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Television: Weeds
Sunday, 2005 August 7 - 11:59 pm
Showtime's new series "Weeds" will inevitably draw comparisons to "Desperate Housewives".

Showtime sure does love its dark comedies. (Well, except the ones that it cancels.)

Its new series "Weeds" is about a suburban widow, Nancy (played by Mary-Louise Parker), who sells marijuana so that she can make money to maintain her lifestyle. She copes with raising two sons, dealing with snippety neighbors (like Celia, played by Elizabeth Perkins), and keeping her "hobby" a secret. She struggles with being the cool mom in a community of uptight, holier-than-thou, upper-middle-class moms.

You'd think this was set in Cary, North Carolina.

This might be a clever concept except that it feels exactly like a cable version of "Desperate Housewives"; i.e. they can actually cuss on this show. Maybe it's not quite as soap-opera-y, but it has very similar elements: gossipy backstabbing women, dark secrets, and a wry indictment of suburban living in the United States. And like "Housewives", it seems very much a show catered towards women. Not that that makes the show bad, but I lost interest in "Housewives" after two episodes, and the same thing might happen with this show. (What I don't like about women-centric shows is the shallow portrayal of men. Why can't there be more shows that give equal treatment to both male and female characters?)

The cast and the writing are solid, but it remains to be seen whether they can keep the story line compelling. I'm worried that we're going to see all the same old plot devices that every television drama uses: dealing with teenage sexuality, handling drug addiction, a reluctant romance for the main character... blah blah blah. If the show can convince me it has something new to offer (other than the fact that pot is the centerpiece of the show), then maybe I'll keep watching.
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Posted by Ken in: reviewstelevision

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