June 13, 2012 at 9:48 am #246187
Showtime’s ‘Weeds’ to end this year
This year, Showtime’s ground-breaking TV series Weeds will come to a close.
The premium network will conclude series creator Jenji Kohan’s acclaimed pot comedy after eight seasons. Weeds helped pave the way for other daring cable shows and made Showtime a competitive force in the original series game.
“There were two shows, Weeds and Dexter, that
really got Showtime taken seriously for cutting-edge original
programming,” says Showtime entertainment president David Nevins. “How
they get brought home is really important. In this case, both for the
sake of the two women behind the show [Kohan and Golden Globe-winning
star Mary-Louise Parker] and an audience that’s really invested in the
show. TV fans love nothing better than to complain about how shows end
and we really want to end this one the right way.”
Kohan admits she’s “sad” about the news, noting “sometimes ignorance
is bliss,” but the writer does appreciate the rare opportunity to
creatively wrap up a show. “I’m so proud of what we do here and that
it’s about a strong woman lead who’s really flawed,” she says of her
protagonist, Nancy Botwin (Parker). “We get to do comedy right up
against drama, which a lot of shows don’t get the opportunity to do.”
The final season will quickly resolve this year’s assassination
attempt cliffhanger, and fans can expect a time jump and a return to the
suburbs. Beyond that, Kohan hasn’t yet decided how to conclude Nancy’s
tale. “We wrack our brains every year for crazy cliffhangers and we’re
trying to figure out how to top ourselves,” she says.
Showtime and Weeds‘ studio Lionsgate Television Group have
full faith that Kohan will deliver a stellar final batch of episodes.
“No matter how close she’s gone to the edge of everything falling apart,
she reels the story back in, grounds it, and brings you back,” says
Lionsgate TV Group president Kevin Beggs. “It’s an art form.”
Weeds premiered in 2005 and, along with other titles,
pioneered an edgy adult-cable programming renaissance that not only
boosted Showtime but inspired similar risk-taking content on networks. Weeds
particularly broke ground with Parker’s Golden Globe-winning portrayal
of a suburban pot-dealing matriarch, a performance that was later
followed by other female anti-hero programs like Showtime’s Nurse Jackie and FX’s Damages.
“From a creative standpoint, the show broke a bunch of barriers,”
Beggs says. “It became one of the most talked about cable comedies and
ushered in a new era. Jenji’s unique voice skewed hypocrisy; whether
attitudes towards drug use, racism, sexism or suburbia.”
The final season of Weeds premieres Sunday, July 1 at 10 p.m. on Showtime.June 13, 2012 at 11:58 am #246189
“We get to do comedy right up
against drama, which a lot of shows don’t get the opportunity to do.”
Maybe it’s not “comedy right up against drama,” but Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Justified, Boston Legal, Six Feet Under, Desperate Housewives, Nurse Jackie, The Big C, Californication, Aly McBeal (to name but a few) all blend drama with humor. Lots of shows do. Some better than others, and some are more comedy than drama (and vise versa) but it’s not like the combination is rare, or anything. I think it’s more common than what she implies. Still, I love Weeds. Never missed an episode. Always thought MLP and Justin Kirk deserved Emmys for this show. Sad to see it go, but it’s probably time. Looking forward to the last season.June 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm #246190
most of those shows you mention weren’t on 8 seasons ago. Of course, there have been other shows that blended comedy and drama, but usually a network forces you into one genre or the other. I’m sure she’s talking about how much freedom Showtime gave her. She’s not saying that Weeds was a pioneer, but it was one of a small pool of dramedys.
Either way, I stopped watching after season 5 (since Perkins was the only saving grace of that season, and she left after one). This show is way past its expiry date.June 13, 2012 at 7:27 pm #246191
I think that Kohan was getting at the show’s overall legacy. When “Weeds” started out, it was this and “Desperate Housewives” that helped change the game for female-driiven comedies in the new decade. It didn’t reinvent the wheel blurring the lines between comedy and drama on primetime, but the landscape was forever altered. We’re still seeing the effects of these shows with what’s currently airing. I hope that ends up being the show’s defining trait and not what it’s turned into now, which still flies b/c of Mary Louise Parker and her great anchoring presence, but for every great season, there’s another one right around the corner that was a hot mess. They have a last chance to end things on a high note, so I hope they take this opportunity and do that.June 13, 2012 at 7:50 pm #246192
I’ve been there since the beginning but the show really ran out of gas about 2 seasons ago. It will be nice to see how it ends but I still shake my head at the fact that MLP will not be an Emmy winner for her stellar work on Weeds.June 13, 2012 at 7:57 pm #246193
It’s disappointing that Parker doesn’t have the support of the Academy anymore, because she has always done better work than her Showtime neighbors Falco and Linney. The past few years I’ve said that maybe Parker could get one last nod for the final season of such an influential series if there was a big spectacle finale, but I just don’t see the hope there anymore.
I have actually enjoyed the entire series as a whole, and never really saw the creative downturn that so many do. While nothing was able to parallel the brilliant Season 2 finale, there have been really terrific moments throughout all of the seasons, as Kohan has been able to revitalize the series each and every season. Some may think it’s lazy to jump time and location so frequently, but they’ve been able to do many clever things using these storytelling methods. I’m excited to see what they’re able to do with the final season, and hope they can deliver a satisfying series finale!
Formerly known in the forums as PianoMann.June 13, 2012 at 9:03 pm #246194
I’ve seen all 7 seasons of ‘Weeds’ and in my opinion, the weak seasons versus the strong ones alternated equally:
So maybe this means season 8 will go out with some creative dignity, and the mark it makes on television won’t be as stale as if season 7 had been it’s last (unarguably the worst season yet).
It is quite sad to think that Parker never won an Emmy for this role, and that Kirk never got nominated. ‘Weeds’ also should’ve been nominated for writing back in seasons 1-4 for certain episdoes.
Well, through it all, I’ll miss it and wish it a great final act.June 13, 2012 at 10:51 pm #246195
Justin Kirk deserved multiple nominations for his performance on this show, if not a win.June 14, 2012 at 10:53 am #246196
^ I totally agree.June 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm #246197
The premiere is available if you’re a FB fan.
It’ll be interesting to see where this season goes. A tiny non-story related spoiler: The theme song returns!
I hope this show ends on a high note, it could go so many different ways at this point and that’s what is most exciting. There were some hilarious moments here, Justin Kirk was no doubt the highlight of this episode. What a scam this show hasn’t gotten more love from the Emmys. I won’t say much more so I don’t spoil anything…June 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm #246198
Episode Title: “Messy”
Synopsis: In the season 8 premiere, the shooting victim is revealed and rushed to the hospital; the family is left to theorize about who may have pulled the trigger.
Discuss.July 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm #246199
Justin Kirk deserved multiple nominations for his performance on this show, if not a win.
I always thought Kirk was overrated especially on goldderby. It’s not all his fault. He was handed some LAME storylines.July 1, 2012 at 9:30 pm #246200
DO NOT read this if you haven’t seen the premiere. It’s an interesting interview with one of the producers. It doesn’t spoil any details going forward with the season so if you have seen tonight’s episode, read on:July 1, 2012 at 10:36 pm #246201
The tone of the epsiode was off-putting but the identity of the shooter was a nice surprise.July 1, 2012 at 11:12 pm #246202
Agreed about the identity of the shooter. Nice callback to earlier seasons, especially as these are the final episodes.
I liked the wackadoo tone; that’s “Weeds” for you. Good ensemble work, too. Wonder if they’ll bring back Celia for one more go?
The actor playing the rabbi counseling Andy was a babe and a half.
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