Mom Brakes for Drug Deals

  Mom Brakes for Drug Deals

Posted by CN Staff on August 04, 2005 at 22:23:44 PT
By Alessandra Stanley 
Source: New York Times 

USA -- Scott Peterson was a fertilizer salesman from Modesto, Calif. The madam arrested in June on charges of running a Lindenwold, N.J., escort service called August Playmates turned out to be an 80-year-old grandmother with a walker and an oxygen mask. Lorena Bobbitt was a 24-year-old manicurist in Manassas, Va., when she sliced off her husband's penis while he was sleeping.So the premise of Showtime's "Weeds," a satiric look at suburban vice, is not so far-fetched: Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), a suddenly widowed soccer mom, sells marijuana in her affluent Southern California community to make ends meet, or as she plaintively puts it to her accountant and valued pot customer, Doug (Kevin Nealon), "I'm dealing to maintain my lifestyle."
Even on premium cable, setting up a privileged dope-dealing suburban matron as a sympathetic heroine is tricky. "Weeds" is not a genre or period series like HBO's "Sopranos" or "Deadwood." It is a darkly comic drama loosely wrapped in playful satire, a little bit like "American Beauty" and a little bit like "Desperate Housewives." (The theme song, played over the opening credits, is the anticonformist "Little Boxes," by the 60's singer-songwriter Malvina Reynolds.)Suburban ennui has been a favorite American theme for half a century now, and words like Cheeveresque and Updikean are enshrined in the popular culture lexicon along with the 50's sitcom equivalent, Beaveresque. The preoccupation seems particularly acute now as the last of the baby boomers move to cul de sacs and country clubs. But nowadays the suburbs are demonized on television as simmering cesspools of adultery and greed both for entertainment and as a pick-me-up for the writers and producers who live there and refuse to view themselves as boringly bourgeois.The plot of "Weeds," however, is indebted to "Saving Grace," a British film from 2000 that starred Brenda Blethyn as a widow who turns to a different kind of weed to get by, and the comedian Craig Ferguson as her gardener and co-conspirator.The American version is less cute. Nancy, a sad-eyed housewife with a sardonic sense of humor, is adrift in the cookie-cutter suburb called Agrestic, surrounded by callous friends and catty neighbors. At a P.T.A. meeting shortly after Nancy's husband drops dead of a heart attack while jogging, the mothers lock their faces into mournful expressions and speculate whether Nancy has had cosmetic procedures since the funeral. "I think she got a little Botie between the eyes," one whispers knowingly.Nancy, trying to raise two sons, turns to her suppliers - a sharp-tongued, scolding matriarch, Heylia (Tonye Patano), and her extended family - for cannabis and moral support. At first, the portrait of Heylia and her sons and daughters is a discomfiting caricature. When Nancy asks if the ounce she is buying is not a little small, Heylia turns ghetto indignant. "Bitch, I can eyeball an ounce from outer space with my glasses cracked," she says, as her family members chortle at Nancy's misstep. By the second episode, their characters have filled out, and the stereotypes soften.And the same is true of all the series' amoral underpinnings. The premiere is a bit stiff, but the episodes improve over time, mostly thanks to two mesmerizing actresses in the lead roles: Elizabeth Perkins plays Celia, Nancy's frenemy, her worst best friend, a brittle, snobbish socialite with a chilly wit and simmering rage. When she confronts her husband's mistress, the tennis club pro, over drinks in the bar, the mistress asks Celia if she intends to file for divorce. "I can't support two households," Celia snaps. "And I am not living in a townhouse again."On "Weeds," Ms. Perkins's hair is dyed blond and she wears low-cut dresses, but she and Ms. Parker still look very much alike and have a similar cool, brainy presence on screen. They look like a middle-aged version of Catherine Deneuve and her sister, Françoise Dorléac, in "Les Demoiselles de Rochefort."The two women mistrust each other, but there is also grudging respect and even a bond between them. And Celia, law-abiding but cruel and shallow (she torments her chubby younger daughter about her weight), serves as a foil for Nancy, who deals pot at school soccer matches but is still a loving, supportive mother to her two boys.Doug, the pothead accountant, introduces Nancy to the world of legal medical marijuana stores, which he describes as "like Amsterdam, only you don't have to visit Anne Frank's house and pretend to be all sad and everything." But she is not helped by her dead husband's brother Andy (Justin Kirk), a charming ne'er-do-well who shows up to sponge off his sister-in-law and cause trouble. He gets off to a good start by having cybersex with his 15-year-old nephew's girlfriend."Weeds" is well written and engrossing, and has a slick balance of satire and soap opera - "The O.C." for viewers who don't want to see pretty, happy people on television.Note: It's the boring people who lead the most interesting lives.WeedsShowtime, Sunday night at 11, Eastern and Pacific times; 10, Central time.Jenji Kohan, creator and executive producer; Roberto Benabib, co-executive producer; Brian Dannelly, director and consulting producer; Devon K. Shepard and Mark A. Burley supervising producers; Shawn Schepps and Mr. Dannelly, consulting producers; Danielle Weinstock and Matthew Salsberg, co-producers.WITH: Mary-Louise Parker (Nancy Botwin), Elizabeth Perkins (Celia Hodes), Kevin Nealon (Doug Wilson), Justin Kirk (Andy Botwin), Tonye Patano (Heylia James), Romany Malco (Conrad Shepard), Hunter Parrish (Silas Botwin), Alexander Gould (Shane Botwin), Andy Milder (Dean Hodes), Renée Victor (Lupita), Allie Grant (Isabelle Hodes), Tyrone Mitchell (Keeyon) and Indigo (Vaneeta).Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Alessandra StanleyPublished: August 5, 2005Copyright: 2005 The New York Times Company Contact: letters Website: Related Articles & Web Site:Showtime's Weeds a New Series, The Suburbs Light Up Television Characters Are Going To Pot Showtime Series Weeds Out Housewives

Home    Comment    Email    Register    Recent Comments    Help

Comment #35 posted by FoM on August 09, 2005 at 21:26:56 PT
Oh my you hit the age where no one can trust you! Seriously it was great being 30 but it's fine being older too.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #34 posted by AOLBites on August 09, 2005 at 21:19:43 PT
30 here
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #33 posted by global_warming on August 06, 2005 at 15:55:04 PT
Great Article
Imagine that, the NYT, writes an article that is so favorable, and revealing the plight of those soccer moms.The article illuminates all of our current plights.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #32 posted by FoM on August 06, 2005 at 09:51:12 PT
Related Article About Weeds
Going To PotShowtime's sitcom Weeds explores middle-class dysfunction.
 By Evan Henerson, Los Angeles Daily NewsAugust 6, 2005Fifteen minutes into the first episode of Showtime's pungent comedy Weeds, viewers may be wondering if they're high.The series is set in the fictional upper-middle-class suburb of Agrestic, Calif. There, recently widowed and desperate housewife Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) deals pot in sandwich bags to her toxic, self-absorbed neighbors in order to support her two sons and keep up her own cushy lifestyle.If Nancy's moral choices seem selfish, she's hardly out of place in Agrestic. Listen to one of her customers, her accountant Doug (Kevin Neelon), gleefully extol a medical marijuana facility he recently visited. It's better than Amsterdam, he enthuses, "because you don't have to visit the Anne Frank house and pretend to be all sad."Funny, but ... the characters on Weeds make the Wisteria Lane crew look like they're living in a Leave It to Beaver world.Weeds creator Jenji Kohan, a veteran writer of network comedies and an Emmy winner for Tracey Takes On, says she was looking for a vehicle to "float some very flawed characters.""Pot seemed to be in the air, in the news, and it seemed like a natural," Kohan says. "I thought of a female sort of anti-hero who did something risky, but not too offensive. She couldn't be a coke dealer."While marijuana is the hook, it's really a way for the dark satire to dig into dysfunctional suburbia, where adults are addicted to their SUVs, lattes and insecurities while their children see their parents' hypocrisies but are speeding toward their own empty adulthoods.A native Angeleno, Kohan recalls an incident as a teenager when, while raiding the fridge at a friend's house, she discovered bags of pot in the vegetable crisper. The memory served as fodder for Weeds."It's not like every other mom is dealing drugs, but it's not an unfamiliar concept," she says. "And I don't think this is the most original idea in the world. But TV has never dealt with drugs head on, or at least in a neutral position. We don't vilify. We present them as is, and I'm really proud to have remained neutral.""When you get to know the show," adds co-star Elizabeth Perkins, who plays Nancy's friend Celia, "the marijuana to me is really used more as a metaphor for the sort of underbelly of this perfect world that all these people are trying to live in. So I don't see it as some other people might interpret it, as titillation."Perkins' hardened Celia is unaware of her friend's dealings, lost instead in her frustrated expectations; her husband's infidelity with a tennis instructor; her 15-year-old daughter Quin's randy sex life ("I've teased him enough," she says about Nancy's son when asking if they can have sex at Nancy's house); and the fact that her younger daughter, who she calls "Isa-belly," overeats. The PTA leader has hardly endeared herself to her family with tricks like substituting chocolate laxatives for Isabelle's candy stash, resulting in an embarrassing episode for the poor girl at school."My character is more politically incorrect in her extreme attempts to be politically correct," says Perkins. "She's sort of in charge of the moral fortitude of the school and yet is probably the most [screwed up] of everybody. ... She's just holding it all together because underneath it, there's a lot of chaos and a lot of cracks in the plaster."Kohan says she's amused by the comparisons to Desperate Housewives, but it was just coincidental. "When we were shooting our pilot, they hadn't come out yet. I think the town's big enough for both of us. We're different enough. We're cable, and we have a drug element."But Weeds doesn't have the frothy soap-opera kitsch of Housewives to lure viewers. It's got an edge. In fact, it's got a real kick. And even for an adult-themed show with a late time slot (10 p.m.), Kohan acknowledges the series won't be an easy sell to audiences."There's a certain level of discomfort, but hopefully we cut it with humor and with reality. It's a very realistic show," she says. "And I think people will either say, `Oh my gosh, that's me,' or, `Oh my gosh, that's someone I know.'"On TVProgram: WeedsAirs: Premieres at 11 p.m. Sunday on Showtime; regular air time 10 p.m. MondaysCopyright: 2005, South Florida Sun-Sentinel,0,7239286.story?coll=sfla-features-headlines
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #31 posted by FoM on August 06, 2005 at 07:55:01 PT
Just a Note
I hope everyone has a great weekend. We are working outside and trying to move along with the construction we are doing. I get my new front door put in today! I'll keep looking for news but I don't think we will see much going on. The summer months are always slow but it picks up in the Fall. Enjoy the day everyone. I know I will.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #30 posted by FoM on August 06, 2005 at 06:50:41 PT
I'm really not sure. I'm 57 and I know we have people who are in their mid 60s. I know we have someone who is only 21. I think the majority of people are in their 40s and 50s. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #29 posted by billos on August 06, 2005 at 06:41:32 PT
any idea as to what the AVERAGE age of people who hit this site is? I know one has to be "old" like me to enjoy that 50's site. :)
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #28 posted by FoM on August 06, 2005 at 06:24:40 PT
Had Enough 
I clicked on your link as soon as I saw it and it was a great way to start my day. I was so young then and loved hearing that music.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #27 posted by Had Enough on August 06, 2005 at 06:08:17 PT
Just for Fun
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #26 posted by Dankhank on August 05, 2005 at 23:14:59 PT
yep ... sounded like Jerry Lee ...The yahoo search is great ...Lotta Neil ...OTOT ...the old reefer madness is running on DTV 532 here in the midwest ... encore channel ...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #25 posted by FoM on August 05, 2005 at 21:32:47 PT
Off Topic But Fun
I was reading google news and found a link to a yahoo audio search that seems new. I typed in Neil Young and I got short clips of songs. I thought others might enjoy checking it out.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #24 posted by FoM on August 05, 2005 at 20:52:17 PT
I'm with you about not being a fan of Jerry Lee Lewis. He made a couple really good rock and roll songs that about everyone enjoyed. I think many of the musicians really look to him as a person who lit a fire and gave life to rock and roll. Maybe I'm wrong but that's what I think. Did you listen to the clip? It was good.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #23 posted by Dankhank on August 05, 2005 at 20:37:06 PT
Jerry ...
I was never a great fan of Jerry Lee ...always liked what I heard on the radio, though.What an amazing group of folks on his album ...Thanks ...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #22 posted by Hope on August 05, 2005 at 19:53:51 PT
E_Johnson Comment 14
Oh you are so right.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #21 posted by runruff on August 05, 2005 at 19:19:01 PT:
Snake watchers.
Just a word for you snake watchers. A Texas Bushsnake
is just as deadly as a white house Bushsnake. All deadly snakes could be defanged but alas I fear my fellow countrymen are lacking in the will to do so. How many of our fellow Americans will be bitten and die with his poisonus vennom tomorrow?
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #20 posted by mayan on August 05, 2005 at 18:19:29 PT
Sorry if these have been posted...Pot activist released on bail:'m like Gandhi,Mandela and King, pot crusader says: call for looser marijuana laws, slavery reparations at conference in Guyana: WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Four Years After 9/11, FDNY Will Release Remaining EMS Recordings: Radio Transmissions of WTC 2 Firefighters: conspiracy DVD sent to French media: Was an Inside Job - A Call to All True Patriots:
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #19 posted by FoM on August 05, 2005 at 16:27:22 PT

Dankhank and Anyone Interested
Here's Jerry Lee Lewis new CD info. Look at all the people on this list. They have a short song track on the page too. Hey if drugs always kill how come so many are still alive a kickin' It's called The Pilgrim.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #18 posted by FoM on August 05, 2005 at 14:45:52 PT

That's a good idea. I might just watch it again. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #17 posted by potpal on August 05, 2005 at 14:13:58 PT

live 8 replay on demand Saw that Italian River of Cocaine article. Crazy. I live in a coastal city, Ocean City, Maryland. Here they determine how many people visited on any particular weekend by counting the toilet the punishment. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #16 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on August 05, 2005 at 13:19:45 PT

Raising Money for Marc and Friends
Here is a reply from the letter I wrote to MPP regarding putting a link up on their web site for donations to Marc and friends legal funds. I also asked if MPP could donate as well. My point here is we need to try to raise money for these people because they are THE MOST deserving for this cause. I realize there is not much to this message but I am trying to pass on the need for effort to raise money for them. I wish we could get them a team of lawyers working on this.$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
THE REPLY FROM MPP:  Thank you for writing to us. I passed your request to add a 
donation link to our website onto Alison Green in our membership 
department. I want to assure you that we are monitoring the 
situation. We will certainly let you know if there is anything you 
can to do be of assistance.Thank you for your support of MPP and of Marc Emery.Sincerely,
  Morgan SheetsMorgan Sheets, National Field Director
Marijuana Policy Project
P.O. Box 77492, Capitol Hill
Washington D.C. 20013
P: 202-462-5747 x. 114
F: 202-232-0442

[ Post Comment ]


Comment #15 posted by Dankhank on August 05, 2005 at 12:32:39 PT

I remember about Capture cards ... but with these all-in-one
motherboards I always wondered if a capture card is still the answer.I saw a capture device for sale at Wallyworld yesterday ... 80 bucks and you plug VCR into it then USB to your computer and Viola!If you can plug vcr then live tv should work, too..I'm probably getting a DVR in house, soon ,so all this may be academic anyway ...
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #14 posted by E_Johnson on August 05, 2005 at 11:33:44 PT

Proof that postmodernism is evil
A whole generation of college graduates of journalism programs who are trained to do nothing more than review movies and TV shows.They can write thousands and thousands of words on this TV show.They cannot for the life of them report on the scientific news story that smoking pot according to science does NOT cause lung cancer.Fie upon the lot of them!Let's take college back to the old days when people had to learn facts instead of how to cop a proper pomo attitude.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #13 posted by lombar on August 05, 2005 at 09:30:05 PT

DVD burning
If you want to put your home movies or old vhs tapes onto dvd you need a capture card. Once captured, usually mpeg2 format, you need a program like Ulead DVD Movie Factory to convert the mpeg to DVD format for playing on a DVD player. It uses a wizard. If you want you can dub in a voice track or music, it creates a menu. I took an old vhs of our home movies and transfered it to DVD.There are a few other programs that do the same but I have only had good experiences with Ulead so far. It's very easy to use.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #12 posted by FoM on August 05, 2005 at 09:23:05 PT

I went out and bought about a $200 DVD Recorder. It is tempermental and hard for me to figure out. When it works it works but I have messed up a few times. Good luck to you! My DVD recorder isn't easy like a VCR was for me.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #11 posted by Dankhank on August 05, 2005 at 09:19:10 PT

Burn Dvds
FoM..I interested in getting video off of the TV to DVD's I can burn from a computer, with major control on how the DVD is arrainged, so a plain old home-theatre DVD recorder probably isn't the answer ... but could work ... I am brain-storming as I type ...I do have a stand-alone DVD burner I have never used ...Time to get busy ...Anyhow ...
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #10 posted by Dankhank on August 05, 2005 at 09:07:05 PT

ProCon ...
Great site Kapt.I copy and pasted the timeline to Word and then printed it out to test my newly-acquired B/W laser printer.Fifty-plus pages of georgous text!!Thanks for sharing, Kapt.I think I need a link to procon from my site ...check later ...Peace to all ...
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #9 posted by FoM on August 05, 2005 at 09:02:46 PT

You want to covert videos to DVDs? Is that what you are saying? I copied the half time show directly on to a DVD from the TV. I was able to get quite a few of the Live 8 performances but I can't figure out how to put them on a DVD. I haven't ever downloaded anything from the Net like movies or concerts because I don't know how to do it. I know I can't copy a DVD to another DVD from ones I have bought from They are copyright protected it says. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #8 posted by Dankhank on August 05, 2005 at 08:53:37 PT

"Saving Grace" is a good movie, too.The ending was less fun than other endings could have been, but I still liked that movie ...OT, I have a modest collection of "Reefer" video and am planniong to put it all on DVD.Something new for me ... I recently have decided I need to learn this and so it goes ...FoM ... I know you have DirectWay, does that make it easier to do that process? You did a great job with the half-time show ...Peace to all ...
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #7 posted by kaptinemo on August 05, 2005 at 08:50:50 PT:

OT: "Ammo, ammo!"
For those who need a site which provides all manner of technical information about cannabis - and the studies done which refute anti hysterics - go here:
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 05, 2005 at 08:29:56 PT

Related Article About Weeds
Vicious Honesty Lurking in Showtime's "Weeds"By Kay McFadden, Seattle Times TV criticFriday, August 5, 2005
 A comedy about a housewife selling marijuana in the suburbs is so simultaneously passé and outlandish that you have to hope it's a mask for something deeper. Showtime's new comedy "Weeds" is all that, yet I'm not sure the time is worth the dime."Weeds," which debuts at 11 p.m. Sunday and airs again at 10 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, comes from artful creator Jenji Kohan. She won an Emmy for work on "Tracey Takes On" and also has written for "Friends," "Sex and the City" and "Gilmore Girls."Complete Article:
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on August 05, 2005 at 08:26:29 PT

So, are we supposed to infer that cutting off a man's penis, a brutal act of mutilation, is equivalent to selling a quarter-ounce of herb to your friend? Thanks a lot, NY Times. What about the 1,200 American women killed every year by their boyfriend/husbands? Is that a vice? Or is that too mundane an issue for the NY Times to raise awareness of? The dumbed-down media glamorizing sensational acts like sex and cannabis only enables the police to spend less time actually protecting people from violence and theft, not to mention corrupt, stealing government and corporate officials.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #4 posted by FoM on August 05, 2005 at 08:25:09 PT

Did you see Saving Grace? That was such a cute movie. If it is anything like Saving Grace it will be good. I don't get Showtime so I hope people who do will tell us how it is.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #3 posted by Dankhank on August 05, 2005 at 08:17:34 PT

Weeds ...
I like this show and have seen nothing but a teaser ...I like the idea of this show ...I really like the new "Reefer Madness" movie.Showtime is doing it right ...
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #2 posted by FoM on August 05, 2005 at 07:23:59 PT

Just a Note
So far I haven't found any news to post. There are articles about Emery but they are from snipped sources so I posted them on an already posted article. The news might be slow for a while because of what happened in Canada. Hopefully we will get back on track soon. I sure hope so. PS: Finally we are getting a little rain. When we walk thru the lawn it crunches under our feet. I hope everyone has a good weekend. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on August 05, 2005 at 06:07:58 PT:

Totally unrelated, but stunning
Scientists in Italy have tested the Po River for cocaine metabolites, and have found incredibly high numbers:Italian river 'full of cocaine' (not correct, but read it anyways) Scientists have found large quantities of a cocaine by-product in a river in northern Italy - suggesting consumption is much higher than previously thought. kicker, which is only logical, comes at the end: having found these metabolites in the river, they will now test for cannabis metabolites to try to determine the numbers of cannabis users.Why should this matter? Because it will show beyond a shadow of a doubt that cannabis use is NOT a function of a 'deviant' (sociologically speaking) sub-population but is WIDESPREAD throughout the society. Meaning, it is, *de facto*, a socially acceptable alcohol. And should be treated as such. The only other alternative is lock up every person in society and monitor them 24/7.
[ Post Comment ]

  Post Comment