Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Weeds, Season 4 (2008)
There are people who'll tell you that you should quit Weeds after season three. I can see where they are coming from. The show shifts location, jettisons many well liked characters in favour of new ones, and embarks on a pretty thorough Flanderization of some of those who do remain (Doug especially, but also Celia and - the few times he turns up - Dean). The combination is bound to put a few people off.
On the whole, however, I feel comfortable with giving this season a qualified recommendation. The show's still blackly funny - and most definitely not afraid to make you uncomfortable as you're laughing. I like the new setting, and I think the show was right to shake up its location since the whole "soccer mom deal pot" angle was looking pretty played out by the end of season three. This season pushes Nancy into a new and frankly much more dangerous world as she gets tangled up with a cross-border drug and people smuggling ring. These new associates are into heavy stuff that makes pot-dealing look like a kids' game, and they're commensurately ruthless and violent.
Now Nancy's never been the most cautious or careful of people, and she's figuratively and literally in bed with these people before she really comes to understand what kind of operation they have. When she finally twigs to it, she's caught between her abhorrence of what they do and her need to stay alive. Which, of course, leads to more of her usual seat of the pants improvisations and escapades.
Weeds is a changed show in season four, and not always for the better, but there's still a lot to like, in my opinion. And keep an eye out for Cesar if you do watch it: he's a relatively minor new regular, but he's an intriguing character, very well performed.