- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
- Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
- Rating: Not Rated
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Discs: 2
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Blu-ray Release Date: February 22, 2011
- List Price: $39.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Where do you take a series that pretty much began its life on the very edge of political correctness and may very well have jumped the shark, so to speak, a few seasons back? Well, you take your protagonists youngest son, turn him into a killer, and put the entire family on the run, that’s what you do.
Season Six of Showtime’s comedy series about the drug-dealing soccer mom and single-parent with two kids picks up right from where the shocking season finale cliffhanger from Season Five left off. Nancy Botwin’s (Mary-Louise Parker) youngest son Shane (Alexander Gould) has just killed her drug kingpin husband’s boss with a croquet mallet and left her in a swimming pool. With Nancy both glad that her nemesis is gone and saddened her son has become a killer, the Botwin clan, including Nancy, Shane, oldest son Silas (Hunter Parrish), brother-in-law Andy (Justin Kirk) and their pothead, disgraced accountant Doug (Kevin Nealon) hit the road, go on the lam in an RV, trekking across the country trying to keep one step ahead Nancy’s dangerous husband Esteban (Demián Bichir). Season Six even brings in Richard Dreyfuss as Warren Schiff, Nancy’s old high school teacher with whom she had a brief sexual fling.
The season successfully rescues Weeds from the doldrums and artfully reinvents the story of the drug dealing Botwins. They’ve come a long way from that sunny gated community in California, Agrestic, and Season Six makes those early days a distant memory, rivaling the series’ strong first two seasons.
The production of the series seems to have gotten stronger with each passing season and likewise so have the Blu-ray releases. Season Six’s AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encoding looks just about as good as can get for a series captured in HD. The show’s bright, sunny look, filled with lots of primary colors, really pops in this transfer. The detail is strong, only occasionally smoothening a tad, and flesh tones have a natural hue. Video noise is minimal and there aren’t any terrible artifacts to speak of.
This series always seemed an odd choice to me for a 7.1 mix on Blu-ray, but Season Six once again arrives with a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless mix. There’s very little beyond some low-level atmospherics in the surround channels, but the mix does provide clean dialogue, smooth highs, and a solid mid-range. Low frequencies are slight, but the sub does kick in and offer some solid support for the musical score.
There are an abundance of audio commentaries offered featuring the series creator Jenji Kohan and members of the cast and crew. Unfortunately, the one actor that seems to be missing from any of those is Mary-Louise Parker. It’s a shame that the show’s star couldn’t lay down at least one audio commentary, but the supplements are still strong overall.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Audio Commentaries:
- “Twhack” Audio Commentary with Jenji Kohan
- “A Yippity Sippity” Audio Commentary with Tate Donovan and Brendan Kelly
- “A Shoe for a Shoe” Audio Commentary with Hemky Madera and Enrique Castillo
- “Pinwheels and Whirligigs” Audio Commentary with Justin Kirk and Kevin Nealon
- Kevin Nealon & Justin Kirk, “What Do We Have Left to Say?” (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 0:10.01) – The two actors have a playful repartee as they discuss the series over the years.
- Gag Reel (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:05.28)
- Audio Commentaries:
- “To Moscow, and Quickly” Audio Commentary with Hunter Parish and Alexander Gould
- “Dearborn-Again” Audio Commentary with Roberto Benabib and Matthew Salsberg
- “Viking Pride” – Audio Commentary with Michael Trim and Tara Hermann
- “Theoretical Love is Not Dead” – Audio Commentary with Jenji Kohan
- Fandamonium: Weeds Creators Tell All (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 0:10.11) – Justin Kirk interviews the creators of Weeds in a casual, sit down setting.
- Bye-Bye Botwins (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 0:08.04) – The cast, crew, and creator Jenji Kohan discuss the direction of Weeds in Season Six.
The Definitive Word
The tagline for Season Six is “Let’s blow this joint!,” and blow the joint they do, but after watching this well done take on what was a waning theme in a solidly rendered Blu-ray release, I’m hoping the Botwins don’t blow the joint for good and at least give us one more season.
Additional Screen Captures: