Tuesday, August 9, 2011

An Addiction to Weeds

Weeds was essentially all downhill from season three, yet as a viewer, I cannot help but yearn for the simpler and better written days of Agrestic. I can't seem to kick my weekly habit of watching the Botwins self destruct and unfortunately, against my better judgement, will follow Nancy Botwin and her zany family wherever they lead. Though I miss the salacious and annoying Celia Hoades of yester-weeds as well as her plus size model lesbian dauThe cast of Weeds during Season 2, Left to Rig...Image via Wikipediaghter, for some reason I am drawn to this great turned awful series despite its twists and turns. But the question is, why?

Nancy Botwin is probably the most unlikeable and unapologetic character in television history. Perhaps, the fact that the writers have committed so firmly to making sure she has no chance at personal redemption, societal acceptance or ultimate retribution, makes me feel somehow enamored by her TV presence. Normally when you look closely at any series lead there is something heroic about them, something you can find to admire and relate to. Nancy, however doesn't claim to be a hero, she doesn't seek love or any sort of connection, she is in essence satisfied with how much you hate her. Her numb self loathing makes for a character emotionally hollowed by life and somehow, in her own incredibly corrupt way anchored by family.

While Showtime and HBO boast serial killers and vampires as their lovable anti-heroes, Nancy appears to be the darkest presence of all. From selling weed to exchanging explosives for drugs even her prison stint hasn't seemed to rehabilitate her desire for trouble, despite serving a sentence for murder and losing her youngest child in the mix. While Shane's story line has evolved over the years, from a quirky child with a dark disposition to a stellar assassin, his plot is flat and character supposedly aged solely by sideburns. Sylis' lovable ignorance has grown shirtless and stunted as he embarked briefly on a modeling career and came full circle back to growing pot. Andy's love for Nancy has taken a backseat to his silly invention ideas while Doug simply comes along for the bland ride. The supporting cast still does not hold a candle to their prior selves, drawn out people with actual wants and needs. Episodes of this series will literally come and go with zero development, evolution or plot turns.

This all leaves me wondering why I have remained a loyal viewer from little boxes on the hillside to halfway houses in a contrived version of Washington Heights. Only time will tell whether Weeds will live up to the shadow of what it once was or remain lost in it's own tightly rolled series joint. But one thing is for sure, despite its lack of tact and television poise, it's entertaining, if only to see how awful next week will be. Of course, I'll be tuning in tonight. As always. I'm hooked.