Weeds Season Four

Weeds Season Four
What's a weed-dealing MILF to do after the torching of her humble hometown haven and with it, ostensibly, the basic premise of the show? Matriarchal burgeoning pot maven Nancy Botwin packs up the family and heads for "greener" pastures near the Mexican border, thanks to a hook up from pyro-positive drug dealer Guillermo. Gone are the days of naïve Nancy dabbling in the suburban grass market. Season four finds the widow Botwin fully entrenched in serious drug trafficking, using her feminine wiles to gain clout and protection in a highly dangerous and corrupt business. On the family front, Nancy's kids (Shane and Silas) and her man-babies (Andy and Doug) all move into Andy's grandmother's house, where the vegetative Bubbie is being cared for by her son, Nancy's father in law, Lenny Botwin, played with cold, graceful acerbic wit by the series' most impressive guest star to date, Albert Brooks. In attempting to reinvent and raise the stakes of the show, there are a lot of tentative steps towards figuring out how this new lifestyle affects the extended Botwin family. Shane Botwin (Finding Nemo himself, Alexander Gould) is painted into increasingly awkward situations, including an uncomfortably Freudian sub-plot that eventually drags in Silas and his cheese shop-owning MILF girlfriend Lisa (the adorable Julie Bowen). Justin Kirk and Kevin Nealon continue to provide hilariously inappropriate, boundary-pushing comic relief as Andy and Doug, which helps to ground the exploratory tangents of the plot this season. Predictably, Nealon and Kirk dish the most funny in their couple of audio commentaries out of a handful scattered across three discs. A funny but too brief "Gag Reel" is present in the special features, along with a glut of production features and interviews, which are all quite detailed and well presented, though fall short of being truly entertaining additions. Weeds has jettisoned the "Little Boxes" premise it was built upon and season four is quite a wild and bumpy ride for a show trying to find its footing in a much bigger and morally ambiguous sandbox. (Maple)