4/20 may have come and gone, but “Weeds” is here to stay.
In the TV show, “Weeds,” viewers follow the adventures and mishaps of mom-turned-drug -dealer, Nancy Botwin (Emmy-winner Mary-Louise Parker). The show’s fourth season is pitch-perfect.
I have only one complaint – the omission of Conrad Shepard (Romany Malco, who played one of Steve Carrell’s co-workers in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”). Shepard, the forlorn love interest for Botwin, was a mainstay for the past three seasons of “Weeds.”
He was the Luke to her Lorelai, the Ross to her Rachel.
When they finally got together, the writers just had to rip them apart. The character is completely absent in the fourth season, replaced by two messed-up love interests, one moreso than the other. (Spoilers prevent me from saying who they are.)
Other than that, the show’s hilarious, and sometimes, stoned banter continues. The junior slump is in the past. Honestly, I couldn’t pinpoint what went wrong with the third season. I would just prefer to replay the first and second seasons of “Weeds” on DVD.
Hunter Parrish, who plays Botwin’s older son on the show, sheds light on the matter in the commentary he did on the 3-disc set. He mentioned liking how the fourth season brought back “the heart,” which he said was missing from the third season.
In season 4, we see Botwin questioning right from wrong more and dealing with her guilt over not taking better care of her sons – all buoyed up by the aforementioned witty dialogue.
The DVD is loaded with commentaries, but I’d skip most of them, except the ones by actors Kevin Nealon and Justin Kirk. Together, they produced funny commentaries, talking about everything from flannel t-shirts to yellow flowers. I’d also sit through Parrish’s (Zac Efron’s enemy in “17 Again”) commentary, especially if you’re a fan of the actor.
On the other hand, the commentary by Jenji Kohan, creator of “Weeds,” was disappointing. It was monotone and didn’t provide as much insight into the episodes as you would expect from the person behind it all. I have to say, though, the anecdote about how her mom dressed her up for Halloween was well worth sitting through the commentary she did for episode 1.
In another DVD commentary, Roberto Benabib, writer of epsiode 4: “Three Coolers,” couldn’t stop talking enough about how great everyone was. Showtime, the set and (dear God) Albert Brooks – he went on and on about Brooks, a guest star, whilst other things and people were in the scenes.
More editing could have been done since several of the featurettes ended abruptly. The gag reel wasn’t nearly as funny as the show, but most featurettes were watchable, with something for just about everyone.
For the artistically inclined, many featurettes revolved around the new sets on the show since the locale moved from suburbia to a beach house and Mexico. Then, there was the special on how the law deals with drug dealers – for those who are so criminally inclined.
The most interesting tidbit from the featurettes: Three of the “Weeds” cast members were in “Finding Nemo.” I found out from the “Burbs to Beach” special that Alexander Gould, who plays Botwin’s other son, was the voice of Nemo. Brooks, Botwin’s father-in-law on the show, played Nemo’s father while the comedically gifted Elizabeth Perkins, Botwin’s frenemy on “Weeds,” was Nemo’s mother.
And for your Parrish fixing, two featurettes are fixated on him, specifically “The Real Hunter Parrish” and “I’m a Big Kid Now.” In fact, the entire DVD should satisfy your cable TV appetitite while leaving you with the munchies for the season 5 DVD.