Monday, February 22, 2010

10 Things I Love About Nancy Botwin

It had to happen. There had to be a post about Weeds. It's been all I can think about, this past week. I've obsessed over it endlessly (people have rebound relationships with other people, I have them with TV shows) and then last night...Last night, I ran out of episodes to watch. Bang in the middle of season 4, at a fortuitous and very telling point in the story. But more on that later.

Weeds is a super-duper hit show in the US that revolves around Nancy Botwin - a suburban mom, raising two sons single-handedly after the love of her life drops dead while jogging. To make ends meet and sustain her lifestyle, she begins to deal drugs, specifically (that's right) weed. Just one of the reasons why I absolutely adore her.

Nancy Botwin is my absolute favourite.

First of all, she's friggin gorgeous. Man or woman, you can't really escape that. I love the stuff she wears, so on the count of fashion, she gets my vote.

Second, she always looks so surprised, so well meaning even as she goes around fucking up. I feel strongly connected to that feeling - "What? What? What just happened? Did I just do that?"

Third, she loves her family, her sons to death BUT that doesn't stop her from doing what she wants, even if it puts herself and by default them, in extreme jeopardy. It's behaviour that would have most women's groups up in arms, but it's also real. Women aren't always these self-sacrificing creatures who live just for their families. Real women are as selfish, stupid and reckless as men - equally capable of making bad choices. I'm not saying that's something to glorify, but it's nice to see a 'real' woman character emerge from the cesspool of television.

Fourth, Nancy instinctively gravitates towards danger and I LOVE that about her. I love how her eyes light up every time there's a scary assignment for her, how disappointed she is when she's told she won't be making drug runs across the Mexican border.

Fifth, she knows what she wants and she gets it before logic and ethical doubts can get in the way. Nancy, I think, is one of those rare women who scratches her itch before she stops to think about consequences. She needs money, she gets it, she needs a lay, she gets it. Not like me - agonizing days, weeks and months over plans and blueprints and strategies to get what I want. Only to learn I never had any control over the situation in the first place.

Sixth, Nancy rolls with a fun crowd and she sucks them into her crazy adventures. I've always been a follower but secretly I'd love to be that charismatic leader, who doesn't need to 'do' much but manages to attract people to her fold, people who'll go along with her hairbrained (but always colourful) schemes. Nancy makes drug dealing looking like fun. Again, not something she'd be elected Citizen of the Year for, but you know what I mean.

Seventh, she is so goddamned classy. It took me 3 seasons to realise that MY GOD, this woman is a criminal. She is doing bad things, selling drugs, having people killed, being a shitty mom. She might just be the smoothest bad guy around but you'd never know it - because she barely believes that about herself.

Eighth, she's got a wonderful violent streak. I have a wonderful violent streak. I get it.

Ninth, she makes deviance look normal. We're all deviant - I know I am - and it's so bloody okay.

Tenth, she sees the light. Sort of. Or at least at the point in season 4 where my episodes ran out. She looks out over the ocean and realises how stupid her choices have been. Choices - not things that 'just happened', not things she 'can't help', not things 'beyond her control'. She gets it. She owns her poor choices. She does not run away or make excuses. She's no role model and she accepts it.

Right now, as I write, the next episode is downloading into my computer and I can't wait to meet up with Nancy again. She makes sense to me.
Of course, I know she's just a manufactured character on TV. I know she's not real.
I know.


  1. I have to agree...Nancy is my idol, I LOVE her!

  2. ommmmg iam so obsessed with weeds and i love nancy she is so pretty and she is such a STRONG woman i just finished season seven and i hope nancy didnt die if she did,i will kill jenji kohan but plssssssss i want weeds to go on forever goshhhhhh

  3. Oh wow, I really really really hate her and allmost everyone does, from season 1 to 3 she seems ok but when u get to further explore her character in season 4 and onwards u just hope she gets hit by a bus