Jane After Dark: Weeds, season 4 - Nancy goes to the dark side (of Mexico)
by Jane Boursaw, posted Jun 28th 2009 10:17AM
This week in Jane After Dark, I took a short break from The Wire, but don't worry, devoted Wire fans! I'm watching season three right now, and already writing next week's column in my head.
Since I'm covering season five of Weeds for TV Squad, I thought I'd better get caught up on season four. I'd watched episodes here and there, but not the entire season from start to finish. I just finished the last episode and have to say the series certainly took a turn in a different direction.
I watched seasons one, two and three last winter, all in the span of a couple weeks. I couldn't get enough of it, and now the show has evolved into something different than how it started. As Bruce said in the comments section of last week's review, "I still feel as though Agrestic, the town of "little boxes," was in and of itself a main character on the show, and the show just isn't the same without it. I can live without Haylia and Conrad, but the show just isn't the same being set in some generic place. I miss Agrestic. I liked having Doug on the city council, etc. Agrestic as the setting of the show is simply irreplaceable."
I've been thinking about this comment all week, and I really agree with it. But, Bruce, stick with me on this, because maybe we can evolve right along with the show. During season one, I felt like Nancy was this soccer mom who found herself in a difficult situation when her husband died. Out of desperation, she turned to a life of crime to make ends meet. That's what made the show so brilliant. She could have been any one of us, ready to snap when the bills pile up and no way of paying them. She experienced a life crisis at the loss of her husband and was drifting through life dazed and confused, just trying to get by. Selling pot was a viable way to make a living, and let's face it, not all that far-fetched. It was certainly more viable than trying to pay the mortgage by working at Starbucks.
Now I feel a little differently about Nancy. I think she's always been more seat-of-her-pants gal than soccer mom, and I kind of wonder what her life with Judah was like before he died. I'd love to see a flashback episode that gives us a day in the life when all was right in her world. Was she edgy and carefree? Did she have a cynical outlook on life? Did she throw out the rulebook in her day-to-day life of parent-teacher meetings and iced coffee runs?
I think the Nancy we know now -- the one that kills off old people, has rough sex, and sleeps with Mexican drug lords -- was always there waiting to get out. She lives life on the edge, and she's done some things that even the most desperate among us wouldn't dream of doing -- maybe because they're too "out there," maybe because we're too afraid of getting caught.
As for the other characters, I've had fun watching them evolve in season four, and the dynamic between Doug and Andy and their "immigration business" is hilarious. We've got Celia selling Nancy out, Silas shagging Lisa and using her cheese shop to sell pot, and Shane in the throws of puberty. Albert Brooks as Lenny Botwin is a stroke of brilliant casting. I hope we see more of him in season five.
So how do you feel about the direction Weeds took in season four? Are you still onboard with the show? I look forward to reading your comments.