The Weeds in Weeds

A non-academic interlude…

My spouse and I have been watching Weeds on DVD.  I’m not entirely sure why.  I’ve seen a couple episodes over the past few years, but when we signed up for Netflix, we decided to put Weeds on there, and now we’re hooked.  Sure, there are some cool things about the show.  Mary Louise Parker is gorgeous.  The original premise–suburban mom selling pot to her over-medicated and under-worked neighbors–is funny, interesting, and strikes a chord about the character of American suburbia.  Nancy (Parker’s character) has some obvious psychological issues with her deceased husband, and that help explain a lot of what she’s doing.  Her brother-in-law is funny, as is Kevin Nealon’s character, and the kids are likable enough (although Silas’s teenage angst is a bit over the top at times).  So, it’s pretty good for a TV show.

But I’m getting increasingly irritated with all of the balls dropped by the writers.  There are simply too many things that get brought up, floated around, and then disappear without explanation.  A short list:

  • Whatever happened to Celia’s other daughter, the one Silas was dating in the first episode and then, if I remember right, got shipped off to Mexico?
  • In the first season, the writers gave Celia cancer and turned her into a nice mother.  But by the second season, she was a mean mom again, now that the cancer had cleared.  It’s as though the writers decided that they needed a mean character, and they were trying to get out of the story arc they created.
  • Nancy’s DEA boyfriend/husband seemed like a really, really nice guy.  But then he turned into an asshole: abusive of Nancy’s children, violent, and totally and utterly corrupt.  But without explanation.  Again, it’s like the writers regretted their decision and tried to undo it: they created this DEA character, killed him off, and then turned him into a real asshole so that the viewers wouldn’t feel bad that he got killed.
  • Did Nancy keep the rest of the dead-DEA-husband’s life insurance policy, or did she pay it all back to the agent’s first wife?  And what about his pension–it got brought up once, but it’s been forgotten.  Is Nancy getting that check or what?
  • Why did Matthew Modine’s character get off so easy for owning Celia’s drug house?  All he had to say to the DEA agent was: I owned it, but I gave it to this other women (without a paper trail), so talk to her.  Bam.  Done.  WTF? as the kids say.

We’ve only just started watching  the fourth season, so I suppose there’s hope that these loose ends will come up again.  There’s also a good chance that all of this has already been explained on the interwebs, but because I don’t want to spoil the rest of the season, I’ll wait until I get caught up.  But for now, I’m kind of hoping that season five will be the show’s last, so I can be released from this unfortunate addiction.

This sort of crap never would have gone down in Arrested Development.