TV Review: Suddenly, Nothing Happened on Season-Six Premiere of ‘Weeds’

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CHICAGO – In an unhinged series where anything can happen, what do you make of an episode where not much happens at all? Television Rating: 3.0/5.0
Television Rating: 3.0/5.0

Unfortunately, that is the nature of the season-six premiere of “Weeds,” a show so relentlessly bombastic and outlandish that the twists and turns can make you almost queasy with their unpredictability. If last season’s finale, in which the increasingly creepy Shane (Alexander Gould) bashed in the skull of Nancy’s adversary Pilar (Kate de Castillo), was emotionally explosive, then this episode, in which the Botwins react to the event and prepare to flee, feels like a slow burn.

Shane is clearly sociopathic, but this fact is quietly presented with a dull roar—and a darkly comical soundbite—instead of an insistent scream. And the series continues to feel glossier and less profound.

Photo credit: Showtime

For one thing, it cheaply tends to rely on the attractiveness of its stars to appeal to the audience, rather than using character development to go deeper. Mary-Louise Parker wears a striking, backless cocktail dress for half of the episode, paired with flawless makeup throughout. And the sleekly attractive Silas (Hunter Parrish) has nary a gelled hair out of place, even as he rants and frets about the psychotic actions of his younger brother.

Andy (Justin Kirk) and Nancy continue to make googly eyes at each other, teasing the audience with their intermittently acknowledged sexual attraction, but nothing happens on that front either. Even the subplot in which a violent, Bible-quoting anti-abortionist holds Andy’s girlfriend (Alanis Morissette) hostage feels surface-level and low-stakes. Although one bright spot is Morissette herself, who is cute and caustically funny: a welcome surprise in this role.

In the end, one of the most appealing aspects of “Weeds”—its edgy unpredictability—may become its downfall. When nothing matters and nothing is out of bounds, then nothing feels real or significant. Without that significance, it is difficult to care about characters… or a series.

The sixth season of “Weeds” premieres on Monday, August 16 at 9:00 p.m. CST on Showtime. The show stars Mary-Louise Parker, Justin Kirk, Hunter Parrish, Elizabeth Perkins, Kevin Nealon, and Alexander Gould. It will be followed by the series premiere of Laura Linney’s excellent new show, “The Big C.” TV critic Emily Riemer

TV Critic

weeds season 6's picture

Great read!

Thanks for the nice read Emily, this new season of Weeds still looks like its going to be great to me! but I heard this might be the last..

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