Listening to the DVD Commentary for Weeds, ‘Corn Snake’

Columentary (title sadly not pending) is a weekly feature, in which I’ll listen to the commentary track of a sitcom, and divulge, through pretty pictures and less pretty words, the behind-the-scenes secrets the creators, writers, and cast discuss about their show. If you’ve ever wondered about that one guy who once starred in that thing, but whom everyone loves because he’s such a nice guy on set, this is for you.

Show: Weeds

Episode: “Corn Snake” (S02E01)

Original Airdate: August 14, 2006

Episode Plot: Marijuana dealer Nancy Botwin (Mary Louise Parker) attempts to break off contact with the DEA agent she slept with in the season one finale, Peter (Martin Donovan), while simultaneously dealing with Conrad (Romany Malco), who calls off their business arrangement after hearing about her bedfellow.

Players Involved: Jenji Kohan, creator.

Kohan, on the guest artists that sing the show’s theme, “Little Boxes,” this season: “This came about because when we originally wanted the song, we weren’t sure we’d be able to afford it. And we started to look around for people to cover it because that would be cheaper, in theory. We started getting submissions, and some of them sounded really good.” In this episode, it’s performed by Elvis Costello. (Mary Louise Parker knows his wife, Diana Krall.)

“She’s found a gun, but nature still calls.”

“There was more to this scene, where he went down on her. But we decided to be tasteful.”

Kohan admits this scene, featuring mother Celia criticizing daughter Isabelle, which leads to a car accident, didn’t turn out as well as she had hoped. It wasn’t “snappy” enough, and the woman playing the maid didn’t give a strong enough performance. Though Kohan is very soft-spoken and doesn’t say much in the commentary, she is very honest and calls out her mistakes.

“I love Lupita getting lazier and lazier, though, y’know, there’s a little bit of Jeffersons in there.”

Kohan loves Silas’s girlfriend, Megan (played by Shoshannah Stern), but they had to eventually write her off the show because the character couldn’t continue on any further. Kohan also admits it’s tough to write dialogue for a deaf actress.

“I’m really proud of, ‘Agrestic: The Best of the Bestic.’ A branding firm would have charged us thousands and thousands of dollars.”

Nancy Botwin is always drinking coffee, but MARY LOUISE PARKER doesn’t. IT’S ALL FAKE COFFEE.

“We tried to get ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business,’ but we couldn’t afford it.” So Andy sings a parody of the song instead, which allows them to use it for free, and does a damn fine job. And season two of Weeds is a damn fine season of TV.

Josh Kurp is sad at what Weeds has become

Listening to the DVD Commentary for Weeds, ‘Corn Snake’