Thursday, July 17, 2008

Little Boxes

Dawn and I have been watching Weeds on Showtime lately; we've seen all of the third season and the episodes aired* so far. It is well written and very quirky, starring Mary-Louise Parker as a suburban (at least in season 3) mother and pot dealer.

During the third season, the opening title sequence used a different version of Malvina Reynolds' song Little Boxes, about a ticky tacky subdivision that went up on a hill in Daly City in the late 60s or early 70s. The opening sequence consists of multiple scenes showing people who look the same.
  • 5 men jog by, all wearing the same clothes.
  • Big black SUVs file out of driveways and down the street.
  • Children file off a school bus and toward their, all wearing the same clothes and backpacks.
A perfect video of the song, really, if it had been written in the music video era.

I remember the song from my childhood, mainly from Pete Seeger's version, which they played in full at the end of the 3rd season finale. I found myself riveted to the opening sequence of every episode, and I always fast forward through opening sequences, because they're normally the same throughout the season. I recognized the voices of Malvina Reynolds and Joan Baez on their versions.

I don't think I disliked a single version, though perhaps my fond childhood memories of folk music had something to do with that. Linkin Park did a rap-ish version, one of our favorite childrens' singers, Laurie Berkner did it, some group that did it half in Russian... I am hoping I can find out all the bands, just out of curiosity.

Warning - Spoilers Ahead!

Thanks to several the twists and turns of several conniving characters, by the end of season three, Nancy (Parker's character) has a grow house in the subdivision in which she lives and most of the subdivision goes up in flames thanks to a wild fire. At some point, the fire fighters break into the grow house to make sure it's been evacuated and discover, of course, pot.

Now, the reason I bring all this up, besides that I really enjoy the show, is this story from CBS about a grow house in Oakland. Evidently there was a TV news report Dawn saw in which a neighbor is quoted as saying "it's just like that show Weeds!" Somehow more amusing is that we were about half a mile away just before the fire.

* Although we don't get SHO over the air...

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