'Ff'lo (fflo) wrote,

why "Weeds" sucks

A fairly spoiler-free (and thus not very specifically argued) list of kvetches about the just-released-on-DVD TV series "Weeds," which shows on pay-even-more pay-TV channel Showtime:

• It ain't all that "cutting edge."

Apart from the fun/shock value of seeing references to a few more things that aren't usually referenced on TV, it offers nothing new. Plus it's both a little bogusly giggley self-conscious about its "ooh! look!" allusions to heretofore-uncommon aspects of culture AND, I venture to assert, possessed of an annoyingly self-congratulatory air about it.

• It ain't subversive.

Quite the opposite, in fact, while half-assédly trying to locate itself within some subversive, hip/cool space. Kinda like how "The L Word" takes a stance that's hardly subversive while it, too, attempts to glom onto some hip subcultural positioning that just rings false in the end.

• The premise is vile.

This "suburban" mother is just trying to keep her children in the lifestyle she & her husband had accustomed them to.... ugh! The larger point here is...

• Class!

One of the most appealing parts of stoner culture is its lack of interest in the showy trappings of middle and upper-middle and lower-upper class. This show presumes a shared value system very much rooted in such class positioning, even while it pretends that (see last point) it's shattering stuffy/un-hip suburban sameness.

• Product placement!

I don't think I've ever seen a TV show more despicably obvious in the results of its product placement---which is just one of its several facets as a mainstream cultural product that belie the true nature of the series. It's annoying & would be irritatingly distracting if there were a rich enough narrative flow to concentrate on that would provide something to want not to be distracted from.

• None of the characters are nuanced in the least.

Really. Name one who is. No, she isn't. You were thinking the Elizabeth Perkins character, weren't you. NOPE! No nuance there. And am I the only one who scoffs at how every single time the protagonist goes to the "weed house" its residents refer to her whiteness at LEAST once? Yeah, right. I have a pretty good hunch I could rattle off some gripes about how the show treats race, too, if I sat down to think about it a bit. And having characters whose actors strike you as hot doesn't make the characters interesting as characters in an aesthetic way.

• The writing is bad.

It's not the worst writing for TV, by a long shot, but it's nowhere near the spiffy, adept level of basic competance & even agility with the medium you get these days in both some other cable series & a few network offerings. Though stoned viewers may experience more chuckles than I did, I doubt even the most baked need the kind of telegraphing unsubtlety we've got going here.

• The DVD extras, despite containing recipes for pot, are otherwise insipidly un-cool.

Really. It's not just the common "we are the bee's knees" bullshit you get in that space sometimes. The interviews & mini-promos make pretty much everybody working on the show come off as contemptible. Which is particularly sad to discover in that they also reveal that the creator of the show is a fat woman. (Guess it just shows that there are exceptions to the rule of our excellence.) One of the DVD extras even tries to tell us that this show is the first thing that's come along to interrupt the TV depiction of an idealized, homogenous model-life suburbia that started with Leave It To Beaver & company.

P.S.  You know what could be the next really cutting-edge TV series thing? Characters who are children and are like real children. Not cartoonishly whack-o OR serious mini-adults, or any other device-y way kids function in TV/movies.

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