‘Weeds’ Celebrates 100th Episode

It’s not every day that a cable show reaches the ripe old age of 100 episodes, but ever since I first laid eyes on the polished, pristine lawns of Agrestic and their pot-loving, MILF-appreciating inhabitants, I knew was hooked. The cast and crew of the 8-year series celebrated with cake and champagne after an on-location shoot in Los Angeles. Actress Mary-Louise Parker, the show’s protagonist, grew a bit emotional as they toasted the series’ new centennial status. Sure, Weeds is in its final season with only two more episodes remaining, it’s still quite the accomplishment

Here is a roundup of shows that have truly stood up to the test of time… 100+ times!

If there were ever a contest for longest-running animated TV show, then The Simpsons would win, 4-fingered yellow hands down. The 23-year-old show has been supplying America with “D’ohs!” and “Ay Carumbas!” for a colossal 508 episodes, and counting. Since its debut in 1989, the series has gone on to inspire and define the style of countless other shows (ahem, Family Guy, we are looking squarely at you), has its own full-length movie, video game franchise, action figures and even it’s own goddamn rollercoaster ride. Not bad for a donut-loving, minimum-wage, nuclear power-plant employee, huh?

Clocking in at an impressive 456 episodes, Law and Order has been around for 20 years. Since it’s debut in 1990, the much-loved courtroom drama has been adapted to a TV film, video games and crossovers. Its also inspired multiple spin-offs: Special Victims Unit, Criminal Intent, Trial by Jury, and LA. Looks like people just couldn’t get enough of that criminal justice system!

Be honest: if you were a child of the ’90s, you were most certainly tuning in to the many idiotic teenage antics of Brenda Walsh and the rest of the gang on Beverly Hills 90210. The often imitated, never duplicated 296-episode series defined what it meant to be an American teen and covered numerous issues like abortion, date rape, alcoholism, domestic violence, gay rights, and eating disorders, making it both entertaining and relatable for viewers. Its 10-year reign ended on May 17, 2000, but multiple spin-offs, including the current CWTV remake and Melrose Place, confirms the original impact of the acclaimed series. Beverly Hills forevs!

What other show begins with a self-deprecating disclaimer, contains a record number of penis, shit and vagina references and even has its own dedicated snackfood product (mmm, Cheesy Poofs)? The 15-year-old South Park has had 230 episodes and is wildly successful phenomenon that is slated to keep on thundering on till 2016. Never one to be a shrinking violet, the series often unabashedly discusses touchy issues like racism, homophobia, politics, religion, and poverty (and always finds new ways to send Kenny into the afterlife). All hail Mr. Hanky!

Often referred to as the greatest television program of all time,” Seinfeld followed the antics of four close friends, Jerry, George, Kramer, and Eliane, as they discussed immensely important topics such as fake nose-picking, Festivus, being spongeworthy and regifting (I still have yet to decide between a Bro or a Mansiere). The much-loved show is still in syndication and has spawned the spin-off Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is still running. I can also say without shame that I do own a Seinfeld Monopoly board game set. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

‘Weeds’ Hunk Hunter Parrish Broadway-ifies Pop Music With Debut EP

Most of us know Hunter Parrish as Mary-Louise Parker’s easy-on-the-eyes son on Weeds. But in a past life, Parrish starred on Broadway in Spring Awakening (RIP) and Godspell. Like fellow Spring Awakening actress Lea Michele, who now stars on Glee, Parrish can belt out a pop song like the best of ’em and that’s exactly what he does on a debut six-song EP, Guessing Games, out June 29.

The single Billboard.com is streaming from the album is all the proof I need of Glee‘s Broadway-ification of pop music. In Sitting At Home, Parrish belts, "It’s like we’re drinking in Paris, it’s like we’re kissing in Rome" —sunny, upbeat lyrics that you can bet will find their way to the latest rom-com near you.

 

 

Hunter Parrish’s voice is a good one, of course.You don’t end up on Broadway without a set of pipes. I just hoped for something a little more folk-y and grittier, considering the EP is being marketed as "folk."

iFidelity: The Top Obsession-Themed Apps

Weeds [FREE] We’ve been raised to “Just Say No,” but who can resist Weeds? Follow Showtime’s most dysfunctional family as they hit the road with Mexican gangsters hot on their trail. With a detailed interactive map and recommended food and provision stops in featured cities along the way—not to mention episode guides, cast and character bios, and videos—Botwin roadies never have to miss a harebrained moment. Test your knowledge of all things Weeds-related with the “Marijuana as Multiple Choice” trivia game, and use Facebook to compete for the honor of best “grow know how.” If we’re being blunt, Weeds is a serious hit.

Shrine [FREE] It’s neither prudent nor advisable for the stalker-on-the-go to cart around a stash of candles, photos, and locks of hair. With Shrine, however, your inner Glenn Close can create a mobile temple dedicated to the object of your obsession. Simply upload idol worship photos and surround them with velvety backdrops and devotional candles. Shrine allows you to go all rabbit stew in private, skirting the risk of having to explain the stolen panties hidden in your closet.

iVoodoo [$2.99] Let’s be honest, we all have axes to grind. So why not indulge in a little secret sadism using this twisted iPhone app? Poke, prick, and hex your boss, your ex, or your in-laws using a digital voodoo doll. Upload an image of the off ending party’s face onto your choice of five dolls and begin your sick—and cathartic—ritual. For those who wish to use their cosmic powers for good, there are pins meant to bestow wealth and prosperity upon loved ones—but what fun are those?

Blackjack [$.99] If you’ve ever navigated a casino floor at 4am, then you know that no addiction is harder to break than gambling. With this blackjack app, acquire the skills needed to fuel your habit and win big against the house. Get the practice you need to become a high roller without ever having to step foot in Vegas—or out of bed, for that matter.

iSocialize [$.99] Obsessively checking status updates, tweets, Tumblr posts, and private messages just got a whole lot more manageable with this all-in-one social media networking app, which allows e-butterflies to update their Facebook, Twitter, and email accounts using one seamless platform. Winner of the 2009 Best App Ever Award for Social Networking, iSocialize will guarantee that you’ll never miss out on your friends’ most tweet-worthy exploits, Courtney Love-like tirades, and embarrassing relationship blunders.

Foot Fetish [$.99] Take two fetishes—feet and Facebook—and combine them to create an app that doesn’t do the word “creepy” justice. Peruse a podiatrist-porn gallery of foot images, which run the gamut from athletic to elegant, pedicured to problematic. Choose your favorites, and bask in the glow of smoldering high arches and bodacious bunions.

Justin Bieber Obsession [$.99] Got Bieber fever? Well now it’s time to prove it. With the Justin Bieber Obsession app, take challenging quizzes and hone your knowledge of the pint-size Canadian pop star, and see just how high your Justin IQ can get. It doesn’t matter that you’re an adult—at least not here—so invite friends to participate in a Bieber-off, and rise through the ranks from Justin Expert to True Belieber to Professor of Bieberology.

Best is Yet to Come on ‘Weeds’ Season 6

There’s been some Weeds bashing taking place in the blogosphere, and quite frankly, it offends me. As the just-released trailer for Season 6 proves, the show still has plenty of twists in store, along with its trademark quirkiness. Sure, the subplot with Peter Scottson was a misfire, and maybe Nancy was never completely believable as a politician’s wife, but there’s no family on TV more wonderfully screwy than the Botwins Newmans. And in case you forgot, here’s a reminder.

1. The season finales are confounding. As a recent Weeds-devotee, my life has been revolving around Seasons 1-5 for the past few months. While I was immersed in the series, I couldn’t’ imagine surviving the lag time between seasons, and now, here I am, waiting patiently. Season 1 was “The Godmother,” when Nancy finally assembles her team, leaving us excited, but with some closure. Season 2 is the “U-turn gun standoff.” In Season 3, Agrestic burns to the ground. In Season 4, Nancy trades pictures with Esteban: his being the surveillance of Nancy ratting out the cartel to the Feds, hers being the sonogram. Now, Pilar’s dead. The best part about this is that they always pick up within moments of the last scene. There’s no time-lapse in which character-developing events take place and must later be alluded to. This should solidify the attachment between you, Season 5 and Season 6.

2. The Botwins don’t look back. That’s why they’re the Newmans now. They didn’t miss Agrestic, and they were indifferent about leaving Ren Mar to move into the Reyes estate. They adapt like no other. That’s why Canada will be amazing. Each season presents an original territory with a brand new realm of intense character development. And Shane’s got to be a focus this season. He’s the most interesting Botwin, and now he evidently likes playing mom. Weird enough to hold out another season for.

3. Botwins & Co. supply enough sub-plots to power a never-ending miniseries. Even if Celia isn’t in Season 6 (peddling You’re So Pretty and forging ahead with her own drug empire), and Esteban doesn’t show up onscreen (because his whereabouts in the pursuit for Nancy should probably remain a mystery), maybe now that Audra’s of the picture, Andy/Nancy for serious? Or maybe Nancy’s sister Jill (Jennifer Jason Leigh) will come back to bail out the Botwins? Silas has got to have some new side gig alongside working at the hotel, because he’s always got something up his sleeve. And, of course, Nancy must have a new romantic interest, because she’s a lovable floozy. And who knows how long Doug will be stuck with Cesar and Ignacio. Subplots are the most important part of the series and bring in quality cameos like Mary-Kate, Julie Bowen, Alanis Morissette, and Zooey Deschanel.

4. The Botwins always stick together. Most kids with a mother as nonsensical and nihilistic as Nancy would have run away by now, or joined the circus or moved to a halfway house and started flipping burgers. But no, Shane and Silas are momma’s boys at heart. They could never abandon Nancy for fear of what she’d do to herself without a moderate-to-low level of responsibility and supervision. Their bond is inspiring, and that’s what TV needs today. Plus, no one’s been traded off. The original core cast (Nancy, Shane, Silas, Andy) is still hanging tight.

5. The Botwins know a thing or two about keeping their cool under pressure, adding to the episodic suspense for fans. No matter how tense things get, Nancy can swallow her fear faster than she downs an iced coffee. Remember how nervous you got when Celia threw all Nancy’s pot in the pool? Or when Sanjay burned down the bakery? What about when Silas got beat up by Megan’s dad and Nancy came to rescue him? Or during the Armenian/Peter/Nancy/Conrad debacle? That just means that in quiet Canada, the suspense is going to escalate. After 5 seasons, The Botwins have mastered cool, calm and collected, foreshadowing the shitstorm that’s destined to come in the next season.

Season 6 airs on August 16th at 10pm on Showtime.

Hunter Parrish: Weeding Out The Bullies

Each interview with actor Hunter Parrish invariably begins with a mention of his two shoes and how gosh darn goody they are. And so it’s a testament to his abundant talent that the 21-year-old star of Broadway’s Spring Awakening and the hit series Weeds has been able to play sexed-up pot peddlers with such conviction. Up next, Parrish will torment Zac Efron in 17 Again, which opens this spring. But will Hollywood’s freshest young star, an honest kid from Virginia, succumb to Hollywood’s debauched world of bottle service and bottle blondes? Parrish the thought.

You’ve been positioned as a back-roads innocent. In what ways has your upbringing clashed with your Hollywood life? It’s a shocker. I’m always like, Whoa, I didn’t even know people did that kind of thing, or thought that way! But also, everything I try out for has nudity, drugs and sex in it, so I’m used to that sort of material.

What sort of shocking things? It was a shocker to find out that the people I admired—a lot of them—weren’t all that interested in the craft. It’s been like, I really looked up to you! But when you realize they’re just working for a paycheck, it spoils the illusion of what we do.

What about the upside of working in Hollywood? I don’t have to wait in lines for clubs. I recently went bowling and wanted a pitcher of beer. But I wasn’t going to drink the whole thing, I just wanted to use this beer tower machine—I like machines and gadgets. The bartender recognized me and brought me the full thing for free. So that’s always fun, but I don’t usually look forward to being recognized.

Is there any major difference between your Weeds fans and those who recognize you from Spring Awakening? Since I go out onstage every day, I talk to more fans now than I ever have. I get more fan mail now, but that’s just because they know where to send it.

Any overzealous fan stories? There are a couple of scenes in the show that are about self-pleasure, and one guy was like, Will you take a picture doing that with me? And I was like, No, no I won’t!

Have you been lonely since your move from Los Angeles to New York? It does get lonely; I’m not going to lie. I work really hard. I have to, because I’m not really that good at what I do, so I have to over compensate.

You’re joking, right? I’m not! For my first two months here, I sat at home and drilled myself until I got my lines right. And it’s hard work! You have to be focused if you want to do a god job. I had a few friends from New York, but they all moved to L.A. as soon as I got here.

Like Leven Rambin? That’s exactly who I’m talking about! Everybody knows Leven, and I was kind of counting on her to boost my social life. I guess that plan is now over…

I think that New York might be harder than L.A. to warm up to. Interesting. In L.A., it’s more like people look at you off the tip of their nose, but here people are like, Whatever, I’m not impressed by you, but nice to meet you!

What’s the most trouble you’ve gotten into? When I was younger, I was in an all-guys school, like a choir school. I was put on a behavior plan there because I was picked on and I have pride issues, so I didn’t put up with being picked on.

What does that even mean? If you get through the day without acting out, you get an award at the end of the month. Granted, I was in like fourth or fifth grade, but that’s like the most intense I’ve ever been watched.

Soon, you’ll play a bully in 17 Again. That’s a fun role reversal. I sort of turned it around and was like, Here’s how I got beat up. I had a firsthand experience.

Who are you bullying in the movie? Zac Efron. We know each other really well, having auditioned for stuff together in L.A. a lot. It was fun to work together, because once he started High School Musical, I haven’t really seen him around.

I’ve always pictured him as a guy who plays with his bangs a lot. Yeah, I mean, Zac’s a really great guy and he works very hard for what he wants. He’s really passionate about what he does, and it’s hard for him to hear people talk about him the way they do. He’s not just in it for the fame.

Does your family worry about your getting immersed in the excess of Hollywood? I’m sure they’re worried, and it’s all very tempting, but I just remind myself of who I was before any of this started happening. And I surround myself with people who hold me accountable for my actions. That doesn’t mean I don’t have fun, but I control it. Self-control is something I think a lot of people lose when they achieve success in our business.
Buy Spring Awakening Tickets

The New Old New Women of TV: Still Ditzes and Bitches

imageNew York magazine sent readers of all stripes into a fits of hysteria by claiming that both Sarah Palin and Hilary Clinton set women back a few decades by reinforcing reductive stereotypes — specifically, the ditz and the bitch. But similar pundits are also waxing philosophical on the link between Barack Obama’s election and the potential upswing for more diversity on TV. So if television is indeed the window into the American psyche (and let’s be honest, who can contest otherwise?), then what sort of change are the ditz/bitch forces of Palin and Lady Clinton supposed to embody?

Long before either figure broke through into the frenzied discourse of this year’s election, notable TV matriarchs were already making waves with their flighty bed-hopping, substance-abusing neuroses (not that such a thing is really reprehensible) in the forms of the entire cast of Desperate Housewives, the double headliners of Weeds and even Nip/Tuck’s ever-flaky Julia McNamara for starters (though in all fairness, Nip/Tuck has always had an awful track record with female protagonists). But since Palin and Clinton left their ineffable footprint on the American consciousness, there’s been something especially off-kilter about the handling of women on TV, where ditzes have to be handled extra preciously, while bitches coast forward at the expense of others. Despite its excellent characterization, Weeds even teased a ripple of this effect, making Mary Louise-Parker’s character noticeably spacier while Elizabeth Perkins became increasingly strident.

Another top-shelf show that steps dangerously close is True Blood, where there’s the loathsome Amy Burley to consider. A manipulative eco-brat whose hobbies include vampire slaying and an insatiable drug addiction, Amy demonstrated no humanity in her tenure on the toothsome melodrama — viewing everyone as a means to procuring more vampire blood. Similarly pathological were the interchangeable psychoses of Willa Holland’s and Michelle Trachtenberg’s characters on Gossip Girl. Both used waifs, helpless ditzes — show heroines Jenny and Serena — to further their own generic, inexplicable agendas. But ultimately, that’s OK, because it’s Gossip Girl, which doesn’t aspire to excellence. More troubling is Ugly Betty, which in its third season has only managed to take a number of steps back. Currently, there’s a ditz and a once well-rounded career woman now broadly written as a bitch. We’re meant to balk at their scheming underhandedness while cheering the noble if staid titular character, a non-mover in a company that she’s saved time and time again. Add to that retinue the slipshod exit of Rebecca Romijn’s character, who was the only one balancing a bitch-on-heels attitude with sweet philanthropy

In spite of all of this, it’s not like time’s rolled back to the days of June Cleaver championing success for women. There’s some mixed promise in Lipstick Jungle’s efforts to avoid death. And if Clinton stands tall as the nation’s next Secretary of State (with Palin vanishing into late-night PAX talk show obscurity), then that, in addition to Brooke Shields’ continued attempts to crack a smile in the name of feminism, should be able to get the wheel rolling again — this time forward, sparking curmudgeonly scribes to give ambitious heroines far more than just wafer-thin characterization and matching shoes.

Belle of the Balls

We’ve been fascinated by the sordid world of high-priced escort services for years. Thank Charlie Sheen and Heidi Fleiss for bringing it to the frontal lobe of public consciousness in the nineties, and more recently former New York governor Elliot Spitzer, for raw-dogging it back to front page status. Even ascending network Showtime is joining the biz. Tonight, following the fourth season premiere of “Weeds”, the network will debut “Secret Diary of a Call Girl.” We’d run down the plot for you, but it’s one of those title-says-it-all kind of things. The show is actually an import from the BBC, airing there for a couple of years, and based on the blog of London call girl Belle du Jour (named the Guardian’s blog of the year in 2003). Kudos belong to Showtime for airing the original product and not bothering with an Americanized version. And in this wonderful age of free shit online, you can already watch the first two episodes on the show’s official site.

‘Weeds’ Takes a Hit

Showtime’s “Weeds” made viewers re-evaluate everything they thought they knew about the unassuming suburban mother. With its innovative outlook on life in ticky-tacky suburbia, it was only fitting that the theme song be just as inventive. The innocent, sing-songy melody of “Little Boxes” takes on a new identity each episode, with different artists from every genre of the music world putting their own spin on the well-known tune. Now, Lionsgate and “Weeds” have compiled an assortment of these themes in its digital-only release of LITTLE BOXES DIMEBAG #1, available on June 17th. Featured artists range from Rise Against to Randy Newman to Billy Bob Thornton & the Boxmasters. This is one dimebag full of something that’s okay to get addicted to.