin Nealon. The premise of the show is Nancy Botwin (Parker) has to figure out how to keep together her family in an upscale Calif. neighborhood after he early 40's husband, whom we never meet, dies of a heart attack while out running around with his youngest son. This boy now has issues and doesn't quite fit in with his peers. Her older son is discovering his hormones are raging and the brother-in-law has come to visit and he is a horrible influence on the boys, the housekeeper, and Nancy despite her attempts to keep him in check. Despite it all she really loves her brother-in-law as he is her family reminder of the husband she loved and lost.
What she does to keep the roof over her house is to sell weed...pot...marijuana. She gets the stuff from a thoroughly outrageous and hysterical black family on the poor side of town. She sells in the community of Agrestic, where she lives, and she sells to her lawyer/neighbor, a guy on the city council (Nealon), and anyone else that will take, which in this community seems to be almost everyone.
Great part for Parker as she is the consummate actress. She is always a bit understated, never overacts, has a great sly smile, does dry comedy very well, and delivers her lines convincingly. Nealon is great as the burnout councilman/accountant who can't seem to be high enough of the day yet covers his bases so as not to be discovered. But I think it is Perkins who just might steal this show. She plays a very bright yet vapid wife and mother of two girls. She is an overbearing parent who chastises and spy's on her 15 yr. old and harasses her youngest because of the poor girl's weight. Her shallow nature is shown as a defense mechanism for a woman whose own mother (Conchetta Tomei) is even more overbearing than her daughter and toward her husband whom she verbally spars with when they are together.
From the opening song, a reprise of the great Pete Seger song "Little Boxes", to the weekly dilemmas for the characters of coping in suburbia the show scores. Usually HBO has the standard for cable comedy series but this one is as good as any.