TITLE: WEEDS - SEASON THREE
DVD Release Date: June 3, 2008 (Lionsgate)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 15
Running Time: 388 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: 37 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English, Spanish, and French Subtitles
Special Features: Commentaries; Trivia Tracks; Gag Reel; Uncle AWOL Featurette; Good Morning Agrestic!; Mary-Kate Olsen Bio; “Little Boxes” Randy Newman Featurette; “Little Boxes” Music Montages; Soundtrack Sampler
The grass is always green (at least until you smoke it) in Weeds: Season 3! The third season of the Showtime hit comedy continues the story of Nancy Botwin, the pot-dealing soccer mom, as she continues to run her business, and face the obstacles of any typical businesswoman... that is, assuming the business of a typical businesswoman sells marijuana.
In this season, we find out what happens at the end of the big standoff from the second season and how Nancy’s drug empire grows even larger. There are lots of unexpected twists and turns, and by the end of the season, you’ll wonder how things even got to where they are!
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The season begins with “Doing the Backstroke,” where we finally get to find out what happened after all of that drama from the previous season. An Amber Alert is out on Shane and everything else is also in disarray in “A Pool and His Money.” The “corporation” decides to move on up into a new grow house in “The Brick Dance.” In “Sh*t Highway,” the DEA is determined to know what happened to Peter--can they get Nancy to tell? Andy finally ends up in boot camp after being AWOL in “Bill Sussman.”
In “Grasshopper,” Silas has a new friend... and she is an Olsen twin. It is a celebration of the life of U-Turn (after his untimely demise) and a game of sabotage in the episode “He Taught Me How to Drive-by.” In “The Two Mrs. Scottsons,” Nancy gets a chance to meet Peter’s other ex-wife, who happens to be a generally horrible person. Celia is ready to leave Dean, but can she do it after he is in a horrible motorcycle accident? In “Roy Till Called,” Nancy is betrayed.
The whole Botwin family is on edge in “Cankles,” maybe they should move to Pittsburgh. Nancy has a brand new weed in “Risk,” but is it any good? Celia’s Majestic house becomes majestic for many reasons when she learns all there is to know about the dealing business in “Protection.” Finally, the season ends with “Go,” where everything goes up in smoke (literally) as the California wildfires approach the community.
The packaging is pretty simple, with an outer case having a picture of the cast wearing all white (except for Mary-Louise Parker, who is wearing a green dress). Inside, there is a four panel digipak, with the first panel holding the sheet with the episode list and the remaining three panels holding each of the three discs. Each disc contains five episodes, and the special features are spread throughout each of the discs.
There is one very special aspect about the packaging that is mentioned prominently on the outside. The packaging is green. No, it isn’t made of marijuana, but it is eco-friendly, made out of recycled water bottles and recycled paper. Furthermore, the entire DVD set itself is recyclable, but if you are planning to recycle this, then shame on you. It should stay in your DVD collection permanently!
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu of each disc has some instrumental music playing in the background with rotating pictures of all of the cast members, and options of Play All Episodes, Episode Selection, Set Up, and Special Features. Play All Episodes, Episode Selection, and Special Features are fairly straightforward. Set Up gives you audio options (either Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby Digital 2.0) as well as options for subtitles. There are no scene selection menus, but chapters are placed throughout each episode.
The menus are mostly fine, but I DO have one complaint about them. We live in a world where a 50-inch high-definition LCD TV has become mainstream, but there are still a few backwards people in the world that are using their old 25 inch and (dare I say) 19 inch CRT TVs. Even though I, like most others, have also succumbed to this new 50 inch standard, I do maintain my “retro” SDTVs, and can say for those using such antique devices... the menus WILL be difficult to read. The print is very small on the menus.
Video and Audio Quality:
I have no complaints about the video and audio quality. Everything looks pretty much the same as it did when the episodes originally aired on Showtime. Every episode is presented in the widescreen format, as the episodes originally aired. The audio is in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound by default, but can be changed to Dolby Digital 2.0 through the menus. English, Spanish, and French subtitles are available, as is closed-captioning.
The episodes, as far as I know, are presented as they were aired on Showtime. The runtimes do vary somewhat, since it is a cable show. The runtimes are as follows:
1. "Doing the Backstroke (27:48)
2. "A Pool and His Money" (28:00)
3. "The Brick Dance" (28:08)
4. "Sh*t Highway" (27:20)
5. "Bill Sussman" (26:20)
6. "Grasshopper" (26:13)
7. "He Taught Me How to Drive-by" (25:20)
8. "The Two Mrs. Scottsons" (27:19)
9. "Release the Hounds" (25:30)
10. "Roy Till Called" (25:50)
11. "Cankles" (25:01)
12. "The Dark Time" (24:01)
13. "Risk" (24:15)
14. "Protection" (24:30)
15. "Go" (26:44)
The special features on the set are rather impressive, as usual. Many episodes have commentary tracks. They are as follows:
“Doing the Backstroke” (Jenji Kohan)
“Sh*t Highway” (Mark Burley)
“Bill Sussman” (Justin Kirk)
“Grasshopper” (Hunter Parrish and Alexander Gould)
“The Two Mrs. Scottsons” (Craig Zisk and Michael Trim)
“Release the Hounds” (Ernest R. Dickerson)
“Protection” (Roberto Benabib)
“Go” (Jenji Kohan)
Now, for those episodes that lack the commentary tracks, they still have a worthy special feature--they all have a special feature called Trivia Tracks, which are essentially subtitles for the episodes with lots of random information, kind of like the old VH-1 series Pop Up Video. You’ll find lots of interesting (although random and useless) information here!
On Disc 1, we have a six minute Gag Reel, which, as the name suggests, is a gag reel. You get to see where everybody messes up, basically. Also, there is a Little Boxes Montage featurette (4 minutes) that has different artists performing the theme song, and montages of pictures from the episodes. There is also a Soundtrack Sampler where you can listen to parts of songs from the Weeds soundtrack. You will have never heard of any of the artists except for Elvis Costello, but if you are into REALLY good indie music (as I am), you will thoroughly enjoy a lot of this music.
Disc 2 has “Uncle AWOL” (7 minutes) where Justin Kirk talks about Andy’s experience of avoiding going to Iraq. There is a biographical segment from Showtime about Mary-Kate Olsen (3 minutes), but truthfully this is pretty boring and says nothing we don’t already know. Finally, there is another segment from Showtime about the theme song that also runs at 3 minutes, which features Randy Newman
Disc 3 has a series of “Good Morning, Agrestic” featurettes that aired on Showtime to promote the series. I never actually saw these on Showtime, so they were new to me, and probably will be new to many viewers. Basically, these are a series of six different five minute featurettes that spoof the national morning news shows with the characters of Pam and Dean as the hosts of the show. The featurettes take situations and plots from within the episodes and interviews the characters about the situations, like a serious morning show. For example, one of these has an interview with Isabelle talking about how young is too young to be gay. Other topics include cooking with Andy, school safety with Heylia, immigration issues with Lupita, housing development with Celia and Sullivan. Each one ends with Doug giving the weather, in his own unique way. These are very interesting to watch! The total runtime of these comes in at just over 30 minutes.
While these are all great special features, I have to ask yet again, why isn’t Mary-Louise Parker included in ANY of them???
Another great release for a great series! The set is about as close to perfect as one could expect from a TV show, and aside from the fact that Mary-Louise Parker was yet again nowhere to be found in the special features, I have ZERO complaints about this set. It is amazing to see all of the twists and turns that the series has made through the seasons, and how Nancy went from being a neighborhood drug dealer to building an entire drug empire. There is no telling what will be happening next season, which starts June 16th on Showtime. You’ll certainly get a high off of this DVD set, for sure!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 4.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 05/28/08
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