Weeds is nearly the conclusion of its fourth season, and I'll avoid spoilers here (eta: OK, I lied), but I wanted to say something now rather than later. First, a side thought: I get frustrated when it seems like the only people who read these TV posts are people who don't actually watch TV, but I wonder if the spoiler factor is at work here. If you watch Weeds but don't get Showtime, you're likely watching via DVDs and are thus a season behind. So you'll avoid posts like this one.
Cheryl Eddy in the Bay Guardian thinks Weeds has become a bummer. I understand the feeling ... Robin finally quit watching, although her frustrations were different than Eddy's (I don't think Robin ever actually liked the show in the first place, to be honest). Eddy thinks recent major plot changes feel "desperate" and that "the show's quirkier moments ... have all but vanished." Finally, "there's a sadness ... that's become increasingly less fun to watch." I suppose there's some truth to Eddy's feeling that Weeds has become a bad trip, although there are still quirks and laugh-out-loud moments. But what the hell, ya know? With each season, Nancy Botwin has been forced to come closer to realizing the implications of her choice of employment. At the beginning, Weeds was a funny poke at suburbia, with a subtext of sadness as Nancy got used to the passing of her husband. Eventually she was hanging with Snoop Dogg and neglecting her kids. Then she was hanging with gangbangers (and neglecting her kids). Finally ... OK, I said no spoilers, but here comes one, so maybe I'll keep writing a bit to give folks who aren't caught up a chance to avert their eyes ... Season Three ended with Nancy burning down her suburban town. A new leaf had been turned, right? Not so fast ... she moves her family to a border town, and seems to truly understand just what a bad mother she's been, but she falls in love (again) with the wrong person (again), and her idea of changing her life is to sell even more dope, and then, when that gets old, allowing herself to be a front for the illegal activities of others. In seasons past, her reckless behavior has had consequences, but, as one person pointed out (I forget who, so no link), the worst stuff used to happen off-screen, but now, it's being rubbed in our faces. So Celia isn't just a funny bitch, she's a desperate coke-fiend, and Nancy isn't just fronting for marijuana traffickers but also for immigrant prostitutes (this is when she finally draws the line). And when things go bad, as they always do, those things are no longer hidden behind quirkiness ... this week, we saw a man being tortured by having his skin sanded off of his bones.
So Eddy is right, Weeds is a bummer. But I, for one, would be complaining if the show did the same old same old. I think it's about time Nancy Botwin really and truly faced up to her life, and I think it's about time we in the audience faced up to some of the implications of our enjoyment.