FOREWORD: I'm sorry for all the pot-bashing.
When someone knows that they are in real danger, they often flail wildly to get out of danger. If you trapped me in a corner and were going to kill me , I'd punch and kick and scratch and mewl until you either killed me or let me go.
Showtime's Weeds (or at least the three episodes I watched last night) starts out the series scratching a mewling. It knows it should be better than it is: it has a fun concept, a good lead actress, and licence to say "fuck" as often or as little as it wants to.
Despite this, the show falters. It tries to ride the premise of Mary Louise Parker's widow character becoming the neighborhood pot-slinger much farther than it actually can, without developing relationships. Parker's relationship with her sons is one of casual, accepting permissiveness. Her relationship with the local women is comically chilly, but comes off as superficial. The only character I really care about in the show is Celia, who hates her husband and children. The end.
Without relationships to inform the action, the show falls back on a few disparate moves:
1. Cute kids. Parker's son is cute. He has big teeth and is articulate. Precocious, even.
2. Suburban "weirdness". There is tennis-racket sodomy. I'm not sure if this is meant to shock us or hold the mirror up to our own middle-class depravity, but does this kind of stuff surprise anyone anymore?
3. Snippets of Gilmore Girls-style dialogue, but between pot dealers.
4. Kevin Nealon
So the show sometimes mewls and scratches, and eventually perishes. I'm going to give it a few more tries, though, as we have the DVD indefinitely.
The show's music is fucking great, though.