Weeds - Season Eight
It's curtains for Showtime's original series "Weeds: Season Eight," but there's no need to cry. For unlike other long-running series that reveal, in the final episode, that it was all the musing of an autistic child peering into a snow globe (thanks a ton, "St. Elsewhere"), creator Jenji Kohan has a little more respect for her beloved characters. In the final season, pot-dealing suburban mom Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) is recuperating from being shot in the head at home in the suburbs. It isn't long before her son Shane (Alexander Gould), now in the police academy, pegs it on the son of Nancy's second husband, the corrupt DEA agent. Meanwhile, Silas (Hunter Parrish) has befriended the local pot grower, who ends up making a pass at him before stealing his plants. Nancy moves back into the weed game, too. First, she confronts a clown at the hospital, setting up free edibles for all the cancer patients. Then, looking for a way to pay for Stevie's soccer fees, Nancy finds a new job opportunity for her and Shane, working with a pot pharmaceutical company. Uncle Andy (Justin Kirk) has shacked up with Nancy's sister Jill (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who is fabulous and crazy in the role. Andy does his best to parent Jill's two Roller Derby-loving teens, but eventually gives up. Nutty Doug Wilson (Kevin Nealon) finds inspiration while trying to dodge taxes via a non-profit homeless shelter, and ends up founding a cult of personality -- with him as the personality. Nancy crosses the line when she screws Andy, causing him to run away forever (or at least for the foreseeable future). Things seem at their very lowest when Nancy falls for Rabbi Dave (David Julian Hersch), but what do you know, the two end up getting married. This we learn in the last, hour-long finale, when Kohan fast-forwards the lives of the Botwins almost a decade into the future. Shane is married to his teenage love, a deaf girl who nonetheless refuses to acknowledge Nancy, who now runs the West Coast's most successful chain of pot stores (envision future legalization, stoners!) Silas is a drunken cop still hanging with his corrupt mentor, with a very funny Natasha Lyonne as his lady-friend. And poor teenaged Stevie is left to deliver a blistering speech at his bar mitzvah, in which he thanks his mom, lets everyone know his true identity as the son of a Mexican drug cartel kingpin and begs to be sent to boarding school. While some critics have derided the final episode as half-baked, it fared a lot better than other long-running series (really, "Medium," it was all a dream??). Although the show faltered over the past two or three seasons, Parker, Nealon and the cast gave it everything, and Kohan let them leave with dignity.
The DVD features come with a sense of humor, from the lighter and bong hit audio effects accompanying menu items to the obligatory but endearingly nutty gag real. Special features include cast and crew commentaries, and deleted scenes. There are also a series of featurettes, including "Everyday Advice from Guru Doug," which finds Nealon giving advice to fellow cast and crew, including a jab at Parrish to find a new line of work. "Clippin' the Buds" looks at Big Pharma and Big Tobacco, as well as the marijuana pill. And in the "Weeds: Season 8: The Wrap Up!" bonus, Kohan reminisces about the arc of what ended up being a very solid series.
"Weeds: Season Eight"
Lions Gate Television
$39.97 Blu-ray/$39.98 DVD