After eight seasons, Showtime’s “Weeds” will finally meet the giant bottle of RoundUp that is cancellation. Now, as its showrunners plan to pack away everything in the little boxes made of ticky-tacky, I have to decide whether I want to partake for the last time.
The dark comedy stars Mary Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin, a stay-at-home mother of two living in the affluent California suburb Agrestic, her biggest concern keeping an omnipresent cup of iced coffee full. Her husband dies suddenly, placing the burden of providing for her family squarely on her shoulders. So she starts selling pot in Agrestic; high jinks ensue.
And it’s fantastic. At least for the first couple of seasons.
I have fond memories of my discovery of the show. I had just arrived at my shanty of a college house with my roommate, and we decided to pop in an episode having only set up an oscillating fan and a couch (which didn’t require much in the way of unpacking). In the week before classes began, we devoured “Weeds.” Pizza boxes stacked high, boxes holding pots and pans laid untouched — we even, on some evenings, skipped the bars — in favor of watching Nancy earn her Mother of the Year award.
We caught up to wherever the series was at that point, and watched weekly. But then it got less fantastic.
It seems silly to talk about realism in a dark comedy about a pot-dealing mom, but plotlines got a little unbelievable. International tunneling, romances with crooked Mexican politicians, croquet mallets: It’s as if showrunner Jenji Kohan outfitted Nancy with water skis and drove her boat toward Jaws.
Still, anticipating each new season and inevitably being disappointed when it didn’t measure up became a summer rite of passage. Season six made for a nice little renaissance, but I quickly lost interest in its aftermath, swearing then to stop wasting my time on characters that wouldn’t ever achieve rational thought.
So when news broke that season eight would be the last for “Weeds,” a few thoughts crossed my mind, a number of them being, “Finally … put that sucker out to pasture.” (Because when you’re from Wisconsin, not even TV shows escape farm vernacular.) A little part of me was sad it’s going to end, another happy that Nancy’s fictitious kids won’t have to deal with their mother’s awful decisions anymore.
More than anything, I have a morbid curiosity to see how it’ll wrap up. Kind of like going to a high school reunion to see who got fat, I don’t really care what happens to Nancy, just whether it’ll be messy or interesting.
On the other hand, I’m not too intent on wasting any more of my time. I’m a busy guy — I have a column to write, a bar to tend, shoes to tie — and I’d rather not blow the next 10 or so Sunday nights on some sort of THC-laced wild goose chase.
So, for the July 1 season premiere, will I be on “Weeds”? I have to think I’ll puff at least once more before I decide to pass forever. Here’s to hoping it’s not reefer madness.
Andy just realized he managed to go that entire column without using the word “marijuana.” Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.