mental mashup: diminuendo and crescendo in goodbye to love
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weeds: season two finale (spoilers, duh)

Perhaps it’s best, given the supposed subject of this show, to just quote the Grateful Dead and note that Season Two of Weeds was a long, strange trip. Not everyone stuck around for the ride, either … my sister Chris once again made the mistake of thinking she might like a show I touted, and made it through, what, two episodes? Three? (Season One, it should be noted.) Robin seemed to get increasingly frustrated as the season progressed … given a choice on Monday nights, she invariably chose to watch the erratic Studio 60 and postpone Weeds for a day, and tonight’s finale seemed to leave her cold … as I said when it was over, I may end up watching Season Three by myself. Even I found myself thinking a sophomore slump had affected the show; the first few episodes of Season Two seemed quirky in a different way than before, as if they knew they had more viewers than expected and felt they had to live up to the “quirky” hype.

But things got better as the season went on, with lots of twists and turns that were both unexpected in the extreme, yet perfectly understandable with the benefit of hindsight. All of which led up to the finale tonight, which piled on the plot twists so frantically that I can understand Robin feeling peeved. Me, I loved the finale, and while I usually don’t like the idea of season-ending cliffhangers, this one was so over-the-top … “this one” doesn’t get it, there were LOTS of cliffhangers, not just one … I went for it, 100%. Weeds is at its best when it combines the funny and the disturbing, and there was plenty of both to go around as the season ended.

I’ve managed to get this far without spoilers … I know that very few people who read this get Showtime, and thus the few of you who watch Weeds will be waiting for the DVDs. My advice, when you get around to watching Season Two, is to give it time, if you find the first episodes a bit off. If, at the end of the season, you’re still frustrated like Robin, you’ll know it … there’s no halfway about this show at this point, it’s taken such a turn that love it or hate it will be the only options. And while I said last paragraph that it’s best when it’s both funny and serious, in truth, while I laughed a lot the last few episodes, they really were darker than pretty much everything that came before.

Some general stuff. Nancy is still the world’s second-crappiest mom (Elizabeth Perkins’ character is still #1). Mary Louise Parker is still an acquired taste … it’s a taste I’ve always enjoyed, but there’s no denying she’s … well, quirky … fits well with the series. Her dippy brother-in-law was easier to take this time around, once they got past the stupid becoming-a-Rabbi subplot.

When I wrote about the first season, I called Weeds the best series I’d ever seen on Showtime. I don’t know if that’s still true … Showtime is really coming around, and Dexter is giving Weeds a real challenge for Best of Showtime. But, despite what you might have heard, Season Two of Weeds is every bit as good as Season One. So I’ll give it the same grade.

Grade for season finale: A

Grade for Season Two: A-