Sitcoms Online
Home
News Blog
Message Boards
Photo Galleries
DVD and Blu-ray Reviews
Follow Us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram
Our Sitcom Sites
• Sitcom Links, DVDs and Theme Songs
A / B / C / D / E / F / G /
H / I / J / K / L / M / N /
O / P / Q / R / S / T / U /
V / W / Y / Z / #
Other TV Links
• Merchandise
Purchase TV Series on DVD, Blu-ray or VHS
Purchase TV Theme Songs on CD and Other Series Soundtracks
Purchase TV Posters
• Games
Guess the Sitcom Character Game
Games Message Board
• Watch Sitcoms Online
Amazon Instant Video
Amazon Prime - Free Trial
Hulu Plus
Xfinity TV
YouTube
Veoh
TV.com
Netflix
TV Land
ABC
CBS
FOX
NBC
The CW
TBS
ABC Family
Crackle
Archive.org Classic TV Collection
• Questions or Comments?
About Us
Contact Form

Weeds - Season One


TITLE: WEEDS - SEASON ONE


Info:

DVD Release Date: July 11, 2006 (Lionsgate)
Color / 2005
MSRP: $39.98
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 10
Running time: 283 minutes
Running time of Special Features: Approximately 40 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English and Spanish subtitles; Closed Captioned
Special Features: Commentaries (6 episodes), "Smokey Snippets," "Smoke and Mirrors" Original Marijuana Mockumentary, Agrestic Herbal Recipes, Showtime Original Content, Music Video


Introduction:

Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) is your typical mother. She loves her sons, 15-year-old Silas (Hunter Parrish) and her younger son Shane (Alexander Gould) and would do anything for them. She is even an active member in the PTA at Shane's school, who cares so much about the health of the kids that she is pushing to get soft-drinks removed from the school vending machines. And after her husband suddenly dies after having a heart-attack, leaving her without money to live her comfortable suburban soccer mom lifestyle, she has to find a new way to make money. And she does it by selling pot! That is what Weeds, the Showtime original comedy is all about, and now the first season is available on DVD!

It isn't as if selling marijuana was Nancy's first choice. She was forced into it only because she knew that it was a way to make easy money and she wanted her kids to live the comfortable lifestyle they've become used to. Selling marijuana is her little secret though—well between her and the neighbors that buy it behind the backs of their other family members. She gets the weed from her suppliers, who (to put it bluntly) live in the ghetto. Their family includes the lady of the house, Heylia (Tonye Patano), Conrad (Romany Malco), and Vaneeta (Indigo), all of whom live in a world that is much different from Nancy's.

Rounding out the cast at Nancy's home is her Hispanic housekeeper, Lupita (Renee Victor), who is slowly discovering Nancy's secret, and her brother-in-law, Andy Botwin (Justin Kirk), who is a huge pothead that is more-or-less the black sheep of the family. Celia (Elizabeth Perkins) is Nancy's friend, who knows nothing about her business and is (to put it bluntly) a total bitch. The woman is crazy! She has a fourth-grade (roughly speaking) daughter named Isabelle (Allie Grant), who she calls "Isabelly" because she thinks she is getting too fat--and gets revenge on this daughter when she discovers she is hiding chocolate in her room by replacing the chocolate with laxative, which causes Isabelle to have a terrible accident in class at school! She ships her other daughter (who, incidentally, is sleeping with Nancy's son, Silas) off to boarding school in Mexico when she tapes Celia's husband, Dean (Andy Midler), sleeping with a tennis player, and to get even with Dean for sleeping with the tennis player, she shaves his head after he falls asleep one night! And finally, there is Nancy's accountant, Doug (Kevin Nealon) who is also one of Nancy's biggest clients.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The set begins with the pilot episode, titled "You Can't Miss the Bear," which sets up the premise of the series. In "Free Goat," Celia decides to get revenge on her oldest daughter and husband after the videotaped sex incident--and the revenge isn't going to be pretty either! Nancy has to find a way to compete with a medical marijuana store in "Good S*** Lollipop," and Celia is going to teach her youngest daughter, "Isabelly," a lesson for hiding candy in her room. Nancy's freeloading brother-in-law, Andy, shows up in "Fashion of the Christ," and Celia has decided that shaving her husband's head isn't enough revenge for him and has a bomb dropped on the house—kind of. Nancy learns the reality of being a pot dealer and Andy gets busted for having pot in "Lude Awakening."

Nancy's business grows and Celia's mother shows up (she is even worse than Celia!) as Celia undergoes her cancer treatment in "Higher Education." In "The Punishment Light," somebody is throwing pennies at Nancy's Land Rover--her competition! Should she be scared for her family or can she cut a deal with the competition? Celia uses a nasty trick to take over as PTA president and Nancy loses $14,000 in pot—her mortgage payment—in "The Punishment Lighter." Finally, the season ends with "The Godmother," where Silas and his girlfriend, Megan, get high on ecstasy, leaving Nancy in the difficult position of explaining to him why drugs are wrong--but he knows she is a hypocrite. And as if things aren't bad enough, Andy just remembers that he signed up for the Army Reserve, and now he is being called up for duty in Iraq (and trying to find a way out, with his best idea being becoming a rabbi), and Isabelle is starting to exhibit sexual behaviors, but she might just be a lesbian!


Packaging:

The artwork on the packaging is very nice; basically what you see is what you get. The front cover has a cast shot with all of the main cast members inside of a Ziploc bag, outside somewhere in the suburbs. The back of the box has a picture of Mary-Louise Parker and more cast photos at the bottom.

Inside the outer box, you'll see, well, the exact same packaging art on the poorly designed inner packaging. Honestly, I think this is some of the strangest packaging I've seen in a while, and I don't mean that in a good way. They had tried to take a digibook style packaging, but with two discs, that just doesn't come out too nicely. What you have is a cardboard book-style case that has a tray in the middle, with discs on both sides of the tray. It is hard to really describe it, but the bottom line is that it is very cumbersome. I would have rather had an Amaray case that holds two discs than this! The left-hand panel of it has a page that contains a list of the episodes with writing and directing credits on it. It would have been more helpful if they would have given brief episode descriptions as well!

The artwork on the discs is very basic (but nice), with a photo of Mary-Louise Parker, Kevin Nealon, and Justin Kirk on Disc 1 and Elizabeth Perkins, Romany Malco, and Tonye Patano on Disc 2. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-6 and Disc 2 contains episodes 7-10.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are nicely done, with the main cast members standing inside of a Ziploc bag (just like on the cover art) with smoke rising through the air. In the background, some song (I have no clue what it is, but it was playing at one point in the first episode) plays. The main menu has options of Episode Selection, Set Up, and Special Features. When you select an option, a chocolate chip cookie (baked with weed?) comes flying out and changes the menu. The Episode Selection option allows you to select the episode, which plays immediately upon selection. There is also a Play All option on this menu. While there is no scene selection, each episode has a chapter placed in the middle of the episode, roughly at a place where a commercial break could be if Showtime aired commercials. Set Up basically allows you change the audio from English 5.1 to English 2.0 and to turn on subtitles if you want those. And Special Features does exactly what it sounds like it should do.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality on this set is pretty good, which is about what one would expect for a series as recent as this one. However, some people do have a complaint about the video. The complaint is that certain people are not happy that the series is done in pan-and-scan, because these people (that are absolute perfectionists about their home theater demands, might I add) are among a small group of people that watched the series on Showtime in high definition, where it was presented in widescreen. Whether or not this really matters is a matter of your personal perspective. The way I see it, however, is that most people did NOT watch this show in widescreen, and the way that Lionsgate has presented this set is exactly how most people remember the show. Clearly, widescreen is better than pan-and-scan, but on the other hand, if I'm used to watching something in one format, I'd rather not have to adjust to the other format when the series is on DVD, so I don't see this as being as serious of a problem as some may see it.

As for the audio, it is fine--nothing at all to complain about. The set has two English audio tracks, one is Dolby Digital 5.1 and the other is Dolby Digital 2.0. If you have no idea what the difference is, then you probably wouldn't care anyway--there really ISN'T much of a difference for the average viewer. And there are subtitles (English and Spanish) as well as closed-captioning on this set.

The episodes on the set are presumably unedited. Lionsgate has a tendency to release syndicated episodes on many series because it is too difficult for them to get good quality prints (in other words, they are too cheap to do a little basic restoration), so fortunately, syndicated episodes do not even exist for this series and we are getting full length episodes. The runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "You Can't Miss the Bear" (31:42)
2. "Free Goat" (30:14)
3. "Good S*** Lollipop" (29:56)
4. "Fashion of the Christ" (26:45)
5. "Lude Awakening" (27:02)
6. "Dead in the Nethers" (27:26)

Disc 2:
7. "Higher Education" (26:55)
8. "The Punishment Light" (26:44)
9. "The Punishment Lighter" (27:08)
10. "The Godmother" (29:56)


Special Features:

The set is loaded with special features, but the truth is, if you have Showtime, you've probably seen some of them already since some of the special features come directly from Showtime. But there is also some new material on this set that is definitely worth watching! And after viewing some of these special features, it is VERY obvious why Lionsgate puts a disclaimer at the beginning of each disc explaining that the opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect their opinions!

First of all, the set includes commentaries. In fact, more than half of the episodes (6 out of 10) have audio commentaries by various people associated with the show. The episodes containing commentaries are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "You Can't Miss the Bear" (Jenji Kohan, series creator)
3. "Good S*** Lollipop" (Craig X, series consultant)
5. "Lude Awakening" (Tonye Patano, "Heylia")
6. "Dead in the Nethers" (Romany Malco, "Conrad")

Disc 2:
8. "The Punishment Light" (Kevin Nealon, "Doug")
10. "The Godmother" (Jenji Kohan, series creator)

The commentaries are nice to hear, but some of the commentators are more interesting than others. The most interesting (though probably least insightful) commentary comes from Craig X, the series consultant. The guy really knows about marijuana. In fact, he used to own a medical marijuana store in California! And to be brutally honest, I think he is high in his commentary. He seems to be jumping all over the place on his ideas and doesn't really talk much about the episode in particular. It is very interesting to say the least. What I don't understand is why they couldn't bring in Mary-Louise Parker for the commentaries. She is the star of the show (there would be no series without her!) and her insights would be very interesting to hear.

The remaining special features are all found on Disc 2. The first one is entitled "Smokey Snippets," (13:11) where Romany Malco asks questions about marijuana and the "experts" answer the questions. And you can tell some of these experts are high, just like Craig X was in his commentary.

Next, we have "Agrestic Herbal Recipes," which has recipes for all kinds of dishes including Hash Browns, Blazing Banana Bread, and (of course) Pot Roast—in fact, there is a total of 12 recipes. And of the 12 recipes, 11 of them call for one particular ingredient: "fresh herb of your choice." Oddly enough, the Blazing Banana Bread does NOT include this ingredient. I wonder how that one even got in there.

There are two little short interview pieces taken directly from Showtime, appropriately called "Showtime Original Series Short 1" (2:04) and "Showtime Original Series Short 2" (2:44). Basically these are just short pieces talking about the show itself, and they aren't all that interesting to watch. There is also a "Showtime Original Special" (3:57), which is nothing more than a Showtime advertisement for the series with even more short interviews. The "Suburban Shakedown" feature (14:02) is actually the same as the "Showtime Original Special," except it contains more information. Why would they include both when they contain the exact same content??? Again, this is another feature straight off of Showtime. "Smoke Snippets" (2:40) is yet more of the same, although I don't think this came from Showtime; I think it was actually done for the DVD for a change.

Next, there is a music video from one of the songs from the series (4:20, and yes, I'm aware that 4:20 is a marijuana reference and I'm not making up that time either). Like most other songs from the show, the song is an okay song but nothing particularly great. An interesting tidbit about the music--the creator (Jenji Kohan) initially wanted to go with known music from known musicians, but was unable to do so. This was NOT for reasons you would suspect though (i.e. budgetary), but rather because many artists would not allow their music to appear on a show that makes marijuana look acceptable!

Finally there is a short trailer for Showtime (1:39) which isn't exactly about Weeds, but is just advertising Showtime in general. Do you see a pattern emerging by now?

I'm glad they at least included special features, but I wish they would have gone after more original content for special features that we haven't already seen.


Final Comments:

I'm not a fan of a majority of these original shows on premium cable (most are just outright obnoxious--consider Sex and the City, for example), but I really have to say that this show is not only great for a premium cable show, but it is also probably the best new series that I've seen on any network in several years! I am not a huge fan of hardly any of the current shows on television, but this is one of those shows where I watch one episode and immediately want to watch the next episode to see what happens next! It only makes me wish that I had Showtime so that I could watch the second season as it unravels there rather than having to wait another year for it to be released on DVD.

The only thing I'd like to see in the next release is more ORIGINAL content on the special features. The show is ongoing, so certainly they can capture many new interviews and such from the cast members and production team!

If you have seen the show before, then you probably like it and you'll want to pick up this set. If you haven't seen the show, you might want to try renting the set and seeing what you think about it before you buy it. But I think you'll enjoy the series! I know there are lots of fans of Desperate Housewives out there, which is a show that I just don't like personally, but I really think that this show would appeal to fans of that show as one of the main themes of the show is about the secret lives of the SUV-driving soccer moms that try to pretend to lead normal lives in the suburbs. And unlike the film "The Passion of the Christ" (watch the "You Can't Miss the Bear" episode to see what I'm talking about), you don't even have to be stoned to like this show!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 07/16/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000FFJYE8/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=177915


News Blog
Message Boards
Photo Galleries
DVD Reviews
Our Sitcom Sites
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
Y
Z / #
Other TV Links
Purchase TV Series on DVD
Purchase TV Series on VHS
Purchase TV Theme Songs on CD and other series soundtracks
Purchase TV show t-shirts, caps, mugs, and other unique items
Purchase TV Posters
Britcoms
Guess the Sitcom Character Game
Games Message Board
back to the main page


Please e-mail me with your sitcom related questions, sitcoms to add, and suggestions for additional links.

1999-2014, Todd Fuller Contact Form