Jon E. Garrett
Writing the future of journalism one post at a time



ENTERTAINMENT

October 17, 2012

‘Weeds’ may be gone, but the spirit of U-Turn lives on

I know a lot of “Weeds” fans are suffering withdrawal symptoms after Showtime’s seminal series about the sticky-icky came to its conclusion earlier this year after eight seasons of MILF-weed inspired madness.

Botwin family matriarch Nancy’s (portrayed by Mary-Louise Parker) long strange journey from housewife to drug queenpin following the death of her husband, was funny, captivating and tragic enough in its initial three seasons to keep much of its audience intact waiting for it to recapture that magic over the next five.

Courtesy of Instagram

Page Kennedy

 

While, that never happened completely the show managed to always entertain no matter how unbelievable and contrived it became. Parker’s sex appeal, a strong slate of guest appearances – including the likes of Richard Dreyfuss, Albert Brooks, Martin Short and Carrie Fisher – the charismatic Justin Kirk, as brother-in-law and Nancy’s unrequited love Andy, and “Saturday Night Live” alum Kevin Nealon’s manic hijinks as outlaw accountant Doug Wilson, made for must see television.

Still, creator Jenji Kohan seems to have worked herself somewhat into a creative hole by season four. The series seemed unsure of itself once it moved from the suburbs of fictional Agrestic, California, following Nancy’s torching of the family home, as the neighborhood was under threat of being consumed by another fire inadvertently started by her, to force them to move on and start a new life.

Things were never the same after that. One week the show wanted be “Carlito’s Way”, the next a Woody Allen comedy. The situations got more bizarre, bodies piled up and somehow the Botwins always managed to come out on top – minus a three-year prison sentence by Nancy, taking the fall for a murder committed by her youngest son, that she ended up leveraging into the beginnings of another drug empire.

By the time Nancy survived a bullet to the head and was slinging drugs for the pharmaceutical industry as the extended family lived together in a mansion, there was no doubt in my mind that Kohan, and perhaps the fans as well (myself included), had grown to close to the Botwin family to give the series the end that it deserved (and most criminals with half their rap sheets in real life would probably get).

So, while it was nice to see the show skip ahead to a future where the legalization of marijuana made the family business legitimate and each character had made some sort of peace with the lot they had pursued and or been handed in life – it seemed disingenuous to those early so full of promise, purpose and the proper menace that goes along with a life of crime.

One of the things that made those early seasons so special, other than Nancy’s will they or won’t they flirtation with Milf-weed creator Conrad James (Romany Malco), is the season-three tutelage of the burgeoning drug dealer in all things gangster by U-Turn  (Page Kennedy). The gangster saves her life and terrorizes her before seeing her potential and begins to train her as his lieutenant and successor while she works off her debt to him. Call it Stockholm Syndrome, but by the time he is suffocated to death by another member of his crew, enough of a bond has been created that Nancy has a U-Turn sign tattooed on her lower back before she begins emulating his policy of, “Thug means never having to say you’re sorry,” for seemingly the rest of the series.

Why is this important? First of all I just watched the last eight episodes in a row and have nobody to talk about it to a month after the final one was broadcast live, and secondly I figured anyone who stayed with the series through the years  (even those with, uh, memory issues) wouldn’t mind me stringing them along for a good while before producing this nugget about one of my favorite characters on the show.

Yep, despite his somewhat embarrassing end on “Weeds”, U-Turn lives on in the personage of the actor that portrayed him. Kennedy, a rapper and actor, likes to chatter on Twitter a lot between projects about things like sports, music and women and sounds a lot like his former alter ego doing it.

Like U-Turn he also loves the ladies and in it least one case he recently displayed the same confidence that made him so convincing as the gangster in pursuit of one young woman whose path intersected with his on the social media platform.

A 19-year-old Redditor going by the name Lxerae posted this bit of goodness on the site last night detailing an exchange she had with Kennedy over Twitter.

The handle belongs to Alexis Demandante, a student at California State University-Fullerton majoring in public relations and communications whose Twitter name is @asvpxlexi. While, it seems that she managed to avoid that particular turnaround and perhaps even see the “Book of Mormon,” it is nice to see that at least in spirit his “Weeds” character lives on – Kohan couldn’t have written better dialogue.

 

 

 

 



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