Why I Should Binge-Watch Weeds

Dave Lange

WHAT IS Weeds ABOUT?

A quirky, dark crime comedy/drama that focuses on a suburban California mother who make ends meet after her husband’s death by selling marijuana to friends, neighbors and anyone else who comes along.

Original TV Home: Showtime

Number Of Seasons: 8 (August 2005 to September 2012)

Total Episodes / Time Table: 102 (approx. 30 minutes each) = approx. 51 hours.

Viewing Strategy: You can watch the entire series in 25 to 26 days by watching four episodes (approx. 2 hours) per day.

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WHO’S IN IT? Top Up arrow

Weeds_Sn3_0707_1Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish, Alexander Gould, Kevin Nealon, Justin Kirk, Elizabeth Perkins, Allie Grant, Andy Milder, Tonye Patano, Romany Malco, Demian Bichir, Maulik Pancholy, Guillermo Diaz, Enrique Castillo, Indigo, Renee Victor, Jack Stehlin, Hemky Madera, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Shoshannah Stern, Page Kennedy and Michael Harney. There’s also a lengthy list of guest stars and other recurring cast members that includes: Zooey Deschanel, Aidan Quinn, Richard Dreyfuss, Brooke Smith, Albert Brooks, Michelle Trachtenberg, Julie Bowen, Mary-Kate Olsen, Alanis Morissette, Matthew Modine, Lee Majors, Dave Thomas, Martin Short, David Clennon, Carrie Fisher, Jane Lynch, Allison Janney, Eden Sher and Sprague Grayden.

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WHERE IS IT NOW? Top Up arrow

Netflix, Amazon, CraveTV, Hulu, iTunes, YouTube. DVD and Blu-ray boxed sets are also available for individual seasons or all eight seasons in one boxed set.

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WHY IS IT BINGE WORTHY? Top Up arrow

Weeds_Ssn2_0706_1Weeds was created by Jenji Kohan, who has since gone on to give the world another little TV show called Orange Is The New Black. Kohan wrote the first and last episode of each season and was also the head writer and showrunner for all the other episodes of the series. The premiere episode of Weeds earned Showtime its highest ratings to that point; the series went on to become an extremely huge hit. A delightfully dark saga, Weeds wastes no time jumping into its story. Beginning its often-twisted journey in a fictional Los Angeles suburban town called Agrestic, it casts an enchanting Mary-Louise Parker as the central character of Nancy Botwin, whose husband, Judah (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), has recently died, leaving her to face the challenge of maintaining the comfortable, upscale suburban lifestyle to which she and her two young sons – Silas (Hunter Parrish) and Shane (Alexander Gould) – have become accustomed.

Nancy’s solution has been to sell marijuana to friends and neighbors, not to mention the crowd of parents she regularly encounters at her son’s soccer games. Before long, Nancy’s “business” grows and eventually pulls her into the big, dark and dangerous world of powerful drug lords, drug cartels – and a number of legal quagmires.

A great collection of co-stars form the core of the show. Justin Kirk plays Nancy’s brother-in-law, Andy, who moves in with her and her sons in order to help them adjust to their loss. Kevin Nealon sparkles as Doug Wilson, a neighborhood acquaintance who becomes Nancy’s sidekick in a number of ways. And Elizabeth Perkins delivers a thoroughly entertaining turn as Celia Hodes, a shallow, self-absorbed neighbor who becomes both a friend and an enemy to Nancy. A large and solid ensemble cast rounds out both the prominent roles and minor characters who come and go throughout the series.

There are many changes that take place with the core characters over the course of the series, including the gradual maturation of Nancy’s two sons from boys to young men. There are a number of location changes that happen, too, as Nancy keeps relocating her family in order to keep them safe and in order to avoid the long arm of the law. After the first three seasons, the setting changes to Ren Mar, another fictional California town located near the Mexican border. Later on, the show’s setting shifts to other locales, including Seattle, Dearborn (Michigan), New York City and Connecticut.

Weeds provided an interesting career boost for several co-stars and, in the case of some younger cast members, a career launching pad. Several of the show’s regulars and guest stars went on to other series. Among them: Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock), Allie Grant (Suburgatory), Justin Kirk (Tyrant), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Mary-Louise Parker (The Blacklist), Hunter Parrish (The Following, Hand of God), Eden Sher (The Middle), Martin Donovan (Rogue), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Grey’s Anatomy, Extant), Michael Harney (Orange is the New Black) and Zooey Deschanel (New Girl).

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MUST SEES … Top Up arrow

Every episode has at least a couple of must-see moments. But there are some elements and instalments that stand out, particularly early on in the series …

The Opening Theme Song and Credits: The lyrics take satirical jabs at houses in suburban subdivisions being nothing but “little boxes on the hillside.” After the first season, different artists sing the theme song in various episodes. And, although the series veers away from the original theme song starting in the fourth season, the series eventually comes back to it for the final season.

Closing Credits: Each episode uses a different song to wrap up its storyline. They are all clever choices – and, in some cases, simply outstanding.

You Can’t Miss the Bear (Season 1, Episode 1): The pilot episode wastes no time jumping into the storyline and revealing all sorts of twists and turns that exist among its core characters. It genuinely makes you want to see more right away.

Free Goat (Season 1, Episode 2): This instalment reveals more background information about Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and those around her – including her late husband, Judah (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), to arrive at a better understanding of how she got to where she is and the struggles she is facing.

Fashion of the Christ (Season 1, Episode 4): This episode introduces Andy Botwin (Justin Kirk), Nancy’s brother-in-law, who comes to live with Nancy and her sons.

The Godmother (Season 1, Episode 10): In this final episode of the first season, Nancy prepares to take things to the next level – both in her pot-dealing business and her personal relationship with a guy named Peter (Martin Donovan). In the cliffhanger moment at the end of the episode, she discovers some information about Peter that could complicate things quite a bit.

Weeds_Ssn2_0706_7Last Tango in Agrestic (Season 2, Episode 3): Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) asks Andy (Justin Kirk) to give young Shane (Alexander Gould) some advice after she discovers that Shane has been flushing his “jerk socks” down the toilet.

Mrs. Botwin’s Neighborhood (Season 2, Episode 5): A great scene has Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and Peter (Martin Donovan) slurping iced coffees in a way that mimics pot smokers using bongs.

MILF Money (Season 2, Episode 8): The opening scene features a cameo appearance by Snoop Dogg, who tries out the weed that Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and Conrad (Romany Malco) bring by a recording studio. He soon gives it a name – “MILF Weed” – and even comes up with a rap song for it.

Weeds_Ssn2_0706_8Bash (Season 2, Episode 9): Arch enemies Doug (Kevin Nealon) and Celia (Elizabeth Perkins) bury the hatchet, so to speak.

Doing the Backstroke (Season 3, Episode 1): The episode picks up where the second-season cliffhanger leaves off, after recapping everything that went on before. The episode also kicks off what many may say was the best season of the entire series.

Shit Highway (Season 3, Episode 4): This episode introduces Matthew Modine as Sullivan Groff, a slimy developer who makes a pitch for the nearby community of Majestic to channel its sewage through Agrestic’s system.

Lady’s a Charm (Season 4, Episode 2): It’s the first episode that abandons the show’s original opening theme song, using highway signs and other clever and creative title cards to open things up instead.

Excellent Treasures (Season 4, Episode 6): This episode introduces another now-familiar face: Julie Bowen as Lisa, the owner of a cheese shop who strikes up a “friendship” with Silas (Hunter Parrish).

Thwack (Season 6, Episode 1): Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and her family pack up and head north after the murder of a powerful female crime boss named Pilar Zuazo (Kate del Castillo).

Theoretical Love is Not Dead (Season 6, Episode 13): Watch for a clever cameo appearance by Jenji Kohan as a woman with glasses who passes by Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker), Esteban (Demian Bichir) and Guillermo (Guillermo Diaz) at the airport. Meanwhile, Nancy plays her biggest hand yet as she opts for “Plan C” at the airport in order to ensure the safety of her family.

Bags (Season 7, Episode 1): The show’s seventh season begins three years later, with Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) being released from prison and paroled to a half-way house in New York City.

Messy (Season 8, Episode 1): The first episode of the show’s final season. Among its highlights: Although the opening-credit sequence is different, the original opening theme song returns.

It’s Time – Part 1 (Season 8, Episode 12) and It’s Time – Part 2 (Season 8, Episode 13): The two-part series finale jumps ahead to 2022, unveiling a number of significant changes that have occurred in the lives of Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and the rest of her family and friends. The finale offers up a comical and satisfying conclusion to the wild ride the series provides.

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MOST SHOCKING (SURPRISING ) EPISODES Top Up arrow

Fashion of the Christ (Season 1, Episode 4): The final scene drops a couple of bombshells on the Hodes household – one via an airplane that flies overhead and the other via a shocking revelation from Celia (Elizabeth Perkins).

The Punishment Lighter (Season 1, Episode 9): Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) gets busted by the head of security at the local state college. Turns out, it’s a fake arrest; he just wanted her stash.

Cooking with Jesus (Season 2, Episode 2): The final scene has Peter (Martin Donovan) demanding to meet with Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker). He reveals that he knows more about her than she thought.

Last Tango in Agrestic (Season 2, Episode 3): Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and Peter (Martin Donovan) take their relationship to a new level that gives Nancy some extra security.

Must Find Toes (Season 2, Episode 7): The episode starts off with a bang when a large dog that Doug (Kevin Nealon) brings into the grow house attacks Andy (Justin Kirk) and bites two toes off his left foot. As the episode draws to a close, Nancy takes her first marijuana hit.

Yeah, Just Like Tomatoes (Season 2, Episode 11): Peter (Martin Donovan) delivers a shocking an ultimatum to Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and Conrad (Romany Malco). Meanwhile, Nancy discovers some stunning evidence in Silas’ bedroom.

Pittsburgh (Season 2, Episode 12): The second season ends with a number of guns pointed at Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker). An untimely fate befalls Peter (Martin Donovan), creating a major cliffhanger.

Shit Highway (Season 3, Episode 4): An out-of-control tracking drone wreaks some havoc as Andy (Justin Kirk) and a fellow soldier embark on a special exercise during their army-reserve training.

Bill Sussman (Season 3, Episode 5): Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) finds herself involved in a drive-by shooting as a gangster named U-Turn (Page Kennedy) kicks Nancy’s drug dealings up a notch.

Go (Season 3, Episode 15): Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) decides to move her family, taking drastic steps after fire ravages the countryside, thanks to a drug dealer named Guillermo (Guillermo Diaz).

If You Work for a Living, Then Why Do You Kill Yourself Working? (Season 4, Episode 13): Celia (Elizabeth Perkins) reunites with her daughter, Quinn (Haley Hudson) in Mexico, with shocking results. Meanwhile, Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) has some stunning news for a Mexican crime lord named Esteban Reyes (Demian Bichir).

All About My Mom (Season 5, Episode 13): When Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and her sons are threatened, Shane (Alexander Gould) uses a croquet mallet to come to her aid.

Do Her / Don’t Do Her (Season 7, Episode 13): It’s the biggest cliffhanger of the series. As the episode draws to a close, Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and her family sit down to dinner. But a sniper in the bushes turns their lives upside down.

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THAT LINE WAS SO GREAT… Top Up arrow

There are so many great lines in this series that they are too numerous for all to be mentioned. They often come fast and furious, too, taking digs at everything from lesbians to Canadians. Among the best lines to enjoy early in the series …

 

“Lookin’ in the dictionary the other day. Saw your picture sittin’ up in there, right next to ‘Dumb Ass White Bitch.’”

 

– From You Can’t Miss the Bear (Season 1, Episode 1): Nancy Botwin’s marijuana supplier, Heylia James (Tonye Patano), teases her about the crooked stitching on her knock-off designer handbag.

 

“I got a note from a clinic doc for a hundred bucks, went down to the pot store and, mama

[pulls out a big bag of pot from his desk drawer] I was home! Aw, it’s a weed wonderland, Nancy. It’s like Amsterdam – only better, because you don’t have to visit the Anne Frank house and pretend to be all sad and stuff.”

 

– From Good Shit Lollipop (Season 1, Episode 3): Doug (Kevin Nealon) reveals that he no longer needs Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) to supply him with weed because he got himself a medical-marijuana card.

 

“Man, how did you get so smart at, what, 16? It took me years to learn slightly defective chicks are the way to go. I once went out with this girl with a baby arm? Insane in the sack! Plus, when she grabbed my dick with her little hand, it looked gigantic!”

 

– From Fashion of the Christ (Season 1, Episode 4): Andy (Justin Kirk) praises Silas (Hunter Parrish) for hooking up with his deaf girlfriend, Megan (Shoshannah Stern).

 

“Not unless you want to go to jail. Or flee to Mexico. Or Canada! Canada rocks! Primo weed. Really good Chinese food.”

 

– From Lude Awakening (Season 1, Episode 5): A lawyer (Allison Janney) explains to Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and Andy (Justin Kirk) how the legal system would let them get away with growing marijuana but would not let them “break it down” into anything to be smoked.

 

“You made your bed. Now, fuck in it.”

 

– From Higher Education (Season 1, Episode 6): Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) scolds Andy (Justin Kirk) for bedding the mother of her younger son’s best friend, insisting that he not jeopardize the boys’ friendship by dumping the woman.

 

“You ain’t gonna see her no more. She come over here, you disappear. You will have no contact with her whatsoever. I mean, you even see a white girl on television, you change the channel or, I swear ‘fore God, I freeze you out so cold, you will have to carry your ass to the North Pole to defrost. You hear me?”

 

– From The Godmother (Season 1, Episode 10): Heylia (Tonye Patano) chastises her nephew, Conrad (Romany Maco), for secretly helping Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) by beating up the college-campus security guard who had confiscated Nancy’s supply of weed.

 

“As I stand before you today, on the brink of junior high, here is what I have to say: You have failed us all. Everything is not OK. We’ve become alienated, desensitized, angry and frightened. If we picture Agrestic as an airplane – a grand, soaring jet carrying us through the sky – I think you all need to understand … there are motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane.”

 

– From Pittsburgh (Season 2, Episode 12): Shane (Alexander Gould) delivers his valedictory message to parents and other attendees at his elementary-school graduation.

 

“Some of us like watermelon. Some of us got big dicks. Most of us have trouble gettin’ places on time.”

 

– From Pittsburgh (Season 2, Episode 12): Conrad (Romany Malco) explains his reference to “black-people time” in a phone conversation he has in front of Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker).

 

“It’s totally freaking me out. Shane’s sleeping on my old

Star Wars sheets. Silas found one of Judah’s Playboys from 1979 under the mattress. Candy Loving on the cover. Dorothy Stratten centerfold. It’s beautiful. I’m having jerk-off flashbacks. My old stains are still on the wall.”

 

– From Mother Thinks the Birds Are After Her (Season 4, Episode 1): Andy (Justin Kirk) reflects on his youth as Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) , Andy and the boys stay at Andy’s grandmother’s house after they try to start a new life after fleeing from Agrestic. It’s the first of many times that the members of the Botwin family flee to get out of trouble.

2 Comments

    • Hi Sandra,
      Thanks for commenting on the blog! Weeds is indeed on Netflix. Just search for it when logged into Netflix.

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