Stereotypes & Over-Dramatization: A recipe for getting high (ratings)?

Weeds, the fairly new, award-winning television series starring Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin, a widowing single mother, raising two children and a juvenile brother-in-law challenges conventional stigmas associated with the marijuana drug trade. Trying to provide the lifestyle that her family has grown accustomed to prior to the death of her husband, Nancy finds herself selling pot to her local community. As the show develops through its three seasons, Nancy finds herself in an array of smoky drama (no pun intended). Critics have hailed Weeds as one of the most bold satirizations of upper-middle class communities in North America. But does Weeds overstep the boundaries of humorous and artistic discourse about the growing American lust for this illegal drug? Although the main character defies the stereotypes of what one would conceive to be a typical pot dealer, the show still endorses ideas of gangs and certain minority groups to be more proficient in the drug trade. Nancy's suppliers are a family of African Americans, led by a middle-aged woman who knows the business better than anyone.

The show seems to subscribe quite grandly to the notion of Murphy's Law, where anything that can go wrong, will. And if you've seen an episode of the show, you know that this is true. And unfortunately the show has grown to be predictable in that sense. Some critics even go as far as saying that the show has yet to leave viewers with a sense of hope that things will turn out. Or are writers of the show subliminally passing a message of the never-ending dangers associated with the trade?

For what its worth, the show is highly entertaining and is acclaimed to be a more realistic depiction of the truth about teenage society and others alike. A far cry from the rosy perfect world illustration set out by sitcoms like Friends. But kudos to Showtime for another highly controversial series. Television could use more shows like Weeds.


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