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Weeds: Season Five(TV) (2009)
Everyone's favorite pot-selling soccer mom and hemptress, Nancy Botwin, returns in the complete fifth season of the hit series 'Weeds'. Season 5 of this critically acclaimed series is even more subversive, more hilarious, and more addictive than the last one.
For more about Weeds: Season Five and the Weeds: Season Five Blu-ray release, see Weeds: Season Five Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 21, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Mary-Louise Parker, Alexander Gould, Justin Kirk (I), Kevin Nealon, Hunter Parrish, Elizabeth Perkins
Director: Scott Ellis
» See full cast & crew
Weeds: Season Five Blu-ray Review
Now more daytime TV than original adult-oriented entertainment.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 21, 2010
I'm a Botwin. We're not responsible for anything we do.
What was once a novel concept and a fairly-executed television show has become but a shell of itself. Five seasons in, and "Weeds" has lost its allure. The characters are running thin, the clever plot lines have been all but discarded in favor of ridiculous Soap Opera plot lines and revelations, and the drug business seems more a tacked-on afterthought rather than the centerpiece of the show. It's an admittedly seemingly difficult process to drag out a series that can be summed up in but a single line -- "suburban widow sells pot to pay the bills" -- through five seasons and more than 60 episodes, but "Weeds" seems more interested in staying afloat rather than crafting significant or even halfway funny stories that stay true to the show's roots. Indeed, the fifth season plays out as more of a chore than entertaining and relaxing television, the pseudo-drama and significant lack of humor both death knells to a show that's officially run its course. Of course, the season ends with another "cliffhanger," this one seemingly pointing to more of the same in some future sixth season that will hopefully tidy up the messy loose ends from season five in short order and return the series to its halfway charming, funny, and novel roots.
Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) is carrying the child of Tijuana Mayor Esteban Reyes (Demián Bichir), the pregnancy the only thing that's standing in between Nancy and a bullet to the head after she ratted out Esteban's Tijuana-to-Southern California underground drug tunnel. With her life spared, Nancy finds herself at odds with Esteban over the baby's future, while Esteban has something far greater in mind for the now-forgiven mother of his son, but feels the need to have her shadowed by several thugs for fear that there may be a figure waiting in the wings to eliminate her and her family from the equation and tidy up the political landscape. Meanwhile, the bumbling Celia Hodes (Elizabeth Perkins) once again finds herself on a see-saw that sees her kidnapped by her own daughter and, later, at the top of the world through a unique twist on self-employment. Silas (Hunter Parrish) and Doug (Kevin Nealon) carry on the Botwin family business by opening up a legally-run medicinal marijuana storefront. Shane (Alexander Gould) finds himself slowly delving into a more adult and dangerous lifestyle, selling drugs to his English teacher and taking up drinking. Finally, Andy (Justin Kirk) finds himself attracted to Nancy's physician, Dr. Audra Kitson (Alanis Morissette).
This new but certainly not improved version of "Weeds" offers up some passably interesting story lines that might have worked better in a show that hadn't implemented them after falling off the deep end and eschewing much of what made it alluring in the first place. Season five seems all over the map; even though it offers plausible continuations of each characters' arc, the problem is that there's little resemblance to the show that first aired some years ago. It seems the writers have painted themselves into a corner with these past couple of seasons, and instead of aiming for something more akin to what made the show popular in the first place, they simply seem content with churning out episode after episode that continues on with a series of story lines that are but fragmentally interconnected or even altogether related the show's original premise. Sure, there's some marijuana lying around in nearly every episode; it gets sold and works its way into some of the story lines, but the show includes this series-defining element more out of necessity rather than as an integral focal point of the series-at-large. "Weeds" has descended into the topsy-turvy world of daytime television with its series of events that stretch logic and seem tossed into the script only for the sake of continuing on with the show rather than offering something unique, pertinent to the style, true to the source, or even interesting beyond a passing curiosity as to where the characters will go and what their fates may ultimately hold.
Fortunately, "Weeds: Season Five" is not a total loss. Some of the story lines are admittedly intriguing when taken inside a vacuum but not necessarily considering the entire five-season arc. Shane's perilous journey down a darker road -- influenced heavily by what he has seen and heard over the past several years -- proves both fascinating and relevant to the show. With some characters, however -- Celia, Isabelle (Allie Grant), Doug, and Dean (Andy Milder), for instance -- season five is just more of the tired "same old" bickering and wild schemes that was funny before but long in the tooth now. The season's most disappointing story arc is that of main character Nancy Botwin; hers is the most heavily Soap Opera-ish of them all, and the season-long drama that revolves around her, her baby, and Esteban proves intriguing but hardly relevant to the tone of the series. Still, there's no denying it follows logically from the beginning of the show and through the end of the fourth season, but Nancy's role having been reduced to a pawn in the backdrop of Mexican politics and power seems so far distant from the show's roots that it's hard to embrace. Indeed, there's a considerable lack of freshness to the show, and about all that's left that offers up a hint of ingenuity is each episode's unique title card shot. Still, the cast remains mostly enthusiastic about the show, turning in consistently good performances; they've fallen into the roles and the characters seem second nature, even amidst the stale stories and thin Soap Opera plots.
Weeds: Season Five Blu-ray, Video Quality
"Weeds: Season Five" blows onto Blu-ray with a technically suitable but hardly noteworthy 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer. In general, this rendition of "Weeds" appears pasty, artificial, and flat. Skin tones in particular often take on a ghastly, unnatural tint, though they do occasionally veer towards an orange shade. Despite the flat appearance, finer detail is suitably presented; shirts reveal fine stitching and tree bark is roughly and naturally textured, as are more complex exteriors and interiors where concrete, brick, wood, and furnishings take on a fairly lifelike and rich appearance. However, faces sometimes look unnaturally smooth and devoid of even a hint of detail, where at other times facial hair, fine lines, and scars are nicely rendered. Colors are generally rich and vibrant; some clothing in particular -- for instance a purple sweater worn by one of Andy's conquests, Margaret -- truly pops off the screen. Additionally, blacks are fairly stable but sometimes overpower the image, and infrequent but troublesome noise pops in every now and again, most notably during the final episode's scenes inside a concrete storage unit. Though this isn't exactly eye candy stuff, it seems fairly true to the source; viewers simply need not expect this to look like a pristinely-rendered film.
Weeds: Season Five Blu-ray, Audio Quality
"Weeds: Season Five" sprouts a serviceable but hardly invigorating DTS-HD MA 7.1 lossless soundtrack. Frankly, the track rarely delves into information that goes beyond basic dialogue and musical reproduction, both of which are delivered smoothly and distortion-free. Nevertheless, a few scattered scenes through each episode offer a more expansive listen that adds a bit of aural flair to a soundtrack that's technically sound but otherwise painfully boring. Surrounds occasionally chime in to deliver some background ambience, whether baying animals in one location, the general background din of a busy mall, flowing traffic, a rolling stream, or more powerful ocean waves and the obligatory accompanying seagulls do a fair job of sprucing up the track and offering something of a more natural and immersive sonic environment. Otherwise, this one is incredibly vanilla; it does all that's asked of it well enough, but like the video presentation, it's hardly worthy of more than a passing notation. Both get the job done but with nary a hint of pomp and circumstance.
Weeds: Season Five Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
"Weeds: Season Five" arrives on Blu-ray with a fair assortment of extras spread across both discs. Disc one features the following commentary tracks: Episode One, "Wonderful, Wonderful," with Series Creator Jenji Kohan; Episode Three, "Su-Su-Sucio," with Writers Roberto Benabib and Matthew Salsberg; Episode Five, "Van Nuys," with Actors Hunter Parrish and Kevin Nealon; and Episode Seven, "Where the Sidewalk Ends," with Writers Roberto Benabib and Matthew Salsberg and Actor Kevin Nealon. History of Weed (1080i, 1:58) quickly takes viewers on a tour of the history of the drug, beginning in ancient China. Yes We Cannabis (480p, 1:02) is an Obama-inspired "Weeds" promotion piece featuring actor Kevin Nealon in-character. Also included on disc one is Little Titles (1080p, 3:18), a brief montage of the title cards of each episode with commentary. Disc two also features several commentary tracks: Episode Eleven, "Ducks and Tigers," with Actors Justin Kirk and Alanis Morissette; Episode Twelve, "Glue," with Actors Elizabeth Perkins, Allie Grant, and Andy Milder; and Episode Thirteen, "All About My Mom," with Series Creator Jenji Kohan. Really Backstage With Kevin Nealon (1080i, 11:07) presents raw behind-the-scenes footage shot by Actor Kevin Nealon. Crazy Love: A Guide to the Dysfunctional Relationships of 'Weeds' (1080i, 12:15) features the cast and crew discussing the characters and the many relationships in which they engage throughout the show. Next is University of Andy (480p, 33:58), a series of a dozen shorts featuring the character sharing information on random situations. Included are How to Survive a Bear Attack, How to Satisfy a Woman, How to Start a Band, Holding Your Liquor, Surviving the Apocalypse, Internet Dating, Dating Foreign Chicks, How to Make $100, The Breakup, Dealing with Bullies, Avoiding the Crazies, and Manscaping. Also included is a series of bloopers (1080p, 11:04).
Weeds: Season Five Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
At best, "Weeds: Season Five" is a mixed-bag that features a few passable and plausible story extensions that recall and build upon the show's original themes and feel, but for the most part, it's a show that's lost touch with its roots, delving into territory that feels out of place for a show of meager but exciting origins. While viewers can connect the dots throughout the series' entire run and see how the story has progressed from season to season, season five nevertheless seems far distant from the charming little show that once was, making it difficult to look forward to future seasons, even though a hint of the allure remains to at least see the characters through to whatever resolutions will ultimately be in store for them. Lionsgate's Blu-ray release of "Weeds: Season Five" is acceptable but not at all noteworthy; featuring a decent but hardly praiseworthy technical presentation and a fair assortment of extras, this package should satisfy fans.
Weeds: Other Seasons
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Weeds: Season Five Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - January 19th - January 19, 2010
At the time when Showtime was making efforts to expand their original programming line-up, 'Weeds' emerged as a shining star in an otherwise ignored schedule. The cannabis inspired drama quickly became a top performer on the premium channel, and has already completed ...
• Weeds Season Five Coming Up - October 30, 2009
Lionsgate Home Entertainment will release 'Weeds: Season Five' on Blu-ray on January 19, 2010, day-and-date with the DVD. As with previous 'Weeds' BD releases, this will be a two-disc set and audio will be 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. In this latest season, after taking ...
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