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Weeds Season Six Recap

Weeds Season Six Overall Score: ★★★ 1/2

I’ve had kind of a hit or miss relationship with Weeds since season three ended. After everything moved out of Agrestic, I wasn’t quite sure if I would be as into the exploits of Nancy Botwin and her family of ne’er-do-wells as I was in their initial outing. True to my theory of three, the show floundered a bit and just was’t all that interesting until about the end of season four, when Esteban became a major player in the Botwin family.

Fast forward to season six and Nancy is on the lamb from her estranged husband, complete with illegitimate love-child in tow. What followed was a very erratic season with brilliant character moments oftentimes being overshadowed by some insanely meandering plots. Richard Dreyfuss was quite underused as Nancy’s smitten high school teacher, and the revelation that Silas had a different father came out of nowhere and felt like it was a thing “just because.” It was nice to see Silas fighting against this criminal lifestyle, but the season ended with him STILL being dragged along by the family and not quite able to break free. Personally, I think Silas’ tipping point had been reached much earlier in the season and it would have been nice to see him try and run off to find himself while the Botwins hit up their side quests in Michigan.

That’s not to say that I didn’t like this season. There were a couple episodes that were really good and gave us some strong and memorable moments. I just wish the show had been a little bit more steadily paced instead of dancing around being engaging. What a finale, though. If there is one thing every season of Weeds has excelled at, it’s their season finales. Every single finale has managed to leave me wanting more, and this season was no exception.

Is this season worth watching? For the most part, yes. The world of Weeds is still rich and full of dark humor that remains entertaining to this day. Mary Louise-Parker is way easy on the eyes with a mother’s ferocity to boot. It’s fascinating watching her evolve from the frappe-sipping suburban mom to the drug-dealing kidnapper and master manipulator she is now. Still, I wonder if some of the soul of this show burned down with Agrestic.

Here are the ratings I gave this show on a weekly basis, whether or not you care. Since my Week In TV posts started five episodes in to Weeds, I’ve gone back and given the previous episodes their proper ratings. Enjoy.

S6 x 01 – Thwack ★★★★☆
S6 x 02 – Felling and Swamping ★★★☆☆
S6 x 03 – A Yippity Sippity ★★★☆☆
S6 x 04 – Bliss ★★★☆☆
S6 x 05 – Boomerang ★★★★★
S6 x 06 – A Shoe For A Shoe ★★★★☆
S6 x 07 – Pinwheels and Whirligigs ★★★☆☆
S6 x 08 – Gentle Puppies ★★★☆☆
S6 x 09 – To Moscow, And Quickly ★★★★☆
S6 x 10 – Dearborn-Again ★★★☆☆
S6 x 11 – Viking Pride ★★★☆☆
S6 x 12 – Fran Tarkenton ★★★☆☆
S6 x 13 – Theoretical Love Is Not Dead ★★★★★

Chuck, We Need To Talk

Can you come here a minute, Chuck? We need to talk. Yes, it’s as bad as you think it is. Sit down and let me get this off my chest before I lose my nerve.

This isn’t working. I’m sorry, Chuck. It’s you, not me. I can’t go on in this relationship anymore. It’s obvious that things are going nowhere and I really need a show that appreciates my sensibilities and that is able to grow with me. I’m all the way over here in season four and I feel like you’ve never really left season two. I come home after a long day’s work and turn on the television, only to find the same old schtick that I’ve seen before. If I wanted “same old,” I would have purchased an older season or watch Undercovers instead. But that’s not on on Mondays, so that leaves me with what? Weeds? Sure, I’ll only watch a half hour of television to relax in the evening. Maybe I’ll fill the rest of my night crying into a vodka bottle while listening to The Magnetic Fields.

But I digress.

I feel like we’re not in this together anymore. I wanted to see Casey have a larger arc involving his daughter. The promise of that excited me in ways I’ve not felt since you gained the Intersect 2.0 or when I found out that Scott Bakula was going to be your dad. Seeing a new side to an otherwise one dimensional character felt so right.

Or how about Morgan and the Buy More story arc. Here’s a character that started off nothing more than the comedic relief of this show. He was the idiot that served to lighten the mood when the spy stuff got too intense. With the most recent season, I expected to see him take more of an important role and come into his own. Hell, you promised me that this would happen last season when he became an official operative and started going on missions with you.

What? Hold on. Neighbor yelled something about spoilers. Give me a sec. I’ve got to reply. HOW ABOUT YOU WATCH THE SHOW WHEN IT AIRS, HUH?! MAYBE THEN YOU WOULDN’T BE SPOILED. WHORE. Can you believe that? It’s like they wait to watch things on DVD or something.

Where were we? Oh yeah. Us.

We had all this potential together. What happened? What went wrong?

Wait. I know what went wrong. You went back to HER. You decided that you wanted to spend all your time with Sarah, making your petty squabbles the main focus of the show. Instead of letting me get to know your friends better, you made this all about you. Do you realize how much it hurt watching the most recent episode and realizing that things would never progress between us? It was like a slap in the face, Chuck.

No. I won’t hear it. Don’t tell me that you can change. It’s too late. I just…I…I think you should go.

That's A Tall Order

On Paying For Hulu

That's A Tall Order

Via Chicago Tribune:

One plan under consideration would allow users to view the five most recent episodes of TV shows for free, but require a subscription of $4.99 a month to watch older episodes. Hulu believes it will need at least 20 TV series, both current and those no longer on the air, to make such a pay service attractive to users. A firm pricing model could emerge within six months.

I’ve ranted and raved about this before, albeit with less thought and tact. There’s nothing that Hulu could do to make their services worth a monthly fee. Why should I pay for something I could get for free on television? They already ads, and last I checked that was enough. Google gets by on Ad revenue, so why can’t Hulu?

Well, naturally, the more I thought about it the more my views on this have changed. In fact, since I first heard about this shift to pay-for-content on Hulu, I’ve come to realize that there are certain things I would be willing to pay for. I already pay for Netflix to watch movies instantly online, so in theory I should be fine to pay for television that I watch.

And I am, but here’s a few things that I think Hulu could do to make it easier for me to hand over my money each month.

1) More shows

The first thing that would part me from my money is the addition of more shows. Currently, I can watch a lot of things on Hulu, but I can watch even MORE things on cable. And I don’t just mean more television shows from ABC or FOX, but more shows from Discovery, Food Network and other channels with quality content. I would love to see Good Eats, or Time Warp or Man Vs. Wild on Hulu to shake things up from my usual spy comedy, sci-fi, thriller, prime-time, ooey-gooey goodness.

2) More Episodes and Less Clips

I go to youtube for clips. They have better embedding, period. I can see having clips for some shows for free users, but if I am to pay any amount of money, I want full episodes where there are only clips. This is an issue of volume. Currently the episodes to clips ratio is skewed and I would say in a not-so-good way. I think, “Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to see what the Mythbusters are up to these days? Oh crap, it’s only a minute long clip. Bummer.” This isn’t to say that the idea of clips is a bad one. But they definitely seem like something that would be useful for “free” users.

3) Get Rid Of Delays

I will admit that I’m extremely inconsistent with my television viewing habits. There are some shows I will watch religiously when they air (insert Joss Whedon anything here), and there are some shows I build a backlog to before I watch them. For the shows I watch religiously, it pains me to find that they are on an eight day delay, and that the episode I’m currently watching on Hulu isn’t the most recent. It kind of feels like punishment that I wasn’t there to see the show air.

Case in point: House. I love the show. It’s my guilty pleasure, especially after it got good again in it’s sixth season. To know that I’m behind my peers who have normal 9-5 jobs who can get home to catch the show is kind of disheartening. Because I work the second shift, I miss EVERYTHING in the evening time slot. That being said, I would pay to be able to watch the latest episode of House that week, or even wait until the next day. If Hulu can reduce it’s streaming restrictions, consider my money gone.

4) Backlog

As I mentioned earlier, my television watching habits are inconsistent at best. It’s quite probable that in the course of a TV show’s run, I’ll be behind by at least 6 to 7 episodes. Some shows are the exception, naturally, but generally speaking, I build a backlog like nobody’s business. Currently, the deals between Hulu and the content providers vary. Some shows have full seasons, while others only keep the latest 5 episodes in the current season. If life or work gets in the way, like it often does, I’m simply out of luck. But if Hulu could offer a more robust backlog of episodes, I feel like more people would be more willing to part with their money. I know that this alone would convince me to switch to a paid subscription.

So..

Could these things ever happen? I’m not really sure. As of right now, it looks bleak. Why would content providers want to make consuming content easier and more cost-appropriate? Why should they have to? There are still enough people paying for their content the normal way that no change ever has to happen. Why change when there’s simply no demand?

I guess that’s still something that needs to be worked out.

On Fall Television

It’s begun. All the fall shows are starting up again. It’s an exciting time for the avid TV viewer as we have a lot of good premieres to look forward to. We’ve already gotten three exceptional premieres from Fringe, The Office and It’s Always Sunny. And this week we’ve got others like House and Dollhouse.

I’m definitely going to try and catch as much of these premieres as I can. What are you anxious for?

A Lengthy Rambling About Television

Television for me has always been one of those love / hate things. There are shows I really really adore, and then there are shows that I really really hate. Everything in the middle stays there and eventually becomes forgotten as I move on to newer shows. Lately, I’ve been trying to deconstruct the way in which I “grade” these programs in the hopes that I might learn a little bit more about what makes me tick and to perhaps get an idea how we go about dismissing certain programming and then worshipping others in the same breath.

Continue reading A Lengthy Rambling About Television