Weeds: Season 1

Weeds, Elizabeth Perkins, ...

Sure, mobsters and morticians have killed on premium cable, but none slay us as quirkily, with but a whimper and a dime bag, as Mary-Louise Parker’s marijuana-dealing soccer mom. A depressed widow with two sons, Parker opens a bakery to facilitate a pot ring (a.k.a. a ”fakery”). Like The Sopranos and Six Feet Under, Weeds caustically satirizes suburbia while peeking into a fringe family business. But unlike its predecessors, Showtime’s series deals in a realism that’s wincingly close to home.

While the barely-there presence of Golden Globe winner Parker on the extras is curious, the show’s comic relief, Kevin Nealon (who plays an incessantly stoned CPA), picks up the slack — the package is best summed up, actually, by costar Justin Kirk during one of many frivolous cast chats: ”Who wouldn’t wanna party with Kevin Nealon?”

On his commentary, Nealon playfully bemoans how ”light-headed” he gets from smoking the herbal props, which creator (and Gilmore Girls alum) Jenji Kohan says are composed of ”creatively glued oregano and twigs.” Kohan’s tracks, a foil for Nealon’s wisecracking, offer sober insight into the show; she claims that some of her snappy banter derives from ”conversations I had had down in Venice Beach with the people I played dominoes with.” A cannabis doc is pretty predictable, but the recipes for laced Hash Browns, Hot Space Cakes, and I’m Baked Ziti are the set’s highlight.

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