Weeds (TV series)
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2012)|
|Created by||Jenji Kohan|
|Written by||Jenji Kohan (22 episodes)
Roberto Benabib (14 episodes)
Matthew Salsberg (12 episodes)
Victoria Morrow (10 episodes)
Rolin Jones (9 episodes)
Stephan Falk (9 episodes)
Brendan Kelly (8 episodes)
David Holstein (8 episodes)
Carly Mensch (6 episodes)
|Directed by||Craig Zisk (20 episodes)
Scott Ellis (18 episodes)
Michael Trim (11 episodes)
|Opening theme||"Little Boxes" (episodes 1–38, 90-101 and briefly in 57)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||8|
|No. of episodes||102 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||26 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Lionsgate Television
|Original run||August 7, 2005– September 16, 2012|
Weeds is an American dark comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan and produced by Tilted Productions in association with Lionsgate Television. The central character is Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), a widowed mother of two boys who begins selling marijuana to support her family after her husband dies suddenly of a heart attack. Over the course of the show, she and her family become increasingly entangled in illegal activities.
The first three seasons take place primarily in the fictional town of Agrestic, California. During seasons four and five, the Botwins reside in the fictional beach side town of Ren Mar in San Diego County, California. In the sixth season, the family relocates to Seattle, Washington, and then Dearborn, Michigan. In between seasons six and seven, Nancy serves a prison sentence in Connecticut while her sons and brother-in-law live in Copenhagen, Denmark. At the beginning of season seven, Nancy moves into a halfway house in New York City where she reunites with her family. They live in Manhattan for the duration of the season, but relocate to Connecticut in the season seven finale and throughout season eight.
The show debuted on the Showtime cable network on August 7, 2005, earning the channel's highest ratings. The series ended with the eighth season on September 16, 2012. In 2012, TV Guide Network bought the airing rights, providing an edited version of the show free of charge. The show has received numerous awards, including two Satellite Awards, one Golden Globe Award, a Writers Guild of America Award, a Young Artist Award, and 2 Emmy Awards.
The show is inspired by crime series such as The Shield and The Sopranos—in the sense that an antihero is the protagonist who retains an individual moral code that often goes against the norms of society. The title, according to Kohan, refers "to a lot of things," including marijuana and widow's weeds. However, it mainly alludes to, "...hardy plants struggling to survive." The basic premise, as illustrated by the lyrics of the opening song from the first three seasons as well its eighth, satirizes off-color characters struggling with faux suburban reality, in which everything is all style, no substance. According to Kohan, she first pitched the series to HBO, which dismissed it. Robert Greenblatt invested in the show and Showtime later approved.
Kohan is showrunner and head writer. She wrote each season's premiere and finale episode. When asked who "...runs the writer's room?" Kohan said that she and Benabib tag team. The writer Matthew Salsberg and director Craig Zisk joined the writing team as executive producers in later seasons; however, Zisk left the series after season five. After that, Mark A. Burley, director Scott Ellis, and Lisa I. Vinnecour added to the writing team as executive producers. By season eight, writers Victoria Morrow and Stephan Falk moved up the ranks to co-executive producer.
Exterior scenes for the show's first two seasons were shot almost exclusively in Stevenson Ranch, a suburban area of Santa Clarita Valley, California. The large fountain and Agrestic sign in the opening credits of the first three seasons was shot at the corner of Stevenson Ranch Parkway and Holmes Place. The name "Stevenson Ranch" was digitally replaced with "Agrestic" (and with "Majestic" and "Regrestic" in later episodes). The overhead satellite in the beginning of the credits in the first three seasons is of Calabasas Hills, a gated community in Calabasas, California. The shot of the It's A Grind coffee shop in the introduction (seasons 1–3) is of an It's A Grind in Castaic, California. The show was originally filmed at Red Studios, previously known as Ren-Mar studios. The show moved to Universal Studios in Los Angeles for season 7, where it is noted on the studio tour. A version of this Wikipedia page served as the introduction for the season 5 episode titled "Where the Sidewalk Ends".
- For the seasonal plots, see Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5, Season 6, Season 7 and Season 8.
Series opening 
Nancy Botwin is a single mother who lives in Agrestic—a fictional suburb of Los Angeles—with her two children, Silas and Shane, aged 15 and 10 respectively, when the series begins. The pilot opens a few weeks after the untimely death of Nancy's husband Judah, who died of a heart attack while jogging with their younger son. Nancy starts to sell marijuana to maintain her upper middle-class lifestyle originally provided by her late husband's structural engineering salary. The series follows the events in Nancy's life as she gets drawn into the criminal system, develops a client base, starts a front to hide her selling, creates her own strain of weed called MILF, constantly relocates her family, and tries to stay out of jail and protect her children. Featured in the ensemble cast are her lax brother-in-law Andy Botwin; foolish acquaintance Doug Wilson; and her narcissistic neighbor Celia Hodes, a manic PTA mother who left after the fifth season.
Cast and characters 
The leading character is Nancy Price Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), a housewife from southern California who becomes a pot dealer after her husband Judah (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) dies. Although her drug-dealing career only achieves mixed success, she eventually rises to the highest levels of an international drug-smuggling cartel. Nancy remarries three times during the series. First, she has an under-the-radar wedding with Peter Scottson (Martin Donovan), a DEA agent, who was later killed. In season five, she marries Esteban Reyes (Demián Bichir), the fictional mayor of Tijuana and leader of a cartel, who is murdered by the seventh season. While serving time in prison, Nancy also establishes a long-term relationship with Zoya, a woman convicted for murdering her boyfriend. In the series finale, which leaps forward seven years, viewers come to know that Nancy married Rabbi David Bloom, who later died in a car accident.
Throughout most of the show, Nancy shares her house with her brother-in-law Andy Botwin (Justin Kirk). When Andy arrives in Agrestic, he is little more than a fun-loving slacker without any direction in his life, and Nancy views him as a personal burden. He later, nonetheless, emerges as the primary father figure in the Botwin household. He falls in love with Nancy during the fourth season, but eventually realizes she will never return his feelings. Nancy tries to balance their relationship to keep him "in the family." When he is not helping the family, Andy engages in a laundry list of business ventures, ranging from marijuana dealer to bicycle salesman.
Nancy begins the series with two sons, and post-Judah's death, they are raised haphazardly. In the fifth season, she has a son, Stevie Ray Botwin (portrayed by uncredited babies and later by Ethan and Gavin Kent), with Esteban Reyes. Her first son, Silas (Hunter Parrish), who has been engaging in sex since the show's debut, later follows in his mother's footsteps: he becomes a cannabis dealer, grower, and dispensary operator.
Nancy's youngest son, Shane (Alexander Gould), is highly intelligent yet poorly socialized and vulgar; he is deeply affected by his father's death. In the first three seasons, he was bullied in his local public school. He begs for more attention from his mother than he receives. His psychological issues many times reach a critical level. Just before leaving Agrestic, Shane has conversations with his dead father. Upon moving to Ren Mar, Shane loses his virginity and becomes a temporary alcoholic. While his mother is having a hostile conversation with Esteban's scornful boss Pilar, and after she threatened both his and his brother's lives, Shane abruptly kills Pilar with a croquet mallet. During season seven, Shane joins the police academy before receiving his criminal justice degree — working for the New York City Police Department in season eight.
Celia Hodes (Elizabeth Perkins) is Nancy's friend and principal antagonist. Obsessed with her personal image, she manipulates those around her who do not fit neatly into that image. She is unhappily married to Dean (Andy Milder), whom she regards as a "loser asshole"; they later divorce. Many characters also dislike her. Her older daughter, Quinn (Haley Hudson), kidnaps her as revenge for shipping her to a reform school in Mexico. Celia is demanding over her younger daughter Isabelle's (Allie Grant) "weight problem," and is displeased with her being a lesbian. At the end of season one, Celia is diagnosed with breast cancer and is cured with chemo therapy. After the fifth season, the actress left to pursue other projects.
Doug Wilson (Kevin Nealon) begins the series as an accountant and city councilman for the town of Agrestic. Doug is friends with many characters in the series including Andy, Dean, and Sanjay Patel (Maulik Pancholy); all four aid Nancy's career as a marijuana retailer. Doug makes mistakes and loses his position; his wife Dana leaves him. He becomes a drifter who follows the Botwin family during seasons four through eight. Both the Botwin family and he move to New York City, where he becomes the chief accountant for a Ponzi scheme posing as a hedge fund.
The show has a changing cast of major supporting characters. Heylia James (Tonye Patano) and her family — Conrad and Vaneeta, portrayed by Romany Malco and Indigo, respectively — play key roles during the first three seasons. They are wholesalers who supply marijuana to Nancy, who in turn distributes to retail customers. Conrad later develops his own strain of marijuana, called MILF weed, which Nancy sells.
Season three features Sullivan Groff (Matthew Modine), an unethical, womanizing real estate developer with big plans for Agrestic. When Nancy moves to Ren Mar, the characters in Esteban's drug cartel take a leading role, primarily Cesar (Enrique Castillo), Ignacio (Hemky Madera), and Guillermo (Guillermo Díaz), the latter first appearing in the third season. Other key characters include Nancy's housekeeper Lupita (Renée Victor); rival drug dealers; countless law enforcement characters; the romantic interests of Andy, Silas, and Shane; and the residents of Agrestic and Ren Mar.
In the sixth season, Nancy is on the run, and most introduced characters have only minor roles and appear in one or two episodes. An exception to this is Warren Schiff (Richard Dreyfuss), who has an affectionate love for Nancy, having met her first as her math teacher in high school. When the Botwins and Doug settle in New York City, another set of supporting characters are introduced. The family later settle in with Nancy's estranged sister Jill (Jennifer Jason Leigh) in a house in Connecticut, who becomes a regular guest character in the eighth season.
Other guest recurring characters include Albert Brooks as Nancy's father-in-law Lenny, Carrie Fisher as a lawyer for Celia, Dave Thomas as a doctor, Martin Short as a lawyer for Nancy's custody battle, Alanis Morrissette as a doctor at an abortion clinic, Zooey Deschanel as Andy's estranged ex-girlfriend, Lee Majors as a border guard, Mary-Kate Olsen as a student girl who worships Jesus and sells pot, as well as Aidan Quinn and others.
As of September 16, 2012, 102 original episodes of Weeds have been produced and broadcast. The first season began August 8, 2005 and consisted of 10 episodes. The second season premiered on August 14, 2006, airing 12 episodes. The third season debuted on August 13, 2007, airing 15 episodes. The fourth season began June 16, 2008, the fifth season on June 8, 2009, and the sixth in August 2010, each with a total of 13 episodes. The seventh season began airing on June 27, 2011, and, as of November 10, 2011, Weeds was renewed for an eighth season with 13 episodes, that premiered Sunday, July 1, 2012.
In 2006, before Season 2 started airing on Showtime, the first few episodes were leaked online. Before the third season began, the first two episodes appeared online on July 22, 2007 (nearly a month before the August 13 premiere date). The third episode appeared online on July 24, with the fourth appearing just three days later. The fourth episode was, however, an incomplete version—among other things, some dubbed lines were not complete (notably part of a voice mail message by U-Turn is spoken by a distinctly different actor), and a card simply reading "End Credits" was inserted instead of the actual credits. On August 1, 2010, the first episodes of season 6 leaked online. Due to the high quality of the leaked episodes, downloaders of the torrents speculated that they were leaked intentionally to garner interest in the show and to create internet buzz. Episode leaks of other Showtime programs such as Californication and Dexter were seen as giving weight to this theory.
Jenji Kohan has stated that she does not mind episodes being distributed on the internet in this way, saying, "Revenue aside, I don't expect to get rich on Weeds. I'm excited it's out there. Showtime is great, but it does have a limited audience." The show is rated TV-MA for drug content, profanity, nudity, brief violence, and other adult content.
Opening music 
"Little Boxes" is the opening song for the first three seasons of the show. The first season uses the version recorded by the song's composer, Malvina Reynolds. In seasons 2 and 3, the song is performed by various artists. In season 4, the Malvina Reynolds version opens the first episode. Thereafter, the original titles and music are replaced by a short clip, different for each episode, that relates to the plot or some scene later in the episode. The song is also subtly referenced in the eighth episode of the fourth season when a sleepy Nancy tells Shane that he's going to "...become a doctor or a lawyer or a business executive." In the opening credits of the eighth episode of season seven, a woman is heard humming the tune to "Little Boxes" as she arranges knickknacks on a shelf. In Season 8, the show returns to "Little Boxes" for the opening sequence.
- Season 8
- Malvina Reynolds
- Ben Folds
- Steve Martin & Kevin Nealon
- The Bronx
- The Mountain Goats
- Bomb the Music Industry!
- The Womenfolk
- The Thermals
- Dierks Bentley
- Hunter Parrish
- Aimee Mann
- Malvina Reynolds
The music supervisors for the show include Gary Calamar (along with music coordinator Alyson Vidoli) (27 episodes), Amine Ramer (4 episodes), and Bruce Gilbert (3 episodes). The original score is provided by composers Brandon Jay and Gwendolyn Sanford.
DVD and Blu-ray releases 
|DVD Name||# of Ep||Release dates|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|Season One||10||July 11, 2006||September 3, 2007||July 18, 2007|
|Season Two||12||July 24, 2007||January 7, 2008||May 28, 2008|
|Season Three||15||June 3, 2008||May 26, 2008||July 8, 2009|
|Season Four||13||June 2, 2009||November, 2009||March 17, 2010|
|Season Five||13||January 19, 2010||August 22, 2010||November 24, 2010|
|Season Six||13||February 22, 2011||April 9, 2012||December 16, 2011|
|Season Seven||13||February 21, 2012||TBA||TBA|
|Season Eight||13||February 12, 2013||TBA||TBA|
The Region 1 Season One DVD is only available in 4:3 pan and scan format. The Region 2 and 4 releases are all in anamorphic widescreen. Season one was released on Blu-ray on May 29, 2007, and Season two was released on July 24, 2007. Both seasons include all episodes in 1080p widescreen with Dolby Digital EX sound and either DTS-HD (season one) or LPCM (season two), as well as extras exclusive to the Blu-ray release. Season three was released on Blu-ray on June 3, 2008. Seasons one to three on Blu-ray are multi-region discs; however, season four has been region-locked to region A only. This is due to a lack of broad international pick-up by non-US broadcasters at the time of release. This implies that Showtime does not wish to prejudice any future transmission rights negotiations by having the season available to own before it could be broadcast in the countries concerned.
In late 2009, Weeds seasons four and five have been aired in at least one region B country, namely The Netherlands. Subsequently, a region 2 DVD of Season 4 has indeed been released. However, the region 2 DVD release was not accompanied by a region B Blu-ray. Showtime has not commented on whether they ever anticipate releasing a region B Blu-ray version, or if any further non-US transmission rights are agreed. The same region locking has been applied to Blu-ray for season five. In November 2011, Seasons 2–5 were released on Region B Blu-ray in Australia with Season 6 Region B Blu-ray released December 16, 2011. Blu-ray season seven is now available.
On August 7, 2007, Simon Spotlight, a division of Simon and Schuster, published In the Weeds: The Official Guide to the Showtime Series by Kera Bolonik, which features interviews with the show's creator, its writer-producers, and the entire cast. It also features detailed character and plot descriptions, recipes, trivia and behind-the-scenes information.
In its first year, Weeds was the highest rated series for Showtime. Its fourth-season premiere attracted 1.3 million viewers to Showtime, the channel's then-highest-ever viewership; the season as a whole averaged 962,000 viewers.
Slate magazine named the character of Nancy Botwin as one of the best on television and one of the reasons they were looking forward to the return of the show in fall 2007. TIME magazine's James Poniewozik named it one of the Top 10 Returning Series of 2007, ranking it at #9. The New York Times opined the show is "transforming for Showtime." Metacritic scored season two, four and five a score of 78, 67 and 73 respectively.
Awards and nominations 
|Satellite Awards||Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical||Mary-Louise Parker||2005|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Performance by a TV Actress in a Musical or Comedy||Mary-Louise Parker||2006|
|Writers Guild of America||Episodic Comedy||Jenji Kohan, Creator/Executive Producer||2006|
|Young Artist Awards||Best Supporting Young Actor – Television Series||Alexander Gould||2006|
|Satellite Awards||Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical||Justin Kirk||2008|
|Emmy Awards||Outstanding Cinematography for a Half-Hour Series||Michael Trim, Director of Photography||2010|
- Golden Globe Awards
- Best TV Series-Comedy (2006, 2007, 2009)
- Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-series, or TV Movie Elizabeth Perkins (2006): Best Performance by a TV Supporting Actress Elizabeth Perkins (2006, 2007)
- Best Performance by a TV Actress in a Musical or Comedy Mary-Louise Parker (2005, 2007, 2008)
- Best Performance by a TV Supporting Actor Justin Kirk (2007)
- Screen Actors Guild
- Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Mary-Louise Parker (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
- Ensemble In A Comedy Series (2007, 2009)
- Satellite Awards
- Outstanding Actress in a Series-Comedy Elizabeth Perkins (2005)
- Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-series, or TV Movie Elizabeth Perkins(2006)
- Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical Mary-Louise Parker (2006, 2008)
- Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series, or TV Movie Justin Kirk (2007)
- Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical (2007, 2008)
- Emmy Awards
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Elizabeth Perkins (2006, 2007, 2009)
- Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series Craig Zisk, for the episode Good Shit Lollipop (2006)
- Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series (2006, 2007)
- Outstanding Main Title Design (2006)
- Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series, for the episode Good Shit Lollipop (2006)
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Mary-Louise Parker (2007, 2008, 2009)
- Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series, for the episode Mrs. Botwin's Neighborhood (2007)
- Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series, for the episode Crush Girl Love Panic (2007)
- Outstanding Comedy Series (2009)
- Alessandra Stanley (August 5, 2005). "Television Review – Mom Brakes for Drug Deals". The New York Times. Retrieved April 31, 2011.
- Reading Desperate housewives: beyond the white picket fence. I.B.Tauris. 2006. p. 247. ISBN 1-84511-220-2. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
- "Jenji Kohan and Roberto Benabib". KCRW. July 30, 2008. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
- Lowry, Brian (August 13, 1979). "Weeds". Variety. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
- "Weeds Cancelled". TVLine.com. 2012-06-13. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
- Glennis, Sadie (2012-06-13). "Weeds to End After Upcoming Season". TV Guide. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
- ""Weeds Awareness Week" Welcomes Show to TV Guide Network". TV Guide. Oct 11, 2010. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
- Crook, John (August 7, 2005). "'Weeds' pokes holes in idyllic existence". Toledo Blade/Zap2it. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
- Chozick, Amy (March 19, 2010). "Showtime's Bad Girls Make Good". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
- "2010 Panelist Bios". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. 2005-2010. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "Little City Review". Time Out London. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
- Jen Grisanti, Matthew Salsberg (February 27, 2011). "Interview with Matthew Salsberg – Executive Producer, "Weeds"". Jen Grisanti Consultancy. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
- Google Street View http://c-it.co/hu7zRx
- Calabasas Hill location: Exterior scense for the seasons including Ren-Mar show shots of Manhattan Beach, CA including its pier and streets as well as Hermosa Beach, CA.
- "You Can't Miss the Bear". List of Weeds. Season 1. Showtime. http://www.sho.com/sho/weeds/season/1/episode/1#/index. "Vaneeta: Can you imagine though? Boy out, jogging with his Daddy, having a good time. Then boom, Daddy drops. That would fuck a kid up."
- Nededog, Jethro (April 2, 2012). "New 'Weeds' Season Teaser Tracks Nancy's Wicked Ways". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
- Showtime press release (March 14, 2012). "Season 8 of "Weeds" and Season 2 of "Episodes" to Debut Sunday, July 1st on Showtime". The Futon Critic. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
- "Massive Leak of Pre-Air TV Shows: Piracy or Promotion?". TorrentFreak. July 24, 2007. Retrieved July 24, 2007.
- "Weeds creator loves illegal downloads of show". TVSquad.com. August 7, 2007. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
- "Little Boxes", Copyright 1949 Schroder Music Company, renewed 1990.
- "Weeds 1st season music". Showtime. Archived from the original on August 22, 2008. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
- "Weeds 2nd season music". Showtime. Archived from the original on August 22, 2008. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
- "Weeds 3rd season music". Showtime. Archived from the original on May 31, 2008. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
- "Weeds Season Three Soundtrack Set for Digital-Only Release June 3, 2008". Top 40 Charts.com. April 22, 2008.
- "Weeds". Comedy Central. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
- "Weeds – Seizoen 4, Alexander Gould, Justin Kirk & Kevin Nealon | Dvd". bol.com. November 5, 2009. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- "Weeds – Seizoen 4? Bestel nu bij". Wehkamp.nl. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- "Weeds: Season 5 / Blu-ray". DVDWorldUSA.com. January 19, 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- "Weeds". Technologytell. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
- Chris Summers (June 20, 2008). "What is obscene these days?". BBC News. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
- "Weeds – Season 2 – Cream of The Crop – DVD Extra Rejected by the BBFC". British Board of Film Classification. June 22, 2007. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
- Bolonik, Kera (2007). In the Weeds. Simon Spotlight Entertainment. p. 288. ISBN 1-4169-3878-8.
- Turner, Julia (September 21, 2007). "Oh, How We've Missed You!". Slate magazine. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
- Poniewozik, James (December 9, 2007). "Poniewozik, James; Top 10 New TV Series;". TIME. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
- Pope, Kyle (August 6, 2006). "For Showtime, Suburban Angst Is Fast Becoming a Ratings Delight". The New York Times. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
- "2010 Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Cinematography for a Half-Hour Series". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. 2010. Retrieved September 15, 2010.
- Official websites:
- Weeds at the Internet Movie Database
- Weeds at TV.com