Monday, October 16, 2006


I've been a major admirer of Weeds pretty much since the premiere episode, but last night's installment clinched its spot as one of my favorite sources of narrative involvement on television. I say that with a regrettably pretentious tone, stuck relying on the dense linguistic contraptions of academic rhetoric, but it's hard to put it any other way. The show has lagged on occasion with certain over-the-top subplots, and I was quick to point them out at the start of the second season. But even if the incredulous theological institution Andy enrolls in as a pathetic means of dodging the draft was hard to take, his own behavior-- romancing the cartoonishly sexualized Israeli schoolmaster and then ditching her when he loses two toes and no longer has to worry about being shipped overseas-- was consistent with the grown-up slacker we've come to appreciate. All the other main personalities have grown in a similar fashion, from Nancy with her warped morality that drives her illegal profiteering as much as it derides her formerly consistent family values, all the way to Doug and Nancy, whose clandestine affair is the most reasonable corruption among these houses made of ticky-tack (by the way, Regina Spector's scratchy remix that opened tonight's episode suited the bittersweet content with a surprising level of complementary emotion).

I hope the show sticks around a while, because there's a wealth of fascinating material and it just keeps getting better. The suggestion at the end of the episode seems to be that Nancy isn't ready to settle back into the suburbia she lost so unexpectedly. In a simultaneously horrifying and exhilirating twist, it appears that she isn't in the business of drug peddling solely to support her kids. Getting a taste of individuality from her new life on the edge, the MILF-weed pioneers is hesitant to return indoors and stay mundane by the fire.

The writers hint, through Conrad's generally reliable voice of reason, that the overarching plot is headed towards a downhill slope
"You done dug yourself a pit a mile deep and a foot wide and you lookin' up in a pinhole. You out," sounds almost like a Biblical citation), but at the same time, Nancy's empowered stance on her chosen beaten path in life has you rooting for her no matter what the outcome. In short, Simone De Beauvoir would've loved this stuff (but that's just 'cuz I'm working my way through Second Sex).

We know that MLP, Justin Kirk, Liz Perkins, et al. are a talented gang, but the real show-stealers this time 'round are Nancy's kids, played with amazing agility by Hunter Parrish and Alexander Gould. Parrish's Silas is a perfect angsty teen, both brilliant and brash and altogether frusterated-- he could have a spin-off show of his own, but let's hope that his career has more ambitious prospects in store. Gould has miraculously managed to channel Freaks and Geeks' lovable Sam, on the brink of prepubescent glee and struggling to make sort out a very big adult world that seems far more childish than his own fragile existence. He might just be the most stable personality in this zig-zagging, freewheeling dystopia.


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