11:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Jenji Kohan, Mary-Louise Parker Say Farewell to 'Weeds'
Weeds comes full circle Sunday when the Showtime comedy that helped put the spotlight on the female anti-hero wraps its eight-season run.
The comedy about a pot-dealing suburban single mother (Mary-Louise Parker) raising a family in suburbia by any means necessary returned to its roots in its penultimate half-hour when in the 100th episode Nancy Botwin came home Agrestic to the town that she burned to the ground. (Now fittingly called Regrestic.)
"I had no idea when I wrote the pilot what the end of the series would be," showrunner Jenji Kohan told The Hollywood Reporter recently. "When you write a pilot, you're hopeful; you're not looking to end it. I was trying to think, 'How can I think of an ending that is going to generate stories for as long as possible?'"
To that end, the series has seen several creative reboots, that have included Nancy and company spending time in Ren Mar (season four), Canada (season six) and eventually New York via Denmark (season seven) after a three-year time jump in which Nancy served time in prison before landing in Connecticut with Nancy's estranged sister, Jill (Jennifer Jason Leigh).
"Ever year it was a reboot and we would start again and say, 'What do we want to do this year, it might be our last' and then have to rip it up," Kohan says.
Despite the changes in scenery -- and in the drug business, Nancy's now launching a legalized pot business with the help of some old cronies in Guillermo (Guillermo Diaz) and Conrad (Romany Malco) -- one thing has remained the same: Nancy.
"One of the main premises of Weeds is that people don't change," Kohan notes. "I love that she keeps trying. Whether she'll achieve redemption, we'll see."
Parker, too, says the end of the series focuses mostly on the Botwins -- rightfully so since Nancy and her one-time brother-in-law Andy (Justin Kirk) finally ended years of romantic tension by doing the deed in the show's landmark 100th episode.
"The way Jenji tied it together, the end becomes more about the journey of the family," says Parker, who notes she cried a lot on-set as the comedy approached its end. "I wasn't expecting that as the finale at all but I really love it."
In fact, Parker notes she would have loved to have continued on with Weeds, joking that she would have played Nancy for as long as everybody wanted to do it -- and "until I couldn't wear those cutoffs anymore," she says of Nancy's trademarked short shorts.
To be sure, Parker and Kohan have had talks about ways to continue the Botwins' story. "Jenji said she would do a movie and so would I if she would do it," Parker says. "We thought of one spinoff concept but I can't say it because then I'd be giving away the ending but we came up with one pilot based on the finale. I for sure would do a movie in a second."
Looking back, Parker says she hopes she's done her part to help portray what at Weeds' beginning was a new type of female protagonist with an eye toward playing another damaged character on TV to follow.
"I like controversy and things that are extreme; I've met with a few networks and said I wanted to do a TV show, but I haven't found one yet," she says.
As for how she'll spend her Sunday evening when Weeds is wrapping with a one-hour sendoff, Parker joked she might do something worthy of Nancy Botwin. "I've never smoked pot and I said to Hunter Parish, maybe we should the last night!" she said with a laugh, noting people give her marijuana all the time. "Now at the age of 48 I should start smoking pot, I'm going to be really sad so I might do it!"
The series finale of Weeds airs Sunday on Showtime.