Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Little Boxes"

I finished watching the third season of Weeds on demand tonight and damn that was some season finale. I picked up the first season of the show on DVD when it, as many of my television ventures are, ridiculously discounted in some retail chain around town. I think it $15. Not bad for a Showtime series. Anyway, I'll never forget: I was just going to pop in and watch the pilot. I ended up watching the entire first disc, as it would turn out, was also half the season. I was immediately engrossed with Nancy Botwin in her conflicting roles as widowed suburban soccer mom and drug dealer. I was also immediately taken by the brilliant Elizabeth Perkins as her frenemy Celia Hodes, in one of the most captivating characterizations I've ever seen on any television show, period. (Someone give this woman an Emmy, dammit!) Add to that Kevin Nealon as a pothead accountant, Justin Kirk as Nancy's ne'er-do-well brother-in-law, Romany Malco as Conrad, Nancy's supplier and you've got a top-notch cast. And no, I haven't forgotten Mary Louise Parker, who shoulders the series as Nancy, endlessly naive in the world of drug-dealing, constantly getting in and out of scrapes, shuffling between motherly duties, grieving the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband, all the while setting up shop in town in an attempt to maintain her extravagant lifestyle in suburban Agrestic, CA. Parker, who is one of my favorite actresses on the planet, is a total MILF. There. It's been established. She just is. An incredible hot, flirtatious mom, constantly appeasing her caffeine addiction, slurping through a straw with those seemingly innocent eyes. And that works entirely to her advantage on the series, which shows her barely hanging on by a thread in her ever-uncertain world. Chaos is the norm. The satire is potent, especially as established through the opening credit montage and the use of the great Malvina Reynolds' classic "Little Boxes" as the show's theme song. And never once does it seem to cross Nancy Botwin's mind to downgrade to a more affordable lifestyle. Oh we class-conscious Americans with our pre-fabricated homes and committees and lattes and hybrids. Cue Elaine Stritch.

This was prior to the DVD release of the second season, so I took to youtube to catch up on season 2, which took less than a week. And now, with the arrival of Showtime in my house, I can finally catch up on what I missed of the third season. And oh boy, was it something else. I cannot wait until June 16 when the fourth season starts up. I caught a preview in passing and it looks to be something good, particularly with all the questions that have been raised in the most recent episode (which in many ways plays like a series finale). The writing is as sharp and incisive as ever, the acting stellar. The show remains one of the best currently offered on TV today.

I still have a couple seasons of Six Feet Under to go. Plus Lost and I have yet to catch up on the season finale of The Office. So much viewing. So little time in which to view.

"And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same..."

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