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Weeds: The Final Season(TV) (2012)
Everyone's favorite pot-selling soccer mom and hemptress, Nancy Botwin, returns in the complete final season of the hit series 'Weeds'.
For more about Weeds: The Final Season and the Weeds: The Final Season Blu-ray release, see Weeds: The Final Season Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on February 9, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Mary-Louise Parker, Alexander Gould, Justin Kirk (I), Kevin Nealon, Hunter Parrish, Elizabeth Perkins
Directors: Scott Ellis, Bethany Rooney
» See full cast & crew
Weeds: The Final Season Blu-ray Review
Coming down from a long buzz.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, February 9, 2013
There's a certain delicious irony to the fact that the penultimate season of Weeds ended with yet another cliffhanger, for if any of this long running Showtime series' (admittedly waning) audience partakes of the same "herbal enhancement" that is at the core of the show, will they even have the wherewithal to remember the huge looming questions which ended the series last year on a note of potential doom? So with that in mind, let's offer a quick recap for those who may not recall the ins and outs of the dysfunctional yet incredibly intrepid Botwin family. Nancy Botwin (Mary- Louise Parker) has been on a personal and professional roller coaster for years, attempting to provide for her family by creating what had become an unexpectedly huge marijuana dealing operation. Meanwhile, she found herself involved in several criminal investigations as well as subterfuge involving manifold rings of organized crime. As if that weren't enough turmoil for one widowed mother to handle, Nancy also has to deal with her sons, Silas (Hunter Parrish), Shane (Alexander Gould) and Stevie (Ethan and Gavin Kent), a child Nancy had with the leader of a Mexican drug cartel. Nancy has something of an entourage, including Andy Botwin (Justin Kirk), the conflicted brother of Nancy's deceased husband, and Doug Wilson (Kevin Nealon), who has matriculated from being an ineffective city councilman to a highly effective hedge fund manager. Meanwhile Nancy has also been dealing with a certain form of sibling rivalry with her estranged sister Jill (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who, despite her own lingering "issues", feels she would be a better parent to Stevie than Nancy. As has tended to happen a few too many times throughout this series' run, a cascading series of melodramas is rather conveniently solved, leading to yet another potential tragedy as the season ends. In this case, suddenly years of family dysfunction is more or less put aside as all the warring parties agree to share a rather leafy enclave in Connecticut, only to have their celebratory backyard picnic interrupted by what appears to be, in true cliffhanger fashion, a sniper shot aimed directly at Nancy's head.
There's a certain built in ridiculousness with offering a cliffhanger which threatens to kill of a series' lead character. Let's put it this way: if, for example, that long ago serial which helped introduce cliffhanger elements to audiences, The Perils of Pauline, had actually let Pauline expire, what would have happened? A follow up series, entitled The Perils of Someone Other than Pauline? In other words, there's not a huge amount of suspense with a cliffhanger such as this, and as I rightly predicted in my Weeds: Season Seven Blu-ray review, this supposed frightening turn of events is given a rather quick and even sanguine resolution. Yes, Nancy has been shot, and, yes, she's injured, but of course she survives (this in no way can be termed a spoiler, for the reasons just enumerated).
Weeds is a series that may ultimately have outstayed its welcome. While this final season continues in the arch, often quite wryly amusing, style that has become its hallmark, the bloom is off the rose (and/or marijuana plant, as the case may be). There's still a lot of engaging humor to be found in dribs and drabs here, but this final years is awfully unbalanced from a tonal consistency perspective, and as was already evident in at least the two previous seasons, Weeds tends to revisit subjects (and even characters and in this particular case, locations) that it has already mined (repeatedly) for humor. That leaves some elements of this season feeling awfully stale and with the comedy seeming more forced than ever.
Basically the overall arc of this season deals with Nancy trying to get her life together, which in and of itself is of course the overall arc of the entire series, but which in this season is supposedly invested with more meaning since she's just suffered such a serious injury. Of course, nothing goes as planned, and a number of spiraling subplots only adds a number of roiling elements to Nancy's plans. Silas is still competing with his mother, Shane's attempts to walk a straight and narrow path as a rookie cop have their own set of challenges, and Jill and Andy provide yet another round of frankly unnecessary drama with their over the top antics. Once again, Nancy rather inexplicably is able to combine her "passion" (meaning pot) with her profession, only this time supposedly on the up and up, working for a pharmaceutical company, a company which Silas also soon joins. Guess what happens with that situation?
The series takes a bit of a gamble in its closing two episodes, segueing several years into the future to show us what has happened to all of the main characters. Nancy continues to be both ludicrously successful as well as touched with more marital tragedy (if she's not exactly a Black Widow, she certainly might be termed a Green one due to her predilection to deal pot). The kids all have their issues, as does Andy, but once again, all is solved rather conveniently over a hefty shared joint. One nice touch actually occurs during this "flash forward", when Stevie has his Bar Mitzvah and shocks everyone with a long diatribe dealing both with his father's past and Stevie's own lack of faith. It struck rather close to home for me personally, for my own eldest son's Dvar Torah (the speech a Bar or Bat Mitzvah writes and delivers to celebrate their entry into adulthood) dealt with his own lack of belief in God, something that rather surprisingly was met with a lot of approval by congregation members (not to mention the Rabbi). The Botwin family may not exactly have a traditional relationship with any sort of divinity, but they obviously have had some sort of better angels watching over them for the past eight years.
Weeds: The Final Season Blu-ray, Video Quality
Weeds: The Final Season is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Lionsgate Films and Showtime with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. This final season continues the generally excellent tradition that Weeds has followed in previous seasons. The series still tends to be somewhat soft looking a lot of the time, especially in interior scenes, though this season gets "out and about" a bit more than last season and therefore pops just a little more nicely, generally speaking. Colors continue to be very well saturated and accurate looking, and fine detail is quite commendable in close- ups. There are some minor contrast issues (some no doubt intentional, as in the opening sequence following Nancy's injury) that sometimes contribute to a minimal loss of fine detail or shadow detail, but otherwise Weeds continues to be a very nice looking series that does quite well for itself in high definition.
Weeds: The Final Season Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Weeds: The Final Season continues the debatable wisdom of featuring a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix that some at least might argue is a bit of overkill, considering the series' tendency to play out in smaller scale dialogue scenes. The best thing about the 7.1 mix is probably the engaging use of music, including the return of original theme "Little Boxes" (without posting any spoilers, there are a number of rather smartly done "stunt castings" of guest artists covering the theme song as the season progresses). Otherwise, while the 7.1 mix only sporadically offers anything that might be termed really involving immersion, fidelity remains superb and the mix is generally quite artfully done, with some good use of discrete channelization in some key sequences.
Weeds: The Final Season Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Weeds: The Final Season Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
It's probably a good thing that Weeds is closing up shop after eight seasons, for this last year is arguably the weakest the series has offered since Nancy Botwin found herself in dire financial straits after the unexpected death of her husband. There's still quite a bit to enjoy in this season, but Weeds has lost some of its luster along the way, and the seams show pretty obviously in this final year. Longtime fans will no doubt want to follow this show through to its bittersweet end, but my hunch is few others will wants to ford the roiling waters of the Botwin clan if they haven't already at least dabbled their feet in the maelstrom in previous seasons.
Weeds: Other Seasons
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Weeds: The Final Season Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Weeds: The Final Season Blu-ray - December 10, 2012
Lionsgate Films have officially announced and detailed their upcoming Blu-ray release of the eighth and final season of Showtime's original series Weeds. The release will be available for purchase online and in stores across the nation on February 12th.
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