Tag Archives: Weeds

Season Premiere: Weeds – “The Birds Are After Her”

“The Birds are After Her”

June 16th, 2008

If I were to make a list of the things I enjoy about Weeds, which began its fourth season tonight on Showtime, at the end of last season, it would have included a number of things. It would have included the most infectious theme song since The O.C., the no-nonsense attitude of drug maven Heylia James, the foul-mouthed criticism and blind romanticism of her nephew Conrad, and the narrative potential of a series set within the depths of American suburbia.

As Season Four begins, let’s take inventory: the theme song is played for one last time before being replaced by a new credits sequence, Heylia and Conrad are no longer series regulars and will rarely if ever appear, and the show has moved from its original setting to an oceanside border town. The end of the third season foretold these changes, in a way, but seeing them all happen is a whole other story. Yes, the show was perhaps getting complacent in its current setting, but such a drastic set of changes needs to be justified.

The course correction, however, comes with its benefits, including the introduction of Albert Brooks (Who rarely does television) as Nancy’s father-in-law, so the show is certainly surrounding itself with the right people to gain its footing. It also means that Silas, who got a bit of a short straw in the third season in that his love interest was a barely-used Mary-Kate Olsen, will slowly be able to emerge as a leading player in his own right, and it will also mean more screentime for the criminally underused Justin Kirk whose Andy has a new lease on life himself.

The premiere, like all episodes of Weeds is a total tease, barely even poking at whatever potential they’re creating for themselves. The result is that while I think the change will be for the best in the end, at this point it’s hard to know how all of the pieces will come together.

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June @ Cultural Learnings: A Preview

As far as TV months go, you’d think that June would be pretty dead.

All the finales have ended, there is largely still a lack of quality in summer network offerings, and enough major films release that it seems that other media formats are outweighing my personal favourite.

However, at the same time, June is a month in which I have a fair amount of time: summer is here, DVD prices are continuing to drop rapidly, and after pontificating to great length over various finales there is a desire to continue on the same path. As a result of this, perhaps even more than last year, I have every intention on keeping busy during this month.

Most pressing is tonight’s guest spot on the /Filmcast, the official podcast of SlashFilm.com. My old pals from The Watchers have gone corporate, but with good reason: /Film’s a great site, and the podcast remains a great community in which to discuss film and television. I’ll be on for the first half hour of the show or so to discuss Lost’s season finale, so tune in @ the live uStream Channel at around 10 EST to listen to me attempt to condense 5000 words of analysis into quippy contributions to a group discussion!

Elsewhere, however, there’s plenty of other things to chat about.

First off, I’m in the process of what I’d like to call “Myles Meets HBO,” a chance for me to catch up on shows that aired on a cable network I didn’t get, and to a certain extent pre-date my interest in television. First and foremost, I am now 2+ seasons into Six Feet Under, a show I picked up on DVD and have been enjoying greatly (I’ll probably talk about this later in the week, maybe once I hit the official halfway point).

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Cultural Catchup – Comedies – October 16th

[Oy vey. So much TV, so little time. This will be part one of a two-part series at this point, so we’ll start the comedies and move onto the dramas tomorrow (I’ll be covering Gossip Girl and Pushing Daisies this evening, barring unforeseen circumstances).]

How I Met Your Mother – “Little Boys”

There were some funny moments, sure, but the show’s focus is falling apart. The end of last season was a fantastic series of episodes because it was focused on Marshall and Lily’s wedding with Ted and Robin’s relationship taking a backseat. What happened at the end of last season was that Marshall and Lily became that “married couple” who no longer had any real comic potential…and Ted and Robin became the focus.

Ted has had some decent episodes (“Lucky Penny” was an example), but there is something about Ted that just doesn’t make for good comedy. The show has tried various perspectives: We went into Ted’s office for a span, and the result was mediocre comedy. Right now, Ted and Robin are both single and dating, and it just…isn’t entertaining. There’s some great jokes, and the structure of this week’s episode was interesting, but it just isn’t memorable.

I’m almost expecting them to throw Robin into the workplace any day now.

Samantha Who? – “Pilot”

The final new comedy of the fall season, Samantha Who? debuted to some solid numbers last night…and I’ll admit that I enjoyed it quite a lot. There are some fantastic elements to Samantha Who? that keep things interesting: a fantastic cast is first and foremost, with pretty well every performer nailing their respective character.

The comedy itself isn’t all that interesting, but the structure of the pilot had a lot of potential. There was some nice reveals of her “fake” best friend and her boy issues, and the mysterious hit and run driver is certainly of concern. As a pilot, it was well constructed to introduce us to these characters, as an Amnesiac makes a great tabula rosa upon which to write.

The concern, obviously, is that they’ve played out their amnesia jokes and that the rest of the series won’t be able to live up to this pilot structure. I enjoy the characters, from Jean Smart’s fantastic mother to Barry Watson’s awkward and short-haired boyfriend, but she can only learn so many things about herself each week before this gets extremely old. Will she get amnesia again? Will another character get amnesia? Where can this go, exactly?

Chuck – “Chuck vs. The Wookiee”

I will concur with the general sentiment on this episode: it just wasn’t as good as last week. It was still engaging, but it had some issues with balancing comedy and drama. In other words, it wasn’t quite funny enough, and the drama didn’t quite play as well as it could.

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Monday Night Wrapup: Tramp Stamp, Ratings and Weeds

Monday Night Wrapup

September 25th, 2007

How I Met Your Mother“Wait for it…”

What: The 3rd Season Premiere of my new favourite multi-camera sitcom on television. And yes, that’s still a positive thing even when it’s also the only one.

The Highlights: Ted’s “Tramp Stamp,” Ted’s various mid-shave beards, Enrique Iglesias and Mandy Moore in unobtrusive guest appearances, Barney in general, the Slap Bet Countdown, and the hint that we’ll finally start some progress on the titular story.

The Lowlights: A little light on Barney, and while Ted had some great moments this episode the narrative is better when he’s not at its center.

Monday Night’s RatingsOld Defeats New

What: The Fast National Nielsen Ratings for the first night of TV’s new season from PIFeedback.

Winners: Dancing with the Stars, Two and a Half Men, and CSI: Miami all dominated the night, proving that new programming isn’t going to suddenly take over from reality, cheesy comedies and procedural drama on the night. Heroes makes this list as well, although I must admit that I wonder how long it can sustain those numbers with such a weak premiere.

The New Shows: Chuck, Journeyman and The Big Bang Theory all passed the initial test with passable numbers (All averaging almost the same rating), so next week will be their big challenge. Journeyman, however, is in trouble thanks to dropping its Heroes lead-in, while The Big Bang Theory built from How I Met Your Mother.

The Losers: K-Ville dropped considerably from its premiere when faced with Heroes, so it’s in some trouble. And, How I Met Your Mother dropped considerably from its performance last year, and needs to hope for improvement or else it might get the boot at midseason for New Adventures of Old Christine.

Weeds“He Taught Me How to Drive-By”

What: Weeds’ seventh episode of the season, and the first since Mary-Kate Olsen’s debut last week, which I didn’t blog about due to its innocuous nature: she wasn’t terrible, she wasn’t noteworthy, she’s just there.

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