There is no shortage of series on drug trafficking, but they usually feature male drug dealers. Weeds changes the focus and takes the point of view of a mother, who finds herself dealing weed to support her family.
End of clichés
Nancy Botwin is the opposite of the usual clichés about drug dealers: she is a mother, who lives in a middle-class suburb and who does not have to fear that her sons take a stray bullet when they leave school. Widowed, she sells grass to her neighbors and friends to support her family. His balance is upset by the arrival of his brother-in-law Andy.
Nancy is not a poor helpless little thing: she knows how to manipulate dealers, clients, even drug lords. Even though she misses her husband, she has not given up on living and she does not intend to be told how to act by anyone. At times she is annoying. When she begins an ongoing romantic relationship with a drug lord and mayor of Tijuana, she is expected to calm down. What need did she have to be restless when she could enjoy life in a mansion, with house staff, swimming pool, sun and unlimited cocktails?
Circumstances throw her on American roads and then in prison, where she remains for three years. How to bounce back when you’re a former convict whose every move is constantly monitored? The writers have shown a certain creativity, because the series ends well and it was not won in advance, if we consider the balls it had to drag itself.
Black widow without her knowledge
The series opens with Nancy’s widowhood and ends with a new widowhood. One of the sons of the story is the black widow side of Nancy. Her first husband dies of a heart attack. Her second husband is murdered and she is more or less responsible for his death. Her third husband is executed in prison and her fourth husband falls from a ladder. Between two husbands, Nancy has affairs and there again, they always have problems. The reader should note that it does not always end in death, but men are victims.
The most interesting relationship she develops is not with Andy, but with Guillermo. Mexican dealer, their relationship begins in a positive way. Then he will try to kill her. He takes a walk in prison. She visits him to taunt him and then to ask him a favor. He gets out of prison, tries to kill her again. She’s the one going to jail. When she comes out and prepares to retrain, she comes to find him and they end up burying the hatchet. The writers have not developed this curious relationship, but we feel a kind of crush from Guillermo for Nancy, an affection that does not speak its name and that pushes the latter to act in her favor.
The one who has understood Nancy’s dangerous potential is Heylia James, Nancy’s first supplier. She appreciates it in small doses and wants it to stay away from her family, especially Conrad, whom she considers a son. Nothing helps and Conrad can’t quite break the ties he has with our drug dealer mother.
Start-up and cannabis
Nancy has two sons: Silas and Shane. Silas is a teenager, who wants to take flight. He wants to participate in the traffic, but each time he makes a catastrophic blunder. He despairs of extricating himself from his role as a pretty brainless boy, but doesn’t always act his best.
So when the whole family moved to New York, he set up a network for the sale and distribution of weed. But, it stores all the information in a computer that the dealers have to enter. It makes every police officer’s dream come true: to create a customer database, with last name, first name, phone number, address, quantity, balance, with a nice interface. Silas very proud of his CRM, but we are taken aback by the lack of security of the thing.
Shane is not necessarily more brilliant. He sympathizes with a police officer and consults the New York Police Database. If you’re nostalgic for operating systems prior to Windows XP, indulge yourself. He gets caught because he prints the results of his research. Which raises an inconsistency. To access the computer, Shane says he comes to update and offers cracked versions of Office. He asks the agent for his password to perform the installations, which suggests that each agent is administrator of his position. He does his research quickly and prints everything quickly. Except anyone who’s ever updated on Windows knows it takes a while and installs Office from a CD too. It is also hard to believe that Detective Mitch Ouellette could have discovered that Shane carried out unauthorized searches, the latter being drunk continuously.
Borders and reconversion
Nancy tries to get the hang of it. Even though she likes to sell weed – this point is fully developed in the series – she wants to put on a respectable facade, if only for the taxman. It’s hard to deposit $ 10,000 into your bank account every week when you’re officially a housewife. This is how she gets Doug, the sexually obsessed clunky, into her business. 90% of the time he’s a drag, but as soon as he’s in front of numbers he suddenly gets smart.
The series ends in a future where weed is finally legalized and Nancy’s business is bought by Starbucks. We may be in New England, the writers did not dream that much. We put aside totally transparent smartphones, but as far as legalization is concerned, they were right.
Indeed, the last episode aired in September 2012. On November 6, 2012, Colorado and the state of Washington legalized cannabis. In the final season, Nancy works in a pharmaceutical company that prepares cannabis-based drugs for commercialization. Here again, the writers anticipated well since in 2018, the first cannabis-based drug – Epidiolex – was authorized.
Weeds is a good show because it helps combat a cliché about narcotics: yes everyone uses them, yes anyone can sell them and there is a lot of hypocrisy on the subject. We see it in France. We are very heavy consumers of psychotropic drugs, but we have violet modesty on cannabis. Bonus point for the credits of the last season, entirely drawn and which summarizes the previous seasons. Weeds is partially available on Prime Video.