Spoilers for last year's season of "Weeds" in this review.TV Review'Weeds': New York City gives Mary-Louise Parker & Co. room for growth
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News
- June 27th, 2011
Nancy Botwin has moved to New York, and that may give her Showtime series "Weeds" some of the fresh energy the move was designed to provide.
When "Weeds" launched six seasons ago, Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) was a poor widow, left with a makeshift dysfunctional family and little to build on except a marijuana-dealing business that she had to learn quickly.
Happily, she was a quick study, if not always a top-tier mom. She's had some harrowing and hilarious adventures over those seasons.
Any show that gets to season seven can use fresh challenges, though, which is what New York is all about. But in a curious way, New York isn't under a lot of pressure.
Nancy has lived such a rich, full, adventurous life that anything that happens in season seven and thereafter almost feels like a bonus, y'know?
But that's the big picture. More immediately in the small picture, Nancy has a problem. At the end of last season, she confessed to shooting a bad guy. This kept her from being shot by an even worse guy, but it did come with a downside, which is that shooting people is illegal and makes the shooter subject to penalty.
At the risk of a mild spoiler, Nancy starts this season in prison. Briefly, before a convenient series of plot turns get her released.
She's transferred to a halfway house in Washington Heights, where she discovers two things.
First, "halfway" to freedom is not the same thing as being free.
Second, you can meet darkly funny people in a halfway house. Since darkly funny is exactly the tone in which "Weeds" has always specialized, this is good.
There's a halfway house counselor who makes all his points in rhyme. Nancy reacts just as viewers would react: amused at first, then increasingly pained as this guy keeps pushing the accelerator long after his car has run out of gas.
And speaking of dopey men, we don't lose touch with the ones in Nancy's family.
Andy (Justin Kirk), Silas (Hunter Parrish), Shane (Alexander Gould) and Doug (Kevin Nealon) all have left the country and are sharing a bachelor pad of sorts. Watching Doug do his ironing is worth the whole half-hour you'll invest in watching the show.
Don't be altogether surprised, now that Nancy's half-free, if they don't all reunite for quality time in some pursuit that may not be on the halfway house's approved list.
Just one caution: While the move to New York opens new story lines, the first episode doesn't feel like a city show. It has a sprinkling of exteriors, but it doesn't feel as if it's really happening here yet.
With a little time, though, Nancy can make just about anything work.WEEDS
Season Premiere tonight at 10PM on Showtime
Rating: FOUR STARS (out of five)http://www.nydailynews.com/entertain...or_growth.html