Philosophising about the 'S'-word: Watch… and learn
Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker, The West Wing, The Blacklist) is a single mother who lives in Agrestic—a fictional suburb of Los Angeles—with her two children, Silas (Hunter Parrish, The Good Wife, The Following) and Shane (Alexander Gould), aged 15 and 10 respectively, when the series begins. The pilot opens a few weeks after the untimely death of Nancy’s husband Judah (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Grey’s Anatomy, Magic City), who died of a heart attack while jogging with their younger son. Nancy starts to sell cannabis to maintain her upper middle-class lifestyle originally provided by her late husband’s structural engineering salary. The series follows the events in Nancy’s life as she gets drawn into the criminal system, develops a client base, starts a front to hide her selling, creates her own strain of weed called MILF, constantly relocates her family, and tries to stay out of jail and protect her children. Featured in the ensemble cast are her lax brother-in-law Andy Botwin (Justin Kirk, Animal Practice, Modern Family, Jack & Jill); foolish acquaintance Doug Wilson (Kevin Nealon, Glenn Martin, DDS); and her narcissistic neighbor Celia Hodes (Elizabeth Perkins, How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life).
In its first year, Weeds was the highest rated series for Showtime. Its fourth-season premiere attracted 1.3 million viewers, Showtime‘s then-highest-ever viewership; the season as a whole averaged 962,000 viewers.
Slate magazine named the character of Nancy Botwin as one of the best on television and one of the reasons they were looking forward to the return of the show in fall 2007. TIME magazine’s James Poniewozik named it one of the Top 10 Returning Series of 2007, ranking it at #9. The New York Times opined the show is “transforming for Showtime.”