Ten years ago Showtime premiered a little show about a widowed suburban mom who was just trying to make ends meet...by selling marijuana. Weeds was an instant success and fans stuck by the dark comedy for eight seasons. "You Can't Miss The Bear" aired a decade ago and since then we've seen an increase of weed-related comedy on TV, more celebrities have spoken outwardly about their love of the green, and it's becoming legal little by little across the nation. Needless to say, I think we can all thank (or shake our fists in the air) Jenji Kohan for creating such a complex and brilliant comedy.
Not only did Weeds show us what life in a fancy gated community is like, it also got into some Breaking Bad-level sh *t towards the end. By the time the final season aired, dozens of people were killed at the hands of the Botwins and the characters went from being charmingly sinister to outright sociopaths. Nevertheless, I was always voting for Nancy, and her iced coffees, to come out on the other side.
I took a trip back 10 years and re-watched the Weeds pilot. It's a magnificent piece of television that makes Nancy Botwin a sympathetic hero. It also gives majot foreshadowing of things to come. Here's what I noticed after watching the Weeds pilot. But first, press play:
1. Nancy Is A Total Feminist
While at a PTA meeting, the mothers discuss banning sugary drinks in order to help their daughters who are on diets to which Nancy responds, “Most girls are 11, they shouldn’t be dieting.” It's about 90 seconds in and I'm already on her side.
2. The Introduction To Heylia Is Overkill
When we first meet her she's baking cornbread and saying lines like, "Girl, you better recognize." We get it, Nancy doesn't fit in here.
3. That Romance With Conrad Has Been Going Since Day One
And it's only a small preview of what's in store for these two.
4. Shane Is Messed Up From The Beginning
He licks his own blood, watches TV shows about brutally hunting bear, and nails a bully with a squirt gun full of paint. At least in the pilot you feel for him because the poor kid just lost his dad. He goes off the way deep end by the last few seasons.
5. Silas Fell Out Of Hollister
THAT NECKLACE THOUGH.
6. Nancy Is Always Eating Or Drinking Something
It's not just the iced coffee. In almost every scene Nancy is chewing or sipping on something.
7. Celia Is The Actual Devil
At her daughter's soccer game she tells her to go run more because it burns fat faster and calls her "Isabelly." THIS WOMAN.
8. Josh Is Jimmy From Shameless!
Showtime totally double-dipped!
9. There Are Some Seriously Dated References
Along with Nancy's poncho, she also says the phrase, "Save your weekend minutes" to Celia.
10. Nancy Is A Total Boss
She manhandles the crap out of her employees when they misbehave.
11. Nancy Is A Woman In Grief
There is A LOT of exposition in the pilot about the fact that Nancy lost her husband. The words "widow" and "orphan" are thrown around quite a lot. When her 15-year-old son has sex for the first time under her roof and her youngest gets suspended, she falls apart. We see her keeping it together and being in charge for the whole episode, but we finally see her break at the end, because she is a woman who lost her husband and is going to extremes to keep her family going. It's easy to lose sight of that when, by the end of the series, the whole Botwin clan are pretty unforgivable criminals.