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What You Should Be Watching: Weeds

Weeds Mondays @ 10 PM on Showtime In a Nutshell: Desperate Housewives meets Trailer Park Boys It's rare that a show on a premium cable channel catches my eye. The Sopranos and Sex In the City pretty much did nothing for me. It very well may be that I was turned off by the hype at the beginning. Oh, that and I don't have premium cable. Well now I don't have cable at all and I don't read entertainment rags, so I am not bombarded with ads at all and am able to freely traverse the Interweb for links to shows I might find interesting. I'm not exactly sure how I found this show - and to be honest, it's squeaky-clean home page made me a little leery at first (too Desperate Housewives for me) but I nabbed it and consumed it - and I can't WAIT to consume more. The plot revolves around Nancy Botwin (played by the amazingly cute and fit Mary-Louise Parker, whom I love in a very heterosexual-but-I'd-make-out-with-her way) who recently lost her husband to a heart attack. She is raising her teenage and pre-teen sons in a disgustingly upper class neighborhood in California and not having the best of times financially. So how does she keep up her grand lifestyle? With a grand idea - become a pot dealer. She buys her stash from a black family in the inner-city. The scenes with this family are amazingly well written and well acted. The writers hint at the family's involvement in the Nation of Islam and anti-white sentiments abound. The matriarch of the family, played by Tony Patano, has a trace of a soft spot for our heroin - "the white lady" - but is ultimately hard-nosed, because after all this is business. Her nephew, Conrad, has a harder time being so crass to Nancy. Kevin Nealon (yeah, THAT Kevin Nealon!) does an amazing job playing Nancy's constantly-high accountant. He's her biggest customer, along with his bigwig poker pals. The role is perfectly suited for Nealon, who's only talent is for playing clueless goofball characters. Not a stretch for him to act high. The pace of the show is what keeps me coming back. Continuity is spot-on, and big events occur that affect the scripts in following episodes. Characters don't always do the expected and there's always a lot of surprises that will keep you roped in. And damn - these people are nasty. Who doesn't like watching nasty people on TV? I can't go further into the plot to describe why I love this show without spoiling it. Just note that on more than one occasion during the 15 episodes I've seen, I've uttered "no WAY!! OMG!!!!1one!!" That alone should be sufficient. Oh, and while many people don't like the show's theme song - the folky "Little Boxes", which by season 2 found the original version scrapped and in it's place a weekly rendition sung by a popular artist - the show's soundtrack features amazingly apt songs from indie and not-so-indie bands, which adds a whole new dimension to why one would keep watching. When a compilation CD does finally make it to market, you can bet it'll be hot. Thanks to our wonderful TV-show-capping friends, Weeds is avialable in part on YouTube, your favorite Torrent site, and for those of you on the up-and-up, season one is available at Netflix and your DVD retailer of choice.