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by Josh Smith & r & & r & Weeds: Season 1 & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & S & lt;/span & uburban life isn't easy for Nancy Botwin (Mary Louise Parker), especially in the wake of her husband's death. Her youngest son is acting out by creating violent rap songs and hunting cougars; her oldest can't stop thinking with his pants. To top it all off, Nancy supports her family by supplying her neighbors with high-grade marijuana. She's a suburban mom who also happens to be a drug dealer.


Created by Jenji Kohan, Weeds accentuates the hazy place marijuana has in American culture: an illicit substance that's used, nevertheless, across economic and social boundaries. Nancy crosses these lines every day: She visits the down-to-earth home of her drug connection in a poor L.A. neighborhood then returns to the glossy fa & ccedil;ade of her upper-class housing development so she can deliver the goods to her accountant and neighbors. Season One sees Nancy dealing with the unwelcome arrival of her brother-in-law, Andy (Justin Kirk), competition from a medical marijuana co-op, and a rival dealer whose turf she's encroaching upon as her business grows.


Featuring an excellent ensemble cast that includes Elizabeth Perkins -- she excels as the caustic head of the PTA, who's been diagnosed with cancer and is obsessed with her youngest daughter's weight -- and Kevin Nealon, as Nancy's hot-boxing accountant (originally written as one-time part), Weeds is brutally funny without falling into any sort of laugh-track comedy clich & eacute;s. The DVD's extras, however, deserve scorn: They're neither as numerous nor as hardy as weeds. Episode commentaries with Kohan and various cast members are great, but it would be nice to have more than one person at a time doing the commentary: Very few people are interesting enough to make a rambling half-hour monologue-cum-commentary interesting. Disc 2 has a short feature on marijuana. (In case you didn't know it was made illegal by the 1937 Tax Stamp Act.) The biggest disappointments are the supposedly herbal recipes for such dishes as 'Blazing Banana Bread' and 'I'm Baked Ziti,' which are more pedestrian than rebellious. Still, despite the proliferation of unwanted growths on the discs, Weeds remains an excellent choice for any DVD collection. It's your entry into the mythos of marijuana.

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