What to say if you liked it
It’s as if Lois from Malcolm In The Middle had moved in among the Desperate Housewives of Wisteria Lane and started to deal drugs
What to say if you disliked it
Unsubtle stuff that lacks the cleverness of Desperate Housewives.
What was good about it?
• The star, Mary-Louise Parker – she’s 41, looks 21. She gives an understated performance encompassing warmth, vulnerability and desperation as Nancy Botwin, who is failing to make ends meet after the unexpected death of her husband. So she can care for her kids, she becomes a pot dealer in the outwardly lovely but essentially drab suburban community of Agrestic, California.
• Elizabeth Perkins as Nancy’s best friend Celia. She contains a hint of Wisteria Lane’s Bree, especially when she discovers her husband is shagging his Asian tennis coach who brings him to climax by thrusting a tennis racket up his rectum. (This discovery is made when daughter Quinn helpfully records the pair in the act)
• The trio of nasty gossipy women – “Christian bitch moms” as Nancy calls them. Comeuppances will, we’re sure, be soon delivered by Nancy.
• The little jokes sprinkled throughout, including Nancy tripping up her son’s tormentor and the sign outside the town’s school: “First In Excellent, Frist [sic] In Pride.”
• The running joke about Celia’s abhorrence of her overweight daughter Isabelle (Isabelly to her mother). “We’re thinking of putting her on thyroid medication.”
• Nancy’s two sons – Cyrus is desperate for sex and reasonable normal while Shane is regarded as a freak – he goes on a paintballing rampage and spends his nights watching videos of his father. Together, they love to watch the bloodthirsty Bear Hunt on The Wilderness Channel.
• We love shows about embittered middle-aged women – much more interesting than the pretty young things who dominate American TV.
• It features music by Joey Santiago from the Pixies.
What was bad about it?
• The wisecracking black family – the source of Nancy’s marijuana supply – were a bit overwhelming with their non-stop chatter.
• The rather warped morality – Nancy is angry that young Josh is selling drugs to kids so she then blackmails him, threatening to expose his homosexuality if he doesn’t stop.
• Celia’s revenge on her unfaithful husband Dean (shaving his head) lacked the impact of Bree’s acts of retribution; she even ended up getting drunk with the Asian tennis coach, trying to comprehend why she wasn’t able to satisfy Dean. “I did everything he wanted – I bought a f**king swing.”
• We suspect we’ve seen “the comic Hispanic maid” before