Smile Politely

Spending June in the Weeds

I’m a high school librarian, which means I currently have nothing to do for a few months. I’m not gonna lie: I really really really like it. Please, no vitriol. I’ve been sensing a little vitriol so far this summer from people in stores and my neighbors who can’t help but notice that I’m doing whatever the hell I want to do at various hours of the day and night. When I suggested to one of my neighbors that the nature of my job warranted the amount of vacation I get, he did the world’s tiniest violin thing. 

That’s okay. I’m pretty confident in my beliefs on this matter. And it will please the haters to know that it hasn’t really been that great of a summer so far. I want it to be hot enough to go to the pool, and I’m kind of worried this weather is the slow start of some impending Ice Age that will cause me to greatly alter my lifestyle. I have to read all these horrible Young Adult books this summer and I’m sadly through six of them already. (Wow, my neighbors really should be jealous … this is hot stuff!)  

I hate the Cubs. I just plain hate them and I’ve wasted many hours on them already. And I went right from talking to 2,500 high school students who were on top of me everyday all day (world’s tiniest violin) to silence — and that always makes me grumpy and weird at the beginning of summer. In fact, the only enjoyment I’ve gotten from this summer so far is eating plums (I love plums) and catching up on Weeds, Showtime’s comedic sitcom about a well-to-do surburban pot-dealing single mother, on the ol’ Netflix Instant.

Don’t roll your eyes at my seemingly lazy summer TV activities. The nature of my job demands that I take time to drink a Corona and watch this show! That, and a whole bunch of high school boys were singing its praises ad nauseam this year. This is funny because it’s true.

Let me just say that I was in D.A.R.E. in high school and, to add to the show’s legitimacy as top-notch comedy, my Mom loves Weeds too. She’s been singing its praises ad nauseam and my Mom definitely doesn’t find marijuana funny the way high school kids do. I told you how much she loved Star Trek: The Next Generation. And she loves QVC and playing Minesweeper on the computer. And she wears sun-visors when she works in her garden. I’m realizing now that all those character traits actually make her seem like she’d be into stoner comedies, but trust me, she’s not.

And Weeds definitely isn’t just a stoner comedy. Mary-Louise Parker (pictured right, with Martin Donovan) is beautiful and awesome as Nancy Botwin, the suburban Mom who sells weed to maintain her family’s lifestyle after her husband dies. The show grows outlandish and hilarious and emotional and smart from there with the help of a seriously excellent cast. I loved the show when it first came out, but I only saw season one on account of my desire to downsize my Comcast bill and get rid of Showtime a few years ago. (I know, for all the haranguing I do of people that don’t have HBO, I got rid of Showtime. My interest in the channel was waning, and I was being frugal.)

I’m so into my Weeds marathon right now, I might have to start making a monthly expenditure on Showtime again as season five premiered last week. I’m only on season three, though if I know myself and my TV watching habits, I’ll be caught up shamefully soon … like, maybe by tomorrow? And anyway, I already know most everything that’s going to happen, because I’m evil and I read ahead on the internet. And I asked my Mom and the high school kids to tell me, too. I never want to be surprised.

My favorite things about Weeds:

  1. The show employed Martin Donovan for a few seasons (as the DEA agent Nancy marries so they can date without him being able to testify against her — I told you, outlandish), and personally, I just really like Martin Donovan. I like the way he says things. I like how he sounded so natural saying weird Hal Hartley things. He’s weird and interesting, and he makes things weird and interesting. That’s the best way to describe Martin Donovan.
  2. Mary-Louise Parker is immensely likeable as Nancy — like, one of the most likeable presences I’ve ever seen on TV. It is hard to like a person as much as you’ll like her on this show.   
  3. The entire cast of other characters / actors is as likeable as Mary-Louise Parker. You’ll never be sad when they’re on the screen, no matter what kind of messed-up stuff is happening to them. Elizabeth Perkins as Nancy’s bitch friend Celia Hodes and Kevin Nealon (pictured, right) as Nancy’s stoner accountant / business partner Doug Wilson are two standouts.  Also Justin Kirk as Andy, the brother of Nancy’s first dead husband, spouts some of the most ridiculously hilarious and crass dialogue I’ve ever heard, perfectly delivered every time. The two actors who play Nancy’s sons (Hunter Parrish and Alexander Gould) are equally terrific, and Romany Malco (in the first few seasons anyway) plays another of Nancy’s business partners who comes up with a sophisticated marijuana grow-house that expands the business. You will love all of them.
  4. You can get your own Weeds fix right now! The first two seasons are available on Netflix Instant, which is fast becoming my new favorite thing (seriously, I watched Attenborough in Paradise and a bunch of documentaries about Australia on there). And then I might have impatiently purchased the first few episodes of season three on iTunes because my Netflix discs of seasons three and four won’t come until tomorrow. 

Look, I have a hard job. It’s apparently never going to stop raining. Mentally, I feel a little like that scene in Parent Trap when the twins are trapped in the summer camp cabin with a leaky roof and they’re forced to get along. I’m easing into my summer vacation with this show. I have no shame about it. Here’s hoping my Ice Age prediction doesn’t come true until after Mad Men starts back up in August.

Ewwww. I invoked August.           

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