Case Number 20817

WEEDS: SEASON SIX (BLU-RAY)

Lionsgate // 2010 // 351 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // March 2nd, 2011

The Charge

Let's blow this joint.

Opening Statement

Nancy Botwin and her gang of fearless misfits bump into a whole new set of trouble in Weeds: Season Six (Blu-ray). This time, the eccentric family from California hits the road to finally ditch their dark past and start afresh with new identities and promising business opportunities. Showtime's hit series is definitely heading into a new direction this season. While some of the show's magic has indeed faded away, Weeds still boasts enough laughs and surprises to keep hardcore fans cheering for more.

Facts of the Case

Weeds: Season Six picks up right where Season Five left off. Now that Shane (Alexander Gould) has murdered Pilar in an effort to help protect his family, the Botwins have no choice but to pack their things and run from the ruthless Mexican mafia. With both Esteban (Demian Bichir) and the FBI hot on their tail, Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and the rest of the Botwin clan embark on a perilous cross-country journey that forces them to assume new identities and look for new ways to pull in the cash.

The Evidence

The Botwins hit the road again as this new season kicks off, and the first stop is Seattle, where Nancy vows to start earning money the honest way. Sadly for her, that's easier said than done. Before she knows it, the bad guys are getting closer and she and her kids are back on the road. This turn of events quickly becomes a ritual that continues throughout Season Six, injecting a much-needed freshness in terms of story structure. Every place the Botwins go, they run into a bunch of awkward but mostly hilarious characters, and that's exactly what keeps this season stuffed with energy for fans to enjoy. Interestingly enough, this big trip across the United States also provides viewers with a deeper look into who the Botwins were before we met them in the first season, and a stop in Nancy's hometown turns out to be the perfect setting for the ending of Season Six.

Yes, Weeds is still entertaining, but if there's one thing this season totally misses, it's quite frankly the weed. The whole concept of Nancy selling drugs to support her household is vanishing fast, and if things continue to head into that direction, the series will soon be in desperate need of a new title. Sure, Nancy does try to shift focus and sell some hashish this time around, but for some odd reason, that idea is quickly abandoned. The drug angle of the show has mostly disappeared, and that certainly takes away from the elements of suspense and surprise that turned Weeds into such a fantastic TV series. This time around, all the focus is dedicated to following the Botwins as they look for alternative ways to make moolah. While hilarity occasionally ensues during their attempts to boost their finances, none are as thrilling as the marijuana business we had gotten used to so much.

With family dynamics taking center stage, Season Six spends a lot of time examining the slow destruction of the Botwin family bond. After six seasons of living the most unusual lifestyle, Nancy and Company are fed up with hiding. Even though their decision to switch to new identities signals a new beginning, they are struggling with the lack of a normal existence. Silas is sick of running away and would simply love to go to college, Shane gets creepier and unpredictable by the minute, and Nancy has a tough time trying to protect and keep her family together. On top of that, Esteban is after her new baby, and Nancy and Andy try their best to keep the little one from being exposed to what Shane and Silas had to go through. Needless to say, Nancy still has a whole lot of trouble to deal with, which keeps the stakes high throughout this season.

As usual, the acting is flawless, and the hilarious characters we love to watch onscreen still run into memorable situations filled with witty dialogue. Big shocking twists are scarce, but this has to do with the show's new direction. What matters is that the core of the show's characters are still in the mix. As long as they are around, Weeds will be enjoyable. Heck, even Doug (Kevin Nealon) is sticking around. Although his character doesn't play a crucial part in the development of the story, he's always fun to have around. He spices things up in pretty much every scene, and you simply can't help but laugh at pretty much everything the guy says.

In high definition, Weeds looks absolutely gorgeous. This two-disc Blu-ray set offers each of the thirteen episodes in a crisp, clean 1.78:1 widescreen transfers boasting strong colors and contrast and a superb balance between whites and properly crushed blacks. Also delivering the goods is the show's sound, which comes in a magnificent 7.1 DTS-HD Master audio transfer. Both DVDs also include a few extras, including several episode commentaries by members of the cast and crew. The bonus section also features a funny gag reel, a pretty interesting conversation between the creators of the show, a featurette on the Botwins changing identities, and a rather silly skit hosted by Kevin Nealon and Justin Kirk.

Closing Statement

Weeds: Season Six (Blu-ray) takes the show into a new direction, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, some of the series' flavor is definitely gone, but at the end of the day, it's hard not to stay hooked on the misadventures of the Botwin clan. One thing is for certain though: the writers better come up with a heck of an awesome new storyline for Season Seven.

The Verdict

Not guilty.

Review content copyright © 2011 Franck Tabouring; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 96
Audio: 96
Extras: 75
Acting: 90
Story: 75
Judgment: 80

Perp Profile
Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 7.1 Master Audio (English)

Subtitles:
* English (SDH)
* Spanish

Running Time: 351 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Episode Commentaries
* Featurettes
* Gag Reel

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0439100/combined

* Official Site
http://www.sho.com/site/weeds/home.do