Weeds: Season Two – DVD Review


Available at Amazon.com

Creator:

Jenji Kohan

Cast:

Mary-Louise Parker ………. Nancy Botwin
Elizabeth Perkins ………. Celia Hodes
Kevin Nealon ………. Doug Wilson
Romany Malco ………. Conrad Shepard
Hunter Parrish ………. Silas Botwin
Alexander Gould ………. Shane Botwin
Justin Kirk ………. Andy Botwin
Tonye Patano ………. Heylia James
Indigo ………. Vaneeta

The Show

A couple of years ago, Weeds was the surprise hit of Showtime’s original programming lineup. It was so well received that it alone was good enough to bring Showtime back up to square off with HBO. Weeds was controversial, buzz-worthy, dark, and hilarious at the same time. If it was on network TV, it would probably would be one of the top shows around. Then again, if it was on network TV it would be so watered down that it wouldn’t really be Weeds anymore. Nevertheless, the question here is whether or not Weeds can continue its momentum in its second season or suffer the dreaded “sophomore slump”.

Weeds takes place in the fictional affluent Los Angeles, California suburb of Agrestic. It is home to Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), whose husband Judah (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has recently, and suddenly, died. Nancy begins dealing marijuana to locals in her suburban town in order to support her household while maintaining an upper-middle-class lifestyle. As depicted in the series, Agrestic has a public school system, where Nancy’s children Silas (Hunter Parrish) and Shane (Alexander Gould) both attend. Botwin befriends the manic, image-obsessed Celia Hodes (Elizabeth Perkins) president of the Agrestic PTA, who has several domestic issues. Heylia James (Tonye Patano), assisted by her nephew Conrad (Romany Malco), supplies Nancy with marijuana. Andy Botwin (Justin Kirk), brother of Nancy’s late husband, and the family’s black sheep, says he has moved into the Botwin household to help Nancy out, but perhaps he is just there to free-load.

The second season of Weeds was still very comedic, but it also takes a darker turn as Nancy gets deeper into dangerous activity. She begins to grow her own plants against Heylia’s advice, but with the assistance of Conrad and several other Agrestic residents. Meanwhile, she also has a dangerous relationship with a DEA agent named Peter Scottson which ends badly, especially for him. Nancy’s sons become increasingly more aware of her drug dealings, and each forms his own way of dealing with that information. Having recovered from breast cancer, Celia defeats Doug in an election. Unaware of her friends’ activities, Celia tries to turn all of Agrestic into a drug-free zone, and finds herself in unexpected circumstances. Andy, concerned about the possibility of being sent to Iraq due to a long-forgotten Army Reserve commitment, decides to take up religion, after a fashion.

There are a few reason why this show is so good. The main one is the cast. From top to bottom it’s outstanding. Mary-Louise Parker gets all the awards nominations, but there is not a sore spot in the cast. The interaction between the characters is a definite plus. Another plus is that this show succeeds in pulling off the “dramedy” genre of TV without any major flaws. Some shows try to be both a drama and a comedy at the same time, but Weeds is the show that sets the bar that all others try to get to.

The best way to describe this show, if you haven’t seen it, is a better version of Desperate Housewives with less whiny women. Weeds is the ultimate suburban satire show with an edge. The second season is slightly darker than the first season, but it’s equally as good if not a little bit better. Just like the subject matter that is at the center of the show, it won’t be hard to get hooked on Weeds.

Episodes:

Disc One:

Episode 1 – Corn Snake
After an eye-opening car accident, Celia turns to the city council for help and is ignored by Doug, so she makes the decision to run for Doug’s seat. Nancy attempts to break things off with Peter once she discovers he is an agent of the DEA, while also trying to maintain her family unity. Sanjay takes matters into his own hands when Nancy needs money. Andy attempts to get into Rabbinical school so that he doesn’t get shipped off to Iraq.

Episode 2 – Cooking with Jesus
Nancy breaks it off with Peter. Celia’s family desert her as the election campaign continues. Megan gets into Princeton University. Andy, Doug, and Nancy attend a pot expo, where Nancy buys a plant and Andy finds a way into Rabbinical school. Meanwhile, Conrad searches for financing on his own. Peter tells Nancy that he knows she is a dealer.

Episode 3 – Last Tango in Agrestic
While Nancy is trying to figure out what to do with Peter she comes home to plumbing problems because Shane was masturbating into socks and flushing them in the toilet. Celia enrolls Isabelle in fat boot camp and ends up getting sucked into it herself. Heylia is interested in a man and his bean pies. Silas goes to desperate lengths to keep Megan in Agrestic. Peter secretly marries Nancy so that he cannot be forced to testify against her, and she will trust him enough to date him. Nancy, under the guidance of Conrad, buys a grow house.

Episode 4 – A.K.A. The Plant
Isabelle is offered a job as a plus-size kids model to Celia’s dismay. Dean gets laid off. Both Silas and Shane come to crossroads in life: Silas when Megan gets some unexpected (to her) news; and Shane when Andy decides to get him a “happy ending” massage. Heylia is asked out on a date. The grow house develops, thanks to Conrad’s connections and Nancy’s new false identity, but is soon threatened by territorial mobsters.

Episode 5 – Mrs. Botwin’s Neighborhood
Silas and Megan tell her father about the pregnancy with disastrous consequences. Nancy and her neighbors engage in a turf war and Nancy uses her marital connection to the DEA to clear out the neighborhood. Shane starts fitting in at school, but gets into trouble when he starts talking about the happy ending massage he got courtesy of his uncle Andy. Andy gets called into the school to explain the situation. Heylia prepares for her date with the pie-baking Nation of Islam neighbor and Nancy does a little fighting.

Episode 6 – Crush Girl Love Panic
Nancy and Conrad fear their grow house has been raided by the DEA, but all remains mysteriously untouched among the surrounding rubble. Stage mom Celia’s antics get her kicked off the set of Isabelle’s “Huskaroo” commercial. Isabelle and Dean create an account with Doug to keep the modeling money safe from Celia, but Celia finds out. Heylia’s daughter ruins the dinner with Joseph. Nancy tricks Conrad and Peter into meeting each other.

Disc Two:

Episode 7 – Must Find Toes
Andy loses two toes to a stray dog Doug found on the street. Meanwhile, Nancy juggles coping with Andy’s accident, as Silas’s grades plummet and Shane’s crush on Gretchen takes a new turn. Celia savors a three vote victory in the city Council elections thanks to a balloting error. Considering his new handicap, Andy reconsiders his role at the Rabbinical school, subsequently upsetting Yael. Celia announces the city’s new drug-free policy.

Episode 8 – MILF Money
It’s harvest time. Nancy and Conrad make their first sale — to Snoop Dogg, who writes a song about their high quality product. Everything looks good, until Peter lets Nancy know that the DEA has got to make a bust. Heylia learns of Conrad’s betrayal, but buys some of his new weed.

Episode 9 – Bash
Nancy faces pressure from Peter to get out of the business. The DEA visit Heylia’s house, and Peter is surprised as his bust goes awry. Shane has an encounter with Gretchen. Nancy and Conrad install a safe, and Doug heckles Celia at a City Council meeting but makes truce afterwards. Silas and Shane celebrate their dad’s birthday with Andy’s help.

Episode 10 – Mile Deep and a Foot Wide
Heylia is applying strong pressure on Nancy to alleviate police surveillance and return her business to normal. Nancy is overwhelmed and considers quitting to live a normal life with Peter, but things go awry when dinner doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. Doug and Celia consummate their relationship many times on her anniversary. Andy is paid a visit by his ex-girlfriend Kat from Alaska to take him away from a “normal” life to return to their wild lifestyle.

Episode 11 – Yeah, Like Tomatoes
Peter stops playing nice after eavesdropping on Nancy and Conrad’s phone conversation. Peter isn’t happy about the nickname “Agent Wonderbread” and he lets Nancy and Conrad know so with a convincing threat. Nancy looks to other people in the business for help. Celia and Doug’s affair takes a turn towards the serious. Kat’s got a secret and Shane’s girlfriend doesn’t like her. Heylia has a plan.

Episode 12 – Pittsburgh
Nancy’s big day is marred by Silas’s disappearance, Shane’s inflammatory graduation speech and Celia’s madness. Of course, nothing compares to the insane situation she and Conrad find themselves in when their weed deal goes all wrong. And things don’t turn out well for Peter.

The Video:
The video is given in widescreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is enchanced for 16X9 TVs. Transfer is good with minimal distortion. It’s really on par with other releases from HBO or Showtime. But I did notice that some of the last few episodes had some scenes that looked grainy. No major problems other than that, though.

The Audio:
The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX sound or English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. There are subtitles available in English and Spanish as well. Again, it’s pretty standard quality for a TV show. The dialogue comes out crisp and clear.

The Extras:

Audio Commentaries – There are 7 of these. They include Jenji Kohan (writer/creator) talking about the “Corn Snake” and “Pittsburgh” episodes, Craig X. Rubin (marijuana consultant for the show) talking about the “Cooking with Jesus” episode, Matthew Salsberg (producer/writer) and Lee L. Spiro (director) talking about the “A.K.A. The Plant” episode, Romany Malco (actor) talking about the “MILF Money” episode, Kevin Nealon (actor) talking about the “Bash” episode, and Roberto Benabib (executive producer/writer) and Craig Zisk (executive producer/director) talking about the “Yeah, Like Tomatoes” episode. These are pretty good. Funny and insightful. That’s exactly what you want from audio commentaries.

Conrad’s Grow Room – This featurette is all about the room used to grow hydroponics in the show. Basically, a how-to guide for growing your own more or less. This is interesting, even if you don’t abuse drugs. We get some insight from Craig X. on this one as well.

Cream of the Crop – Another featurette featuring Craig X. Rubin, drug consultant on the show. He brings you his “Top Five” marijuana plants. Again, this is interesting even if you are a non-drug user.

Tools of the Trade – Another featurette about marijuana. This is one is about the tools used to make it, smoke it, storing it, accessorizing with it, etc.. No words are spoken, just various pictures of the tools set to music. Very colorful and interesting like the rest.

Slangin’ 101 – This featurette basically just quickly runs down all of the words that marijuana has been called besides marijuana. It is in alphabetical order and it runs around 5 minutes. I didn’t count up the number of words but it has to be at least a couple hundred. Amazing stuff.

MILF Gag Reel – This is your standard outtakes from the season. The usual funny stuff can be found here.

Little Boxes Montages – There are four versions of the theme song, “Little Boxes”, played to a montage of various images and graphics from the show. These are fun to watch, but nothing special.

Huskeroos Commercials – The hilarious commercial for the “husky” brand of clothes that was modeled by Celia’s daughter during this season. It’s extremely short, and not worth your time since the commercial is in the show anyways.

“Jammin’ Nation” Extended Performance – This is exactly what the title says. This is a Jamaican reggae musical group called Rocky Dawuni and this is their performance of “Jammin’ Nation”. Simply enough. If you like that kind of music, you will like this.

THE INSIDE PULSE

A definite recommendation to rent this show, if you haven’t seen it. It’s one of the best shows on television. It’s also an easy recommendation to buy for most people as well. Don’t blame me, if you get hooked.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Weeds: Season Two
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

9
THE VIDEO

6
THE AUDIO

8
THE EXTRAS

7
REPLAY VALUE

8
OVERALL
8.5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

If you need to catch up on last season the Weeds Season 2 DVD can be ordered
here as well:
http://shop.fullpond.com/show/productcompact.aspx?catalogid=10&categoryid=3464&productid=7086&campaign=weedsdvdpreorder_blogs

And can be downloaded from just about any online store:
http://www.sho.com/site/downloads/home.do?source=m_weeds_blogs