I'm writing this noon post much later than I should be and much later than I normally do, because I've been fretting over Weeds (and other stuff because I'm not totally shallow) all morning and thinking a lot about the comments from my last Weeds Uncap.
I suggested that the overall theme of the show was the American Dream gone awry. To me, the themes of "marrying up," only to be blindsided by circumstance, pushing a suburban queen to embrace the reviled underground profession of drug sales to maintain some semblance of normalcy, suburban exodus, and climbing the other side of the social strata to be an odd reflection of all of the things that Americans have been going through over the past five years or so. Commenter annie disagreed and suggested that the real theme was female vulnerability, which really got me thinking, especially after this week's episode.
Nancy's first marriage was for love (presumably) and ended tragically. Her all-too-brief affair with Conrad was born out of love and her burgeoning relationship with Andy seems to be familial morphing into reluctant romance. Her subsequent marriages, or attempts at marriage, have been for protection and/or power with perhaps a small hint of love hidden somewhere in the background.
We also have Celia, a bonafide fuckup, whose aims in life are fairly basic: to return to the good life that she once enjoyed, even if it required her to be in a loveless marriage with children who despise her. She was sucked into a pyramid scheme designed to prey on women just like her, hiding under the mask of empowerment through cheap makeup.
The men in the show, with perhaps the exception of Conrad (though he was a drug dealer), are either cruel or too dysfunctional to be much help to the women. As Shane and Silas grow up, they seem to realize that they are utterly on their own in forging a path to manhood. So you have this pile of people attempting to make something work, even if they long ago forgot what that something is.
So, I guess, therein lies the female vulnerability. The traditional routes of security, those being sex, marriage, and offspring, aren't panning out the way the female characters seem to instinctually presume that they would.
(It's also worth noting that the theme song, "Little Boxes," a classic anti-suburban-conformity anthem, disappeared from the opening credits some time ago.)
As the show's plot becomes more and more unwieldy and unlikely, however, it becomes more and more difficult to recognize these points unless you really look for them. The further spiral into the drug and politics underworld and the increasing racial tensions toward the American Enemy du Jour, make it harder to give a shit about the characters because they're so ridiculous.
And yet there are still moments of brilliance. I have yet to see an episode of Weeds that didn't have me cracking up at least several times. And this week's episode in which Nancy and Andy navigate the endless hangover dawn of new parenthood had moments that were purely sublime. As baby Steven wails over the monitor, Nancy and Andy lie in bed, sleepily debating whose turn it is to tend to him. Nancy describes family as an endless cycle of food and shit as she clings to the precious moments of sleep that she needed so badly that she began to shake. Her first outing to a restaurant has her caressing her first post-pregnancy alcoholic beverage only to have to deal with an engorged breast in the bathroom. (By the way, their method of relieving that situation was bizarre to me.)
So, I don't know. Perhaps female vulnerability is part of the American Dream? There's some ingrained desire to be taken care of? What do you think?