We loved the TV show Weeds, and it’s gone down in history as a must-watch for dedicated stoners. When Netflix released their original series, Disjointed, we were excited to experience the excitement of Weeds all over again, but it turns out the two shows are nothing alike. Read this guest article by Jean-Pierre Ceccaldi and The Blinc Group for a full review of the new show.
By Jean-Pierre Ceccaldi / The Blinc Group
Warning: Potential spoilers included. Read at your own risk .
Disjointed, Netflix’s new cannabis focused sitcom starring Kathy Bates as an aging hippie who owns a California medical marijuana dispensary, is the latest addition to the Pantheon of cannabis-centric movies and television shows. But where exactly does it fit? A good place to start would be seeing how it sizes up to its closest cousin, Weeds.
Is it going to be Kathy Bates versus Mary-Louise Parker, Ruth versus Nancy, or even Chuck Lorre versus Jenji Kohan? Or wait, maybe we should name it the Sativa versus Indica match?
The answer is no, absolutely not, because Disjointed and Weeds are nothing alike.
Who are the players?
In the left corner is a middle-aged homemaker running an illegal drug enterprise. In the right corner the most adorable hippie-grandma you could wish for, running her medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles.
Now this as close as the two canna-heroes will ever be to each other: the very opposite corners. On Weeds, Nancy Botwin is flirting with politicians and cartels, drifting away from her debts with kids in arms, and considers true psychopaths to be among her friends. While Disjointed tells the daily tale of Ruth, the post 70’s pothead who has achieved her dream of operating a legal cannabis enterprise supported by her son and a group of peaceful local stoners.
Other than our heroes both being single mothers, they don’t share much in common and probably wouldn’t even be friends. Their interests in cannabis are totally different. Ruth is an activist cannabis lawyer who dedicated her life to cannabis, while Nancy ‘s relationship with cannabis began completely by accident and was based almost purely on the promise of financial gains to support her family.
For a cannabis-friendly person the first tickle may come with the show’s peculiar name. Disjointed is indeed quite funny and apt, considering it can be defined as “lacking a coherent sequence or a connection.”
Now let’s take a look at some of the synonyms for disjointed: disconnected, without unity, fragmented, disorganized, disordered, mixed up, incoherent, confused, erratic, wandering, aimless, directionless, and the list goes on and on.
As a matter of fact, the particular feeling of being ‘disjointed’ can happen to unexperienced cannabis users who may experience disorientation, time distortion, and sometimes excessive muscle relaxation. It’s the famous ‘high’ effect that is caused primarily by the THC compound in cannabis, which could make you look and sound like a blithering idiot if you can’t handle your weed. But being able to handle cannabis daily as a functional citizen is precisely the deal for every experienced user, and this goes from medical to recreational consumption.
That is why it can become so complicated to evaluate the impact of THC levels on individual’s behaviors or the capacity of users to drive a motorized vehicle safely. It’s simply because consistent cannabis users have become masters in controlling the effects of THC as their tolerance to cannabis increases over the years.
This could be one of the reasons why the Dank and Dabby from Disjointed are so pitiful to cannabis connoisseurs, but we’ll get back to these two later.
Why Nancy hits the spot while Ruth misses
We all know that cannabis has never been a Boy Scout business no matter the legal system in force and no matter when in time. Some even say that cannabusiness is addictive in itself just like growing the plant can turn to be. If business was a sport then dealing with cannabis would probably be the extreme version of it.
So, if you have been anywhere near a significant cannabusiness the last 60 years you must know for sure this kind of activity always involve secrecy, danger, and unpredictability. Besides, the security issues around cannabusiness are fundamental from production to dispensary shelves. That’s why Carter, the security guard in Disjointed, turns it from a comedy to science fiction show quite straight forward.
To a certain point, Disjointed treats Ruth’s dispensary as if it were a local organic grocery store. The stories are light and superficial. In Disjointed, cannabis is merely the backdrop for the storylines and characters. Disjointed could be taking place on a cruise boat, a hospital, or even in an elderly social club and it wouldn’t make much of a difference. When the canned audience laughing stops and the episode ends you’ll just reboot your brain and walk away from the distant universe feeling amused at best.
On Weeds, danger and the unexpected are hanging around every corner. Nancy’s unpredictability and the show’s sharp and twisting storylines promise that each episode would be a blast, and they are.
When it comes to production, the high quality writing, videography, and set design in Weeds makes it feel like a movie. Disjointed on the other hand looks like a cheap sitcom, that was written quickly, shot quickly and is probably best quickly binged and forgotten, too.
Dank and Dabby
Any proper cream cake has a cherry on top and in Disjointed the cherry is personified by the woeful stoner couple Dank and Dabby.
This couple embodies all the excessive, negative stoner stereotypes. While Dank and Dabby are funny for a minute, their performance ends up making the show a bit queasy and vaguely unpleasant.
The name of the show was not a good start for attracting so-called stoners. Yes, there is a lot of second degree and human feelings that are often fair and touching. But the canned laughing and the cheapness of the production just make you feel that Disjointed missed the goal: entertaining stoners. Otherwise, why would Netflix release its own weed strains simultaneously?
To put an end to this chapter, we may say that laughing WITH stoners sounded like a good idea, but laughing AT stoners could also play like a boomerang.