Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What I’m Watching: Weeds (Season Premiere)

Weeds: Season 5, Episode 1 “Wonderful Wonderful” (B)

Last season of “Weeds” was a considerable departure from what came before it. The first season was a dazzlingly fresh, fun comedy with entertaining characters and an oddly plausible premise. The next two seasons introduced DEA investigations and gangsters, and everything seemed to fall apart. The third season finale literally burned down the opening credits, and the fourth season got a fresh start. In the debut installment of the show’s fifth season, the characters seem to be maturing, or at least transforming, but it doesn’t look like a whole lot of anything is going to get done this year.

Nancy’s journey down the Mexican rabbit hole last season resulted in her disgust at the sight of human trafficking, and turning in the middle man to the DEA. Outed as the informant, she revealed her pregnancy to the child’s mobster father. The question now is, since Nancy obviously isn’t going to die because the show depends on her, how will she and Esteban maintain relations after he knows that he can’t trust her? Look at how badly Peter reacted when Nancy betrayed him, and he was a DEA agent. This guy is a blatant gangster who has no qualms with killing people on a whim, or at least having his intimidating head honcho Cesar do it for him. Esteban is likely to be furious at most occasions while interacting with the mother of his child, which is a shame, since it was his heartfelt, tender moments with Nancy that made his character truly fascinating.

Nancy has gone from being over her head in debt to one person to another, and it’s not likely that she’ll be left alone by Esteban anytime soon. That ties her plotline up pretty well, since she can’t really act for herself anymore. That leaves the rest of the crew, which includes a bunch of whiny males and a captive Celia. Silas’ yearning for youthful independence has become tiring, especially after the countless women (Quinn, Megan, Lisa) who have now abandoned him and left him a lonely backpacker. Shane has grown up, and it’s very entertaining to see him with his new haircut, new earring, and new job as resident (high?) school drug dealer. His interaction with a desperate teacher is particularly amusing. Doug’s going nowhere, but is that really a surprise? Andy confesses his love to Nancy, but she turns him down and plans to send him to her sister’s with the kids. Celia’s being held by her daughter, but it looks like that whole business is over. I did very much enjoy the return of both Roy Till and Sanjay, and I hope they weren't just used as a comedic device to relate to Celia. This premiere was really treading water, and not much progress was yet made. Therefore, another week is needed to judge where this season is really heading, and I think this premiere was a decent reintroduction to the characters, but nothing more.

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