Weeds


Weeds Information

Weeds is an American dark comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan and produced by Tilted Productions in association with Lionsgate Television. The central character is Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), a widowed mother of two boys who begins selling marijuana to support her family after her husband dies suddenly of a heart attack. Over the course of the show, she and her family become more entangled in illegal activities on an escalating scale.

The primary locale of the first three seasons is in the fictional town of Agrestic, California. During seasons four and five, the Botwins reside in the fictional beachside town of Ren Mar in San Diego County, California. During the sixth season, the family relocates to Seattle, Washington before moving to Dearborn, Michigan. In between seasons six and seven, Nancy serves a prison sentence in Connecticut while her sons and brother-in-law live in Copenhagen, Denmark. At the beginning of season seven, Nancy moves into a halfway house in New York City where she reunites with her family. They live in Manhattan for the duration of the season, but relocate to Connecticut in the season seven finale and throughout season eight.

The show debuted on the Showtime cable network on August 7, 2005, earning the channel's highest ratings. The show concluded after airing its eighth season on September 16, 2012. In 2012, TV Guide Network bought the airing rights, providing an edited version of the show to audiences free of charge. The show has received numerous awards, including two Satellite Awards, one Golden Globe Award, a Writers Guild of America Award, a Young Artist Award, and 2 Emmy Awards.

Production

The show is inspired by crime series such as The Shield and The Sopranos, in the sense of the antihero serving as the protagonist while retaining an individual moral code, which usually goes against the norms of society. The title, according to Kohan, refers "to a lot of things", including marijuana and widow's weeds; however, it mainly alludes to "hardy plants struggling to survive." The basic premise, as illustrated by the lyrics of the opening song from the first three seasons as well its eighth, satirizes off-color characters struggling with faux suburban reality, in which everything is "all style, no substance". According to Kohan, she first pitched the series to HBO, which dismissed it. Robert Greenblatt invested in the show and Showtime later approved.

Jenji Kohan, whose credits include Tracey Takes On..., Mad About You, and Sex and the City, is the executive producer of the series, alongside Roberto Benabib, of Little City fame. Kohan serves as showrunner and head writer; she has written each season's premiere and finale episode. According to Kohan, when asked who "runs the writer's room," she said that she and Benabib "tag team". The writer Matthew Salsberg and director Craig Zisk joined the writing team as executive producers in later seasons; however, Zisk departed the series after season five. Since then Mark A. Burley, director Scott Ellis, and Lisa I. Vinnecour have been added to the writing team as executive producers. By season eight, writers Victoria Morrow and Stephan Falk have moved up the ranks as co-executive producer.

The exterior scenes for the show's first two seasons were shot almost exclusively in Stevenson Ranch, a suburban area of Santa Clarita Valley, California. The shot of the large fountain and Agrestic sign seen in the introduction of seasons 1"3 was shot at the corner of Stevenson Ranch Parkway and Holmes Place. The name "Stevenson Ranch" was digitally replaced with "Agrestic" (and with "Majestic" and "Regrestic" in later episodes). The overhead satellite picture displayed at the beginning of the show's introduction (seasons 1"3) is of Calabasas Hills, a gated community in Calabasas, California. The shot of the "It's A Grind" coffee shop in the introduction (seasons 1"3) is of an It's A Grind in Castaic, California. The show was originally filmed at Red Studios, previously known as Ren-Mar studios. The show moved to Universal Studios in Los Angeles for season 7, where it is noted on the studio tour. A version of this Wikipedia page served as the introduction for the season 5 episode titled "Where the Sidewalk Ends".

Synopsis

For the seasonal plots, see Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5, Season 6, Season 7 and Season 8.

Series opening

Nancy Botwin is a single mother who lives in Agrestic "? a fictional suburb of Los Angeles "? with her two children, Silas and Shane, who are aged 15 and 10 respectively when the series initially began airing. The pilot opens a few weeks after the untimely death of Nancy's husband Judah, who died of a heart attack while jogging with their younger son. Nancy starts to sell marijuana to maintain her upper middle-class lifestyle originally provided by her late husband's structural engineering salary. The series follows the events in Nancy's life as she gets drawn into the criminal system, develops a client base, starts a front to hide her selling, creates her own strain of weed called MILF, constantly relocates her family, and tries to stay out of jail and protect her children. Featured in the ensemble cast are her lax brother-in-law Andy Botwin; foolish acquaintance Doug Wilson; and her narcissistically vulgar neighbor Celia Hodes, a manic PTA mother who left after the fifth season.

Cast and characters

Main article: List of Weeds characters
The leading character is Nancy Price Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), a housewife from southern California who becomes a pot dealer after her husband Judah (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) dies. Although her drug-dealing career only achieves mixed success, she eventually rises to the highest levels of an international drug-smuggling cartel. Nancy remarries three times during the series. First, she has an under-the-radar wedding with Peter Scottson (Martin Donovan), a DEA agent, who was later killed. In season five, she marries Esteban Reyes (Demián Bichir), the fictional mayor of Tijuana and leader of a cartel, who is murdered by the seventh season. While serving time in prison, Nancy also establishes a long-term relationship with Zoya, a woman convicted for murdering her boyfriend. In the series finale, which leaps forward seven years, viewers come to know that Nancy married Rabbi David Bloom, who later died in a car accident.

Throughout most of the show, Nancy shares her house with her brother-in-law Andy Botwin (Justin Kirk). When Andy arrives in Agrestic, he is little more than a fun-loving slacker without any direction in his life, and Nancy views him as a personal burden. He later, nonetheless, emerges as the primary father figure in the Botwin household. He falls in love with Nancy during the fourth season but eventually realizes that she will never return his feelings. Nancy tries to balance their relationship to keep him "in the family." When he is not helping the family, Andy engages in a laundry list of business ventures, ranging from marijuana dealer to bicycle salesman.

Nancy begins the series with two sons, and post-Judah's death, they are raised haphazardly. In the fifth season, she has a son, Stevie Ray Botwin (portrayed by uncredited babies and later by Ethan and Gavin Kent), with Esteban Reyes. Her first son, Silas (Hunter Parrish), who has been engaging in sex since the show's debut, later follows in his mother's footsteps: he becomes a cannabis dealer, grower, and dispensary operator.

Nancy's youngest son, Shane (Alexander Gould), is highly intelligent yet poorly socialized and vulgar; he is deeply affected by his father's death. In the first three seasons, he was bullied in his local public school. He begs for more attention from his mother than he receives. His psychological issues many times reach a critical level. Just before leaving Agrestic, Shane has conversations with his dead father. Upon moving to Ren Mar, Shane loses his virginity and becomes a temporary alcoholic. While his mother is having a hostile conversation with Esteban's scornful boss Pilar, and after she threatened both his and his brother's lives, Shane abruptly kills Pilar with a croquet mallet. During season seven, Shane joins the police academy before receiving his criminal justice degree "? working for the New York City Police Department in season eight.

Celia Hodes (Elizabeth Perkins) is Nancy's friend and principal antagonist. Obsessed with her personal image, she manipulates those around her who do not fit neatly into that image. She is unhappily married to Dean (Andy Milder), whom she regards as a "loser asshole"; they later divorce. Many characters also dislike her. Her older daughter, Quinn (Haley Hudson), kidnaps her as revenge for shipping her to a reform school in Mexico. Celia is demanding over her younger daughter Isabelle's (Allie Grant) "weight problem", and is displeased with her being a lesbian. At the end of season one, Celia is diagnosed with breast cancer and is cured with chemo therapy. After the fifth season, the actress left to pursue other projects.

Doug Wilson (Kevin Nealon) begins the series as an accountant and city councilman for the town of Agrestic. Doug is friends with many characters in the series including Andy, Dean, and Sanjay Patel (Maulik Pancholy); all four aid Nancy's career as a marijuana retailer. Doug makes mistakes and loses his position; his wife Dana leaves him. He becomes a drifter who follows the Botwin family during seasons four through eight. Both the Botwin family and he move to New York City, where he becomes the chief accountant for a Ponzi scheme posing as a hedge fund.

The show has a changing cast of major supporting characters. Heylia James (Tonye Patano) and her family "? Conrad and Vaneeta, portrayed by Romany Malco and Indigo, respectively "? play key roles during the first three seasons. They are wholesalers who supply marijuana to Nancy, who in turn distributes to retail customers. Conrad later develops his own strain of marijuana, called MILF weed, which Nancy sells.

Season three features Sullivan Groff (Matthew Modine), an unethical, womanizing real estate developer with big plans for Agrestic. When Nancy moves to Ren Mar, the characters in Esteban's drug cartel take a leading role, primarily Cesar (Enrique Castillo), Ignacio (Hemky Madera), and Guillermo (Guillermo Díaz), the latter first appearing in the third season. Other key characters include Nancy's housekeeper Lupita (Renée Victor); rival drug dealers; countless law enforcement characters; the romantic interests of Andy, Silas, and Shane; and the residents of Agrestic and Ren Mar.

In the sixth season, Nancy is on the run, and most introduced characters have only minor roles and appear in one or two episodes. An exception to this is Warren Schiff (Richard Dreyfuss), who has an affectionate love for Nancy, having met her first as her math teacher in high school. When the Botwins and Doug settle in New York City, another set of supporting characters are introduced. The family later settle in with Nancy's estranged sister Jill (Jennifer Jason Leigh) in a house in Connecticut, who becomes a regular guest character in the eighth season.

Other guest recurring characters include Albert Brooks as Nancy's father-in-law Lenny, Carrie Fisher as a lawyer for Celia, Dave Thomas as a doctor, Martin Short as a lawyer for Nancy's custody battle, Alanis Morrissette as a doctor at an abortion clinic, Zooey Deschanel as Andy's estranged ex-girlfriend, Lee Majors as a border guard, Mary-Kate Olsen as an estranged girl who worships Jesus and sells pot, as well as Aidan Quinn and others.

Episodes

Main article: List of Weeds episodes
As of September, 16 2012, 102 original episodes of Weeds have been produced and broadcast. The first season began August 8, 2005 and consisted of 10 episodes. The second season premiered on August 14, 2006, airing 12 episodes. The third season debuted on August 13, 2007, airing 15 episodes. The fourth season began June 16, 2008, the fifth season on June 8, 2009, and the sixth in August 2010, each with a total of 13 episodes. The seventh season began airing on June 27, 2011, and, as of November 10, 2011, Weeds was renewed for an eighth season with 13 episodes, premiering Sunday, July 1, 2012.

In 2006, before Season 2 started airing on Showtime, the first few episodes were leaked online. Before the third season began, the first two episodes appeared online on July 22, 2007 (nearly a month before the August 13 premiere date). The third episode appeared online on July 24, with the fourth appearing just three days later. The fourth episode was, however, an incomplete version"?among other things, some dubbed lines were not complete (notably part of a voice mail message by U-Turn is spoken by a distinctly different actor), and a card simply reading "End Credits" was inserted instead of the actual credits. On August 1, 2010, the first episodes of season 6 leaked online. Due to the high quality of the leaked episodes, downloaders of the torrents speculated that they were leaked intentionally to garner interest in the show and to create internet buzz. Episode leaks of other Showtime programs such as Californication and Dexter were seen as giving weight to this theory.

Jenji Kohan has stated that she does not mind episodes being distributed on the internet in this way, saying, "Revenue aside, I don't expect to get rich on Weeds. I'm excited it's out there. Showtime is great, but it does have a limited audience." The show is rated TV-MA for drug content, profanity, nudity, brief violence, and other adult content.

Media

Opening music

"Little Boxes" is the opening song for the first three seasons of the show; the version recorded by the composer, Malvina Reynolds, is used during the first season. In seasons 2 and 3, the song is performed by various artists. In season 4, the Malvina Reynolds version opens the first episode. Thereafter, the original titles and music are replaced by a short clip, different for each episode, which bears relevance to the plot or some scene later in the episode. During the opening credits of the show's eighty-fourth episode, a woman is heard humming the tune to Little Boxes as she arranges knickknacks on a shelf. The song is also subtly referenced in the eighth episode of the fourth season when a sleepy Nancy tells Shane that he's going to "become a doctor or a lawyer or a business executive." In the eighth episode of season seven, a person can be heard humming the theme song. In Season 8, they return to using "Little Boxes" for the opening sequence.

Season 1
Season 2
  1. Elvis Costello
  2. Death Cab for Cutie
  3. Engelbert Humperdinck
  4. Kate & Anna McGarrigle (in French)
  5. Maestro Charles Barnett
  6. Aidan Hawken
  7. Ozomatli
  8. The Submarines
  9. Tim DeLaughter of Polyphonic Spree
  10. Regina Spektor
  11. Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice
  12. Malvina Reynolds
Season 3
  1. Randy Newman
  2. Angelique Kidjo
  3. Kinky (in Spanish)
  4. Donovan
  5. Billy Bob Thornton
  6. The Shins
  7. The Individuals
  8. Man Man
  9. Joan Baez
  10. The Decemberists
  11. Michael Franti
  12. Persephone's Bees (partly in Russian)
  13. Laurie Berkner
  14. Linkin Park
  15. Malvina Reynolds (opening)
    & Pete Seeger (closing)
Season 8
  1. Malvina Reynolds
  2. Ben Folds
  3. Steve Martin & Kevin Nealon
  4. The Bronx
  5. The Mountain Goats
  6. Bomb the Music Industry!
  7. The Womenfolk
  8. The Thermals
  9. Dierks Bentley
  10. Hunter Parrish
  11. Aimee Mann
  12. Malvina Reynolds

Soundtracks

The music supervisors for the show include Gary Calamar (along with music coordinator Alyson Vidoli) (27 episodes), Amine Ramer (4 episodes), and Bruce Gilbert (3 episodes). The original score is provided by composers Brandon Jay and Gwendolyn Sanford.

Weeds: Music from the Original Series
  • Released September 13, 2005
  1. Malvina Reynolds " "Little Boxes"
  2. Nellie McKay " "David"
  3. Peggy Lee " "A Doodlin' Song"
  4. Sufjan Stevens " "All The Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands"
  5. Michael Franti & Spearhead " "Ganja Babe"
  6. All Too Much " "More Than A Friend"
  7. Sons & Daughters " "Blood"
  8. The New Pornographers " "The Laws Have Changed"
  9. Joey Santiago " "Fake Purse"
  10. NRBQ " "Wacky Tobacky"
  11. Marion Black " "Who Knows"
  12. Martin Creed " "I Can't Move"
  13. The Mountain Goats " "Cotton"
  14. Joey Santiago " "Birthday Video"
  15. Flogging Molly " "If I Ever Leave This World Alive"
  16. The Be Good Tanyas " "The Littlest Birds"
  17. Hill Of Beans " "Satan Lend Me a Dollar"


Weeds: Music from the Original Series, Volume 2
  • Released October 17, 2006
  1. Elvis Costello " "Little Boxes"
  2. Zeroleen " "All Good"
  3. Of Montreal " "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games"
  4. Jenny Owen Youngs " "Fuck Was I"
  5. Fern Jones " "Strange Things Are Happening"
  6. (The Real) Tuesday Weld " "Bathtime In Clerkenwell"
  7. Gwendolyn Sanford & Brandon Jay " "Shane Digs Gretchen"
  8. Rogue Wave " "Kicking The Heart Out"
  9. Regina Spektor " "The Ghost of Corporate Future"
  10. Dengue Fever " "One Thousand Tears of a Tarantula"
  11. Aidan Hawken " "Neighborhood"
  12. Squirrel Nut Zippers " "It Ain't You"
  13. Gwendolyn Sanford & Brandon Jay " "From Agrestic to Las Vegas"
  14. The 88 " "Not Enough"
  15. Sufjan Stevens " "Holland"
  16. Gwendolyn Sanford & Brandon Jay " "Huskaroo TV Spot"
  17. The Mopes " "You Look Like A Gorilla"


Weeds: Music from the Original Series, Volume 3
  • Released June 3, 2008 as digital-only release, retail release July 8.
  1. Randy Newman " "Little Boxes"
  2. Page France " "Chariot"
  3. That 1 Guy " "Buttmachine"
  4. Beirut " "Scenic World"
  5. The Dresden Dolls " "Girl Anachronism"
  6. Ween " "You Fucked Up"
  7. Oh No! Oh My! " "Walk In The Park"
  8. Illinois " "Nosebleed"
  9. Great Lake Swimmers " "Your Rocky Spine"
  10. Mr. Smolin " "The Earth Keeps Turning On"
  11. Kevin Nealon " "Just Like The Superdome"
  12. State Radio " "Keepsake"
  13. Eleni Mandell " "Let's Drive Away"
  14. The Shins " "Little Boxes" (iTunes Exclusive)


Weeds: Music from the Original Series, Volume 4
  • Released June 9, 2009
  1. DeVotchKa " "A New World"
  2. Nortec Collective " "Tengo La Voz"
  3. Greg Weeks " "Made"
  4. The Free Design " "Love You"
  5. That Handsome Devil " "Mexico"
  6. Miss Li " "Don't Try To Fool Me"
  7. Tunng " "Bullets"
  8. Mucca Pazza " "Borino Oro"
  9. Los Mono " "Se Puede"
  10. Linus of Hollywood " "Thank You For Making Me Feel Better"
  11. The Mountain Goats " "International Small Arms Traffic Blues"
  12. Toots & The Maytals " "Celia"
  13. Soul Swingers " "Brighter Tomorrow"


DVD and Blu-ray releases

DVD Name # of Ep Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Season One 10 July 11, 2006 September 3, 2007 July 18, 2007
Season Two 12 July 24, 2007 January 7, 2008 May 28, 2008
Season Three 15 June 3, 2008 May 26, 2008 July 8, 2009
Season Four 13 June 2, 2009 November, 2009 March 17, 2010
Season Five 13 January 19, 2010 August 22, 2010 November 24, 2010
Season Six 13 February 22, 2011 April 9, 2012 December 16, 2011
Season Seven 13 February 21, 2012 TBA TBA
Season Eight 13 February 12, 2013 TBA TBA
The Region 1 Season One DVD is only available in 4:3 pan and scan format. The Region 2 and 4 releases are all in anamorphic widescreen. Season one was released on Blu-ray on May 29, 2007, and Season two was released on July 24, 2007. Both seasons include all episodes in 1080p widescreen with Dolby Digital EX sound and either DTS-HD (season one) or LPCM (season two), as well as extras exclusive to the Blu-ray release. Season three was released on Blu-ray on June 3, 2008. Seasons one to three on Blu-ray are multi-region discs; however, season four has been region-locked to region A only. This is due to a lack of broad international pick-up by non-US broadcasters at the time of release. This implies that Showtime does not wish to prejudice any future transmission rights negotiations by having the season available to own before it could be broadcast in the countries concerned.

In late 2009, Weeds seasons four and five have been aired in at least one region B country, namely The Netherlands. Subsequently, a region 2 DVD of Season 4 has indeed been released. However, the region 2 DVD release was not accompanied by a region B Blu-ray. Showtime has not commented on whether they ever anticipate releasing a region B Blu-ray version, or if any further non-US transmission rights are agreed. The same region locking has been applied to Blu-ray for season five. In November 2011, Seasons 2"5 were released on Region B Blu-ray in Australia with Season 6 Region B Blu-ray released December 16, 2011. Blu-ray season seven is now available.

An extra feature on the Season Two DVD was rejected by the British Board of Film Classification since it was regarded as "likely [...] to promote and encourage the use of illegal drugs".

Books

On August 7, 2007, Simon Spotlight, a division of Simon and Schuster, published In the Weeds: The Official Guide to the Showtime Series by Kera Bolonik, which features interviews with the show's creator, its writer-producers, and the entire cast. It also features detailed character and plot descriptions, recipes, trivia and behind-the-scenes information.

Reception

In its first year, Weeds was the highest rated series for Showtime. Its fourth-season premiere attracted 1.3 million viewers to Showtime, the channel's then-highest-ever viewership; the season as a whole averaged 962,000 viewers.

Slate magazine named the character of Nancy Botwin as one of the best on television and one of the reasons they were looking forward to the return of the show in fall 2007. TIME magazine's James Poniewozik named it one of the Top 10 Returning Series of 2007, ranking it at #9. The New York Times opined the show is "transforming for Showtime." Metacritic scored season two, four and five a score of 78, 67 and 73 respectively.

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of Weeds awards and nominations

Won

Award Title Credit Year
Satellite Awards Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical Mary-Louise Parker 2005
Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by a TV Actress in a Musical or Comedy Mary-Louise Parker 2006
Writers Guild of America Episodic Comedy Jenji Kohan, Creator/Executive Producer 2006
Young Artist Awards Best Supporting Young Actor " Television Series Alexander Gould 2006
Satellite Awards Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical Justin Kirk 2008
Emmy Awards Outstanding Cinematography for a Half-Hour Series Michael Trim, Director of Photography 2010

Nominated

Golden Globe Awards
Best TV Series-Comedy (2006, 2007, 2009)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-series, or TV Movie Elizabeth Perkins (2006): Best Performance by a TV Supporting Actress Elizabeth Perkins (2006, 2007)
Best Performance by a TV Actress in a Musical or Comedy Mary-Louise Parker (2005, 2007, 2008)
Best Performance by a TV Supporting Actor Justin Kirk (2007)
Screen Actors Guild
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Mary-Louise Parker (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
Ensemble In A Comedy Series (2007, 2009)
Satellite Awards
Outstanding Actress in a Series-Comedy Elizabeth Perkins (2005)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-series, or TV Movie Elizabeth Perkins(2006)
Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical Mary-Louise Parker (2006, 2008)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series, or TV Movie Justin Kirk (2007)
Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical (2007, 2008)
Emmy Awards
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Elizabeth Perkins (2006, 2007, 2009)
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series Craig Zisk, for the episode Good Shit Lollipop (2006)
Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series (2006, 2007)
Outstanding Main Title Design (2006)
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series, for the episode Good Shit Lollipop (2006)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Mary-Louise Parker (2007, 2008, 2009)
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series, for the episode Mrs. Botwin's Neighborhood (2007)
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series, for the episode Crush Girl Love Panic (2007)
Outstanding Comedy Series (2009)



This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Weeds_%28TV_series%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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