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DVD Review: Weeds – Season Four

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Weeds is a series that has aired on Showtime for the past four seasons with the fifth season premiering later this month. Mary-Louise Parker stars as Nancy Botwin, a woman whose husband died suddenly and who is therefore forced to make ends meet to care for her family. With the retail world not paying enough, she turned to selling pot and was very successful at it.

For the first three seasons, Nancy lived in the California suburbs and had ups and downs with her distributor. When the job got to be too much, she took advantage of some wildfires and burnt her house down so she could start over.  

Season four starts with Nancy and her family moving to her father-in-law's.  The character, played by Albert Brooks in his first regular TV series, is actually living at his invalid mother's house.  Nancy is forced to bribe him to let her and her family live there. As the season progresses, Nancy finds a new distributor, falls in love with a drug lord, and as the season ends adds several new wrinkles to their lives.

Shows changing locales can be a mistake, and it took a few episodes for Weeds to find its footing with the change, just as the characters did. However, the gamble worked and the show finds a renewed energy that should provide the series a few more seasons at least.

Weeds – Season Four is packed with extras, more than half of the episodes have commentary with cast members and the season premiere and finale have commentary with creator Jenji Kohan. It is a very smart move having the creator talk about the opening episode, where the changes start, and the finale, where you see where the characters have ended up (at least thus far). The other commentaries are fun as the actors talk about their experiences and the changes this new season has brought to their characters.

In another special feature, “I'm a big kid now,” Hunter Parrish, Alexander Gould, and Allie Grant — who all play the kids on the show — are actors who are growing up literally and figuratively during the course of the series. They talk about the changes to themselves and the characters. They also talk about the similarities’ and differences between the characters they portray and themselves.

As for the other special features, "The Real Hunter Parrish” is a short, silly featurette which follows the actor Hunter Parrish and shows what he’s like when not shooting Weeds. “Tour of Bubbie's House” gives the viewer a tour of the grandmother's house and the shows new locale, a theme which is continued in “Burbs to the Beach” which discusses the change in location from season three to season four. “Moving Weight” has real life officers talking about how drugs are moved places in real life and the various tricks the “mules” will use to smuggle the contraband. “Weed Wranglers” is a featurette that takes a look at all the prop weeds used to simulate the real thing.

Weeds' fourth season successfully changed locales for the series, furthered along continuing plots, and ended on a doozy of a cliffhanger which could make for an interesting season five to say the least. It certainly makes one want to watch the new season later this month.

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