- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz/16-bit)
- Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: Not Rated
- Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
- Run time: 353 Mins.
- Studio: Lionsgate Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: February 21, 2012
- List Price: $39.97
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(All Blu-rayDefinition.com screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Seven seasons in and Showtime’s hit stoner series Weeds is still plugging along. Who woulda thunk it? Of course, the series has gone through some major changes over the years, probably the biggest in this particular season. There’s no doubt that this constant state of flux has been responsible for keeping it somewhat interesting and believable. Let’s face it, if Nancy (Mary-Lousie Parker) had still been in her upper-middle class gated community of Aggrestic in sunny Southern California getting by just fine as a single mom, widowed, with two boys, as a pot dealer, some seven years later, then the suspension of disbelief would have been stretched to its limits.
Instead, Weeds took a rather natural course, in my estimation. Nancy Botwin chose a dangerous lifestyle, became mixed up with increasingly dangerous people, which led her to a marriage with her Mexican drug lord-cum-politician in season 5. But, that wasn’t the end of it. Her husband, unfortunately for Nancy, was having his strings pulled by a dangerous and powerful woman behind the scenes, threats against the Botwins were levied, and in stepped Shane (Alexander Gould) with a croquet mallet to kill the viperous threat, thus sending the extended Botwin clan – Nancy, sons Shane and Silas (Hunter Parrish), ne’er-do-well brother-in-law Andy (Justin Kirk) and her crooked, druggie accountant Doug (Kevin Nealon) on the lam from both her dangerous new husband and the law, with brand-new baby boy in tow.
After her husband Esteban (Demián Bichir) caught up with her and her family and Nancy’s only escape to keep her baby away from him and protect her son Shane from murer charges was to turn herself in to the police as the kilter of Pilar. It has now been three years that have passed and Nancy is let out of prison early due to her cooperation with the FBI. She is sent to a half-way house in New York City, while her family makes its way back from Copenhagen, Denmark upon the news. It doesn’t take long for Nancy and the rest of the Botwin clan to get up to their old tricks, however. A stash of money, a new connection via Nancy’s cellmate/lesbian lover’s brother, a soldier in Afghanistan who smuggles pot into the country as military cargo and, voila, back in business. Meanwhile Doug starts back to work at a money fund with an old college buddy, which leads to trouble for Nancy as she starts to work there as a requirement of her parole. And a new girlfriend of Silas’ (Michelle Trachtenberg) turns out to be a minx ready to steal their clients. None of it bodes well for Nancy as she tries to get custody of her son back from her much-hated sister Jill (Jennifer Jason Leigh).
In all, although the series definitely gained some new life in this season, I can’t say I was really feeling it all that much. The humor seemed stale, stagnant, and, well, downright boring at times. While their circumstances and surroundings may have changed, the characters themselves don’t seem to have grown much at all. Plucking them off of the West Coast and dropping them on the East can’t change that in any way.
They are no longer in sunny Southern California, Mexico, or traveling across the Heartland, but the producers have still managed to keep the over-saturated, somewhat candy-colored look about Weeds in this seventh season. Being originally captured in high definition, there is no grain and video noise is very slight. There is a little bit of softness to the imagery in this AVC 1080p encodement, but generally detail is good while overall contrast is at a medium to strong level. Flesh tones, due to the saturated nature of the series, can sometimes be slightly too reddish, but never distractingly so.
To me it has always been and remains overkill to release this series with a 7.1 soundtrack. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack on this Lionsgate Blu-ray release is only an upgrade over the broadcasts of the series in that it is devoid of the issues with clipping and rough sounding high frequencies that otherwise plague the low bit-rate Dolby Digital 5.1 broadcasts. Otherwise, Weeds has never had a particularly aggressive soundtrack. Even the ambience in the surround and back channels is at a low level. Still, there is clean dialogue, sufficiently thumpy lows when needed and a good amount of dynamics, even if the natural range of the program material remains in a limited spectrum.
The usual mixture of audio commentaries, deleted scenes, gag reels and cannabis influenced featurettes accompany the series in this 2-Blu-ray set.
- “Bags” audio commentary with Jenji Kohan
- “From Trauma Cometh Something” audio commentary with Gary Anthony Williams and Michael Trim
- “Object Importance” Audio Commentary with Justin Kirk
- “Vehement v. Vigorous” audio commentary with Kevin Nealon
- “Une mère que j’aimerais baiser” audio commentary with Roberto Benabib and Matthew Salsberg
- “Do Her/Don’t Do Her” audio commentary with Jenji Kohan
- Gag Reel (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:25)
- Guru Andy’s Tricks of the Trade (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:08:37) – A look at some of Andy’s more “profound” pieces of wisdom over the years.
- Puff Puff Pass (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:08:01) – A pseudo-web chat.
- Growing Up in the Weeds with Alexander Gould (1.78:1;1080p/24; 00:09:21) – Moments with the character “Shane” growing up on Weeds.
- Deleted Scenes (1.78:1;1080p/24):
- Australian Girls
- And & Maxeen in Pet Shop
- Andy Meditates Between Nancy & Silas
- Nancy & Jill on Subway
- Multi-Screen Comparison – The production crew’s test for the split-screen effect used in the episode “Qualitative Spatial Reasoning”.
The Definitive Word
An okay effort for a series now long in the tooth, Weeds: Season Seven may appeal to some diehard longtime fans, but it surely won’t win any new converts. The story seems stuck on a revolving circuit at this point and I;m not really sure what can give it jolt to bring it back to new heights.
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