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October 25, 2014

Weeds: All About My Mom

by Jane Boursaw, posted Sep 1st 2009 2:54AM
Weeds - All About My Mom
(S05E13) "Women are strong ... until they fall apart." - Nancy

It was zingers like the above quote that filled the season five finale of Weeds. I'm sure there were more, but I dozed off about three minutes into the show. Honestly, I'll check out the first few eps of next season, but at this point, I'm not committed to reviewing the entire season. It's no fun for me, and certainly no fun for you guys, if I'm covering a show I'm just not into. I really hope it improves enough to make me giddy, but I'm not holding my breath.

Nothing about this episode grabbed me, and for that, I'm sad. From the massage therapist that Pilar sent for Nancy ("Don't make me sit on you") to Doug's lame one-liners ("Wanna lick my crystal balls?"), it just wasn't there. I expect a season finale to be filled with eye openers, plot twists, and a fantastic ending that makes me cry that it's over and yearn until the day it starts again. Sorry, it simply wasn't there.

I really haven't known Adelita long enough to feel sorry (or anything) about her heroin addiction. Though I did appreciate that Silas tried to help by bringing Audra over, which resulted in Nancy sending her off to rehab in Arizona. I guess I'm fine with that, since ... I really don't care about her. The fact that Esteban's own daughter is a mess after he ran Nancy's sons down? Whatever.

And the fact that Andy proposed to Audra, who seemed only sorta kinda thrilled to be asked, really didn't do it for me either. And the fact (yes, there are lots of facts here) that he ran off when they came home to a gun pointed in their face ... what was that? Are we supposed to surmise that Andy's a big baby who ran off to cower in a corner? Or maybe hop in his car and go find Nancy?

All season long, I've been hoping for an Andy-Nancy pairing. Even up to the beginning of this episode, I was envisioning a finale where Andy and Nancy gather up the kids, pile into whatever vehicle is handy, and flee willy-nilly into a new adventure and a new chapter for Weeds.

But at this point, I'm not even sure I want them together. Nancy is such a stick-in-the-mud, and it irks me that she's no longer the no-holds-barred gal we once knew, the one who took control of her life (albeit recklessly), and certainly never bowed to any man. Now she's hooked up with a man who's such a wimp he's letting himself be controlled by a woman (Pilar) who's holding all of his indiscretions over him.

Other quotes included "Men are weak" and "We're all broken." Wow, those are some zippity-do-da lines, aren't they? Maybe some of my readers are right. Maybe Jenji Kohan HAS been nipping into the weed before writing some of these lines. I don't need Weeds to be either a drama OR a comedy. I just need for it to be good.

At any rate, it doesn't look like The Nancy Gang can go willy-nilly on the path they've been on, what with Shane whapping Pilar over the head with a croquet mallet. Any thoughts on where they might be headed next season?

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Jane Boursaw

Wow, Dan. Lots of issues there. We'll see ya! Best of luck to the IGN folks, and uh, good luck with your coaching! :-)

Jane

September 02 2009 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
anomie

I miss the song. I miss the town. I miss the quality of the show. Has the writer painted herself into a corner? Will this end like Thelma and Louise? Has Judah been in a coma dreaming up this story? I don't know, but what can they do about a child, who used to be the moral compass of the family, becoming a coldblooded killer? Nancy is paying for her crazy escapades with the lives of her children. This isn't comedy; light or dark. This has become a Greek tragedy.

I see the return of the original characters as a way to bring the story full circle. While Celia, who gained a lot of weight in prison, picks up where Nancy left off. Nobody in her gang ever learns anything.

Maybe Nancy and her brood enter the witness protection program and end up in another little suburb similar to Aggrestic. Maybe she runs a bakery for real. Andy (my new favorite character) realizes that he has not matured as much as he believed. The doctor has died, Esteban goes to prison because of Nancy's testimony, Silas becomes a botanist; and Shane comes to terms with his past by studying the Torah. Little Steve Rae grows up to be a fine musician who sings "Little Boxes" on the final episode. Or, Shane, now seriously demented, offs them all, then walks out whistling the theme song.

Please don't disappoint us!

September 02 2009 at 5:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jboursaw

All great points, and I really appreciate all the comments and discussion. We can analyze Weeds to death, but for me, it all boils down to one thing: I just plain don't like the show as much as I used to. Whatever the reasons, that's how it is -- for me.

Homie (if I can call you Homie :-), there are several reasons we don't write in-depth, analytical reviews here on TV Squad:

1) We really try to keep the reviews in the 400-500 word range. Hard to get too in-depth at that length.

2) We need to watch the show, write up the review, and get it posted to TV Squad as soon as possible after the show airs. And this is usually after a long day of doing other work, both on TV Squad and other sites.

3) Paid? Yes, but not as much as you might imagine. Think a cuppa Starbucks rather than a tank of gas.

You can see where we're coming from.

Jane

September 01 2009 at 10:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DEAR HOMIE I AM THE SKY

It's so sad to me that some people seem doomed to completely miss the point of WEEDS. I could completely understand just not liking the direction the show has taken, but to write it off as sloppy writing seems so sophomoric and foolish. Thankfully, most of the poorly thought out hatin' seems restricted to comment trolls and message board geeks. Bloggers themselves seem to be at least somewhat hip to what Jenji Kohen is trying to do, so I was kinda shocked when I stumbled across Ms. Boursaw's review. I'm not a frequent visitor to this site, and I think she might be why.

Kohen clearly had a "master plan" from the beginning. In season one, we saw it masquerading as a a bit of a lark. It's comedy was edgy in that it was darker than anything else, but there wasn't much in the way of substance. Back then, it was just a sitcom about a widow who starts dealing drugs. But in season two, we saw the show's true colors showing through. As Shane said during his graduation speech - "there's a motherfucking snake on the plane" - and we saw the show explode into this surreal Tarantino crime drama. It played on our expectations for sitcoms - how we expect everything to exist in a vacuum and to always default back to original form without any real consequences - to turn her show into something genuinely unique and exciting. The show is ultimately about the female role in society. Nancy was just your ordinary housewife, doing what ordinary housewifes are expected to do, until her husband died. Her anger over her husbands death forced her to lash out against the expectations society had for her. She's genuinely enjoyed the thrills this life of crime has brought her, and either didn't care or wasn't aware of the real reprocussions of choosing this life. She's had multiple opportunities to get out throughout the course of five seasons, but she always chooses the path that keeps her foot in the door. What's been exciting about season's four and five is that we've gotten to see the reprocussions, mainly that it's turned her son Shane into a Killer. I don't think he's a pyschopath (he's aware of why it's wrong to randomly beat up a golfer), but he's not going to hesitate on violence if his nihilistic adolescent brain says it's called for.

I don't see how that final scene didn't blow you away. I expectated Shane to kill someone, but I thought it was going to be Esteban. I suspect, though, that Nancy will learn to embrace Shane's new demeanor in Season 6, perhaps as her "right hand man," as she takes on Guillermo, and whatever other threats come her way. My only real beef with the finale was Andy running away from Audra. It felt like they were bending the character to fit the thematic message of that episode (the unknown strength of women versus the expected strength of men). Andy may not be "in love" with Audra as deeply as he says he is, but I don't believe that, given all the violent situations he's been through with Nancy, that he would turn and run that way when he encounters a dipshit with a crossbow. I hope that he'll redeem himself in the Season 6 premiere, but I suspect this is the beginning of the end for Alanis's time on WEEDS. But these are minor gripes when you take into account the profundity of the finale, and how Kohen's flawed but deeply fascinating show is playing out.

I'm not trying to be mean, Ms Boursaw, but I just feel a professional writer like yourself should make more of an effort to break apart and analyze a show. This isn't a Xanga blog, you're getting paid for this. If you don't want to or can't, then you should leave recapping to people that actually want to do it.

September 01 2009 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scott

I still like the show, but absolutely agree it has gone down in quality - Alex has it right, once they got rid of Little Boxes and Agrestic the slide started. Losing Conrad and Heylia sucked.

I did think the finale was one of the best eps of the season - mainly due to Shane.
I don't think you were supposed to feel any sympathy for Adelita. She's a spoiled brat with a pompous dad. Hopefully Shane will find a golf club and use it on Esteban next. I'd much rather see Nancy and Andy together, with Doug on the couch.
I'm guessing Alanis won't be back (for long) next season, not after Andy pulled that Costanza on her.

I like the idea of the bizzaro pot dealer team, and thought that was a good scene/setup for next season. Weird that there was no mention of the sub-plot involving most of the non-Botwin characters on the show, other than a Doug quote.

What was the deal with the deodorant... at first it seemed like he was being jokey, then overly serious about her not smelling like a man. Just showing him try to get a little power back any way he can? Foreshadowing of him being a horrible husband next season?

I dunno, I really do hope they pick up and head back to the 'burbs next season.

As far as the review(er) goes, i dunno. If you're not enjoying the show, there's gotta be someone that would be willing to take over. I want to come here to check out the recap/review of a finale and see some discussion of it, but it just ends up being a hate-fest (for the most part) which then becomes the main topic in the comments. bummer.

September 01 2009 at 6:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kluz

The finale scene was something...

I didn't "betray" Weeds, yet, but I must say there are many things, parts of most episodes, that annoy me quite a lot.
So, I might look drastic to someone, but this is what I'd do:

CUT (I pray for):
-Celia (I don't care at all about the character and all the kind of stupid stories she can be put in)
-Doug (He was funny, sort of, the first seasons, now is just to stupid ad annoying)
-Dean and Isabell, Celia's ex husband and her daughter, and everybody on this "new" Celia Gang.
Just cut them all, PLEASEEEE! I never loved those caracters but now it's just enough. Enough is enough. Who cares about that storyline, anyway.

Maybe Cut:
-Alanis Morisette (I don't see her bringing much in. I don't care about her storyline with Andy. I'll be soft, and say maybe, because she's, sort of, new on the show, and I didn't get yet bored 100% with her character, even if we are on the road. Mostly I might keep her 'cause she is a doctor and that could be used in some plots)
-Andy (this one I think is not a popular statement. I enjoyed quite a bit Andy for some seasons, some of his lines were good, but I'm afraid he has much more to say. No need anymore for this Peter Pan.)

Not yet:
-Esteban (He's not one of those who started from the beginning, plus the storyline needs him, but I don't like him that much, he is boring me too. Probably I'd cut him at the middle of next season, but let's see what they writers can do with him, but his character doesn't seem to have a deep personality, so he might be already a the end of his, justified, business in the show)
-Adelita (the private school kid with an eroin addiction...I don't know, but at least she is new and really hot. For sure I'm more interested in her than those "up there". Keep her around, at least a bit more and we'll see).
-Guillermo (mixed feelings, let's see)

KEEP:
-Nancy (...)
-Shane (...)
-Silas (maybe not as much as the other 2 components of the Botwin family, but he needs to stay. He's cool and my girlfriends like him, so might be for the best)

Generally speaking, I'd say that weeds needs to stop usinging those characters that seem retarded. It might be entertaining a the beginning, but now it's not at all, since long time ago.
Beside Nancy, and 3-4 others, we need more "turn-over" in the Weeds cast (I would have said more or less like Dexter does, but onestly even that show has a couple of people I'd cut).

September 01 2009 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sirkluz80

The finale scene was something...

I didn't "betray" Weeds, yet, but I must say there are many things, parts of most episodes, that annoy me quite a lot.
So, I might look drastic to someone, but this is what I'd do:

CUT (I pray for):
-Celia (I don't care at all about the character and all the kind of stupid stories she can be put in)
-Doug (He was funny, sort of, the first seasons, now is just to stupid ad annoying)
-Dean and Isabell, Celia's ex husband and her daughter, and everybody on this "new" Celia Gang.
Just cut them all, PLEASEEEE! I never loved those caracters but now it's just enough. Enough is enough. Who cares about that storyline, anyway.

Maybe Cut:
-Alanis Morisette (I don't see her bringing much in. I don't care about her storyline with Andy. I'll be soft, and say maybe, because she's, sort of, new on the show, and I didn't get yet bored 100% with her character, even if we are on the road. Mostly I might keep her 'cause she is a doctor and that could be used in some plots)
-Andy (this one I think is not a popular statement. I enjoyed quite a bit Andy for some seasons, some of his lines were good, but I'm afraid he has much more to say. No need anymore for this Peter Pan.)

Not yet:
-Esteban (He's not one of those who started from the beginning, plus the storyline needs him, but I don't like him that much, he is boring me too. Probably I'd cut him at the middle of next season, but let's see what they writers can do with him, but his character doesn't seem to have a deep personality, so he might be already a the end of his, justified, business in the show)
-Adelita (the private school kid with an eroin addiction...I don't know, but at least she is new and really hot. For sure I'm more interested in her than those "up there". Keep her around, at least a bit more and we'll see).
-Guillermo (mixed feelings, let's see)

KEEP:
-Nancy (...)
-Shane (...)
-Silas (maybe not as much as the other 2 components of the Botwin family, but he needs to stay. He's cool and my girlfriends like him, so might be for the best)

Generally speaking, I'd say that weeds needs to stop usinging those characters that seem retarded. It might be entertaining a the beginning, but now it's not at all, since long time ago.
Beside Nancy, and 3-4 others, we need more "turn-over" in the Weeds cast (I would have said more or less like Dexter does, but onestly even that show has a couple of people I'd cut).

September 01 2009 at 3:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alex

As far as im concerned Weeds stopped being Weeds when they got rid of the original theme song "Little Boxes"

September 01 2009 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Leroy

I get so tired of people who insist that all shows must eternally remain exactly what they were during the first season. To me shows that change indicate that their creators are perceptive enough to know nothing in life stays the same. Sometimes I like the changes and other people don't (for example, a lot of people started hating Lost at various points past the first season, but there is no way that show could have stayed the same for even 2 years without being ridiculous). Sometimes almost everyone hates the changes (everything past Chapter 2 in Heroes). I can't think of a single show that went through major changes that everyone continued to like (even Buffy fans were too dim to see that season 6 was inevitable and necessary).

I know, you all keep repeating that it's not the changes you hate but that the show isn't as good as it once was. But it is obvious from your comments that what you perceive as being not good is the differences from the first seasons.

The only thing I've really found annoying this year is how Doug just keeps getting stupider and stupider to the point where someone should just shoot him and put us all out of our misery.

September 01 2009 at 2:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Leroy's comment
bruce

You're setting up a straw man there Leroy. Nobody is saying shows can never change and that they have to stay the same. I'm saying good shows should not become bad shows. Smart shows should not become dumb shows.

Far too often people use the "real artist trying new things" excuse for when a good band releases a crappy album, a good author writes a crappy book, a good TV show has a crappy season, etc. Sorry, that's just a lame copout.

The Beatles could have released an album of nothing but 45 minutes of Ringo farting and coughing and 99% of Beatles fans would have raved over how brilliant it is, what a clever new direction the band has taken their art, how wonderfully, brilliantly artistic they are, etc. I'm in the minority of people who would dislike it because it's nothing but farts and coughs. The fact that it's different from their previous work isn't my gripe. My gripe is that it sucks.

If you insist on equating complaints about the quality of Weeds with complaints about the show's new direction, then fine - the show has changed direction from being good to sucking. That's a big, 180 degree change in direction.

September 01 2009 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John

I don't want the show to be the same, I just want it to be good!

September 02 2009 at 8:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

I'm watching this show more out of loyalty/habit these days. I think next year should be the last.

September 01 2009 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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