Weeds

 
Raising kids (and more...) in the 'burbs. Adults.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Don't look for positive messages here. Although the Botwins love each other, their family relationships are constantly tested and twisted beyond most people's breaking point. Selfishness is often rewarded, and plenty of illegal activity takes place without a hint of consequence.

Positive role models

Nancy ostensibly has her family's best interests at heart, but most of her day-to-day actions -- dealing drugs, flirting with drug dealers -- are risky and illegal and make her far from a model of good behavior. Her friends and family members aren't much better; her accountant is one of her best clients, her brother-in-law is cheerfully self-serving (and doesn't hesitate to lie to get what he wants), and her best friend does things like hide laxatives in her overweight tween daughter's chocolate stash. The affluent characters are all white; most of the African-American characters are somehow involved in the drug business, while the Latino ones are almost all domestic servants and/or heavily involved in the drug trade.

Violence

Somewhat sporadic depending on the season/episode, but it can be quite shocking when it happens. Stand-off scenes between drug dealers include lots of guns; Nancy participates in a drive-by; other bloody wounds appear (some from gunshots, some from other sources -- like animal attacks). Several abrupt deaths. Also some beatings and car accidents.

Sex

Infrequent full-frontal nudity and lots of partial nudity (breasts, buttocks, more). Frequent sex scenes (some fairly explicit, even for pay cable, and some involving teen characters). A character takes a young boy to a "massage parlor" as a coming-of-age treat. Sex toys show up on occasion.

Language

Frequent and explicit; nothing is bleeped. "F--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "pu--y," etc. -- they're all there.

Consumerism

Few specific product names are mentioned (though Nancy does love her Diet Coke), but most of the denizens of Agrestic are very materialistic.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The show's premise is closely tied to marijuana -- growing it, selling it, smoking it, baking it into pastries, etc. Later seasons expand to cover more of the illegal drug industry. Adults and teens also drink regularly, and some use drugs like cocaine.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this addictive (pun intended) dramedy about drug dealing in the suburbs is definitely not for kids. The main character, Nancy, makes parenting decisions that most people would disagree with -- especially deciding to sell marijuana to provide for her two sons. Her friends and family members are likewise flawed, complicated people whose behavior is questionable at best and unbelievably irresponsible and cruel at worst (Nancy's best friend has a habit of belittling her overweight daughter, for example). Most conversations are peppered with strong language; partial nudity and uninhibited sex scenes are common, and the themes are unquestionably adult-oriented. That said, it can be both funny and insightful, too, and grown-ups might get a contact high just by watching.

What's the story?

After being widowed abruptly, Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) is left with few options for supporting her two sons, teenage Silas (Hunter Parrish) and younger brother Shane (Alexander Gould). She needs serious cash flow to maintain their lifestyle in the ritzy, upper-middle-class gated community of Agrestic, so she starts selling pot. Nancy's friends and family members aren't exactly candidates for the Role Model of the Year Award, either. Her friend Celia (Elizabeth Perkins) routinely taunts her overweight tween daughter, Isabelle (Allie Grant), going so far as to secretly swap the girl's chocolate stash with chocolate-flavored laxatives. Nancy's brother-in-law, Andy (Justin Kirk), is gleefully manipulative and selfish, whether he's exchanging X-rated instant messages with his nephew's girlfriend (while pretending to be said nephew) or lying to get into rabbinical school so he can avoid being drafted. And Nancy's accountant, city council member Wilson Doug (Kevin Nealon), is one of her best clients.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

WEEDS isn't the first TV show to expose the dark side of life in the suburbs, and it almost certainly won't be the last. But it's probably safe to say that it's the only series that goes behind the facade in such a large cloud of marijuana smoke. Of course, just about everyone has some good mixed in with the bad. The trauma of her husband's death has left Nancy very much at sea, and all she can do is get through one day at a time. She cares deeply about her sons and honestly wants what's best for them, even if her very questionable parenting choices don't always make that clear. And Andy really likes being part of a family -- he just has trouble understanding that he's supposed to be one of the grown-ups. Even Celia has a softer side, though she doesn't show it often.

Thanks to complex, interesting characters like these and some very sharp writing, Weeds can be both laugh-out-loud funny and poignantly dramatic. But it's definitely meant for adults. The rampant drug use -- not to mention the frequent scenes of people buying, selling, baking, and growing the stuff in the first place -- is only one of many red flags. Most of the characters swear like sailors (though they're not as bad as the folks on Deadwood), the often-explicit sex scenes include partial nudity (including a teen girl in at least one case), teenage characters drink and do drugs, all of the show's African-American characters are involved in the drug business (and most of the Latino ones are domestic servants), and supporting characters have resorted to blackmail, arson, and beatings. One thing's for sure -- life in Agrestic may be complicated, smoky, and sometimes even shocking, but it's certainly never boring.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how far they'd go to support each other in times of crisis. Was becoming a drug dealer Nancy's only option to provide for her kids?

  • Part of the reason Nancy originally got involved in the drug business was to maintain her family's affluent, gated-community lifestyle -- is that a reflection of society's values? What points is the show making about the McMansion lifestyle?

  • Do the people on the show seem like a realistic reflection of upper-middle-class suburban life? Are any of the characters good role models? Why or why not?

TV details

Cast:Elizabeth Perkins, Kevin Nealon, Mary-Louise Parker
Network:Showtime
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Weeds was written by

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Quality

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous February 24, 2013
age 18+
 

A lot of bad and I don't like this show. Not for kids or for People on illegal Drugs.

Not for kids. Illegal Drugs, Sex, Violence, Bad Language, & Consumerism.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old September 21, 2010
age 12+
 

Enjoyable but explicit.

A fantastic show with SOME good role models. I started watching this when I was 11 and really enjoyed it. For parents: The sexual content is rather explicit but isn't too frequent eg. once every few episodes when the plot is complex but sometimes there can be quite a few scenes in just one. Violence is not an issue but as it is in the drug world deaths do occur, but hardly ever gruesome ones. Drug use is really frequent with main characters ingesting and manufacturing every illicit drug under the sun, so a large concern for some of you. I suggest you watch it with your kids and if you feel uncomfortable with them viewing it then it's your decision.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great role models
Adult Written byShowtimefan November 2, 2010
age 14+
 

Teens

Weeds is a great show for adults. Teens can relate to the charecters. The show goes in deep story lines. The story lines are very complicated all thought they deal with drugs. I think the Weeds tells everyone how bad drugs are even though the people in the show smoke and sell it they show what happons when you do it there are a lot of negative things. And that will make people not want to do drugs. The show is not a normal tv 14 if parents think Sex And The City was bad they have not seen Weeds even South Park is not as bad as Weeds anything on Showtime or HBO has a lot of Bad Words since it is a premeum chanel they can show and say what they want. I dont know if I have ever seen a show that has this much profanity They will put to many Fwords and Swords They will say a lot of Religious jesters that are bad the jesters will include bad words. A average Epesode would have about 10 15 fwords at the least. Sex goes on a lot. We see breasts and Bottems. The violence is not to bad in the early seasons around season 4 it gets bad. All and All Weeds is a good show but not for people under 14
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Adult Written byLostfaery20 April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

I AM ABSOUTLEY OBSESSED WITH THE SHOW

but its deff not for anyone under 17 or 16. I mean teenagers these days smoke pot but they dont need more encouragement. I love the show. Its amazing but its not for youngings

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