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'WEEDS' Mary-Louise Parker goes to pot, sort of



Published: Wed, August 3, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



This PTA mom has her own code of ethics: Never sell to minors, and don't smoke it yourself.

By TERRY MORROW

SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

Mary-Louise Parker plays a desperate housewife leading a double life to make ends meet on the new dark comedy series, "Weeds" (sprouting 11 p.m. EDT Sunday on Showtime).

In the 10-episode series, she plays widow Nancy Botwin, who struggles to pay the bills after her husband dies. So she starts dealing marijuana in her Southern California suburban neighborhood. Nancy has two sons, is active in the PTA and can found every Saturday at her son's soccer game, chatting with her best friend, Celia (Elizabeth Perkins). She's the last person who might be suspected of dealing drugs.

She does have her code of ethics: She never sells to minors. And she doesn't smoke it herself. One of her best clients is a local politician (played by Kevin Nealon).

As an escape from this Stepfordian cul-de-sac, Nancy regularly visits her pot supplier's home in Los Angeles. There she feels most at home and open enough to share her feelings about life, motherhood, widowhood and plans for the future.

"To me ... these really standard archetypes ... kind of dismantle themselves and suddenly you don't exactly know who the person is in the beginning," Parker says of the series.

Creator Jenji Kohan says she likes the layers that can be explored.

"What I was really looking for was a subject where I could explore two things I was getting obsessed with," she says.

"One was gray areas, because I had been working in black and white for so long. And the other thing was sort of ... this notion in psychology called post-convention morality, where if you're not operating within the confines of society's morals, you have to develop your own moral code.




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