I have a weed problem

Unsavory charactersI don’t watch the Sopranos so I don’t know whether this kind of thing happens everyday on television. Authority figure / love interest / recurring character / moral compass on the TV show Weeds gets driven summarily into a garage and killed.
 
Sitting in his car outside a drug deal gone awry, he is asked by a girl to roll down his window. She releases the locks and two goons slip in beside him from both sides and turn the car into an awaiting garage. The garage door lowers to the soundtrack “time to die.” Did I mention he was a cop?

The other thing the cop character representated was the show’s least morally compromised character. He was a narc who lapsed in a self-interested act, to protect his lady friend pot dealer, with the hope that she then get out of the business. When she does not, and in fact ramps up her activities to become a grower, he rebels at her decision, ultimately forcing estrangement. Then she betrays him and it gets ugly.

And what happened when loverboy died? Our Miss Dealer, in the midst of a multiple gunpoint drug deal standoff, interrupts to wander, to wax, glassy eyed and aimlessly about the kitchen, repeating “he’s dead?”

That scene captured two incongruous aspects of the show: the heroine’s empathetic innocence, walking around in bemused bewilderment at what happens to her, and two, the comic non-violence (dead copper aside) of the suburban drug world.

To its credit, Weeds teaches nothing of the real world of pot growing, distribution, addiction or law enforcement. In the same way that it is too idyllic, it is also thankfully uninstructional. Pickups are mere social calls, a grow house is tended as neighbors coming in to feed the fish while you’re away. There is no question of unreliability that in real life always marks a Keystone Cops constabulary of pot heads. Dealing is never shown. Our heroine is a “natural” at dealing, we’re told, but we never see what that would be actually. Sort of like we never saw interior design practiced in Designing Women.

We see pot fetishism, even an implied popular support for pot smoking by a suburban majority, and addiction is never shown. Unless you count our heroine’s addiction to the business of easy money and notoriety. The series started with a sudden widow facing an insurmountable suburban house payment, who is dropped into pot dealing as a last resort.

I’ve wanted to address the problem of Weeds. Everyone’s quirky. Because we become familiar with them, we do become empathetic. You could say they are all flawed but real human beings. I’ll assert they are not even. All the characters are opportunists and hedonists and worse than a non moral tale. They tell an immoral tale.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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