Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Not A Review of Weeds

Note: I've only seen the first season.

I'm watching Weeds and man is that show bumming me out. Why? Because if I were watching this show when it first came out in 2005 I would love it. But through a wacky twist of fate I saw a show with roughly the same premise that came out later  and has a better execution first.

Watching this show in my head I keep saying "I would absolutely love it... if Walt hadn't killed Krazy 8." That's a shame because this show did almost all of it first. Not necessarily the long drawnout dude in a basehead's basement being suffocated with a bike lock thing, but the, "breaking bad" thing, and the cancer thing and the "relationship" with a fed thing.

I'm trying to pin point why it's not as good and I think I figured it out. The Wire, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy,  and The Sopranos, established early on that their worlds were filled with death and destruction. Or to put it bluntly no matter what happens things will not go well. Murphy's Law is God.

I just don't feel that, in this show. Without that element why should I care? What are the stakes? There is a moment early on in the show where the protagonist, Nancy has a meet with a competitor who has been trying to intimidate her.  In those other shows that confrontation would have involved serious violence the likes of which at best would have caused a severe permanent limp and at worse... death.

In Weeds it leads to.

And that's the moment the show lost me.  It's not about the show being unrealistic. Honestly have have no clue how the drug trade works and I don't want to know. But like I said I have no clue what the stakes are. Okay what happens if Nancy fails in her endeavors?

I'm running through all the hypotheticals in my head. She's caught. Well that is a risk, but other than general witticisms the threat of the cops feels weak. In The Wire there was a constant paranoia, same with those other shows accept maybe Breaking Bad and the show always treated Walt's hubris on the subject of his DEA brother-in-law as an idiotic liability. W.W.

Okay how about this? A competitor "fucks her up". One word, pennies. Can't take that seriously anymore.

What if she loses business due to "normal" market forces like the better quality at the  marijuana dispensary.

I would be worried about that if the struggle for money was a consistent element in the show. We get one episode where that's really an issue. Even then it's mostly used for stuff that seems out there. Karate classes and maid service? How about mortgages, groceries, car payments. Again Breaking Bad did it better showing a constricted food budget. The show doesn't really explain why she's turned to drugs rather than anything else. With Walt the "I'm dying so I'm out of fucks to give" works until it's clear that pride has a role to play but with Nancy I don't know.

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