Weeds

TV review by
Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media
Weeds TV Poster Image
Raising kids (and more...) in the 'burbs. Adults.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 20 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byShowtimefan November 2, 2010

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 d... Continue reading
Adult Written byLostfaery20 April 9, 2008

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 no... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old September 21, 2010

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... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byKiyosnumber1girl November 22, 2010

it sucks

horrible show....I recommend 18 or older, lots of bad words, c**k, p***y.... it's pathetic that my brother that is 15 watches it everyday

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love quirky characters

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