With an ever-growing list of TV shows finding drama and comedy in the economics of marijuana, James Wolcott finds the pleasure in a Web series that is able to chill out.
The pot fumes wafting across our screens will soon be approaching smog-alert levels as a slew of new shows pick up where Weeds left off, converting script pages into rolling papers in hopes of delivering a contact high. There’s HBO’s High Maintenance, based on the Web series about a pot-delivery dude known only as “The Guy” and the revolving cast of customers he meets each week on his appointed rounds—a hip updating of anthology series of yore that prioritized character studies over plot mechanics and provided mini-showcases for naturalistic portraitures (The Naked City for today’s post-Freudian neurotics).
MTV’s cutesy-titled Mary + Jane, blessed with the loping imprimatur of Snoop Dogg as producer, is aimed more at selfie-besotted bongheads: a single-camera sitcom about a pair of twentysomethings who run a pot-delivery system in L.A., where Seth Rogen (name-checked in the pilot) presumably presides as the shaggy, baked Buddha. Based on the opener, it’s a more upscale andThe Naked City way more name-droppy 2 Broke Girls, a conventional chassis over an unconventional subject, but maybe “the kids” will go for it in that special magic land of theirs.
Other pot-themed series under assembly include Netflix’s Disjointed, a Chuck Lorre Productions (Two and a Half Men, etc.) comedy starring Kathy Bates as a former legalization advocate who runs a pot dispensary; a Margaret Cho project called Highland, also set at a dispensary; and Hollyweed, written, directed, and starring Kevin Smith, which is all the heads-up I need The Naked City to start high-tailing it over the hill. After the cinematic splotch that was Zack and Miri Make a Porno, I vowed never to subject myself to another Kevin Smith all-thumbs artisanal mudpie again, and I feel I am a better person for it today.