Sunday, August 05, 2007

True Confessions Of A Guilty Pleasure - A Review

Ok, so not everything about my family's past is squeaky clean. Anyone who knows an inch about me knows this. It's not like I'm proud of it, it just is what it is. But last year, I kind of got hooked on a television show about something that half my family is hooked on for real. In lieu of the real thing, instead of smoking it, I merely watch Weeds.

This dark, comedic Showtime series stars Mary Louise Parker, who is charming as a widow living in Agrestic, CA (based on & filmed in my hometown of Valencia, CA, I can name every intersection they show on the show!!) A recent widow with two growing sons, her character, Nancy Botwin looks like a typical resident of this affluent Southern California suburb. She keeps a clean, upscale house (with the help of an atypical Mexican live-in maid), attends PTA meetings, goes to her kids' soccer games, makes frequent stops at the local coffee franchise.... and sells marijuana in order to make it all possible.

Left with no way to support herself after her husband's death, Nancy turns herself into the "suburban baroness of bud," dealing to her neighbors in the area and to the local community college (shot at College of the Canyons, just 5 minutes from home). With the help of her supplier/point man/gangster Conrad and a storefront "fakery (the small bakery she bought to keep her finances legit) Nancy deals in her own backyard as a means to support her household while maintaining an upper-middle-class lifestyle.

I don't know why a show about marijuana is so amusing, really, but this show is darnright hilarious, in a dry, witty kind of way. I can relate to so much of the dysfunction I see in Nancy's midst, even as she tries to hold it all together for the sake of her family (gee, where have I heard that before? It's a concept I'm quite familiar with thank you!). And well, frankly, I love seeing the Santa Clarita Valley all dressed up as "Agrestic". The makers of this show get the SCV image down pat, with their cookie cutter houses, winding, treeless lanes and black SUV's rounding every corner!

I probably shouldn't admit publicly to enjoying this show, as it's definitely not one to watch with your grandma (unless, she happens to be my grandma, in which case, light 'er up & pass the brownies, we're watching TV, dude). But if intelligent, ironic and provocative comedy happens to be your thing, Weeds is definitely worth a toke, um, er, try.

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