Note: Spoilers lie ahead, if such things concern you ...
Weeds — eight long years I've been watching this show. Eight. And less than a week ago, the stash finally ran out.
I'll admit my joke was terrible, but oh so in-line with the absurd/maudlin/corny tone that Jenji Kohan's series (d)evolved into having.
Jenji (who likely will never read this), I mean you no disrespect. What you created took an level of effort and creative fortitude that I cannot yet fathom, but critics will caw and scratch none-the-less. I don't consider myself a critic, though. I believe most critics are people who attempt to tear apart creative works as an expression of their jealousy for not being able to create something themselves. Especially literary and music critics. So, no — I'm not a critic, just someone who enjoys watching my own experiences and understandings interact with various forms of content, especially within mediums that I want to use for my own work.
The finale shows life for the characters some 10 to 15 years after the previous episode. Nancy's young half-Mexican son is now a teenager (and appears to be less of a Mexican than Louis C.K.). I kept waiting for the show to pull back from the odd ghost-of-Christmas-present-esque flashforward, but it was "real."
Kohan added a few nods to the beginning by including characters we've not seen since the first few episodes, accompanied by self-aware jokes that stretched just as far.
When the series started, the general consensus was that it was fresh and unruly -- unlike anything we had seen before. But with each new change of scenery, the show jumped so many sharks that it became impossible to tell exactly where Kohan had gone wrong. Andy, the one character who seemed adamant to not become a overly-lit caricature of of himself, held on a unique and dynamic character throughout most of the series, but at the end started to shed layers of complexity until he too became overwrought and predictable. Nancy, the main character, became the worst example of this downward transformation (a negative arc).
The final episode ballooned with sentimentality. It reduced the series to near-slapstick comedy (half-Mexican son causes his bar mitzvah to implode, but still enjoys the afterparty dressed as Tony Montana).
To Kohan's credit, not all was low-brow. If you wade through the miasma of a self-aware finale, there are a few gems, my favorite being Andy encouraging a desperate and unseasonably youthful Nancy to seize her freedom and pursue her true identity. I love how she seemed to receive the exhortation as a Sisyphean sentence. He meant it to be a Promethean one. Nothing in the entire series better captured the essence of her character.
* * * * *
Like I said, I've followed the show off-and-on for about eight years. I am not sure what continued to drive this compulsion past the point where I came to hate Weeds (somewhere in the fourth season). It's probably the same thing that sparks my unwillingness to leave a party before it's absolutely dead, to not stop halfway through a novel (except Mine All Mine — sorry, Adam ... I did enjoy you in person, however) or to stay up far enough into the night to ensure tomorrow will be a rough one.
I realize this is mostly wasted time, which scares me, as I have only so many hours in me to answer some of the show's central questions:
- How am I to exist?
- Who am I?
- How am I to earn a living?
- What societal norms am I to reject?
- In what should I raise my children?
Maybe it's those same questions that drive my compulsion to keep seeking, regardless of how "right" or "wrong" the places are that I'm looking.
The trick, then, is to be able to channel this into my creative efforts, and not put on another episode of Workaholics at 1:30 a.m. on a Thursday.
My name is Marcelo Asher Quarantotto.I WRITE WITH WORDS, PHOTOS, VIDEOS, WEBSITES AND MUSIC.
I am a father of three beautiful daughters and husband to the most gracious, saintly creature I've ever met. (You'll find pictures of them here from time to time.) I am also a multidisciplinary storyteller.