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Up With Smoke

3 May, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

It might appear Nancy Botwin, the widowed mother in Showtime's series “Weeds,” has a lot in common with series creator Jenji Kohan.

Both are strong women and mothers who have been around the block more than once. Kohan, a 15-year veteran of TV writing and producing (“Will & Grace,” “Mad About You,” “Gilmore Girls,” etc.), said the series is her favorite because she is in control.

“It's good to be the queen,” Kohan said.

Lionsgate July 4 will release Weeds: Season One (two-DVD set $39.98).

The award-winning Showtime series stars Mary-Louise Parker, Elizabeth Perkins and Kevin Nealon. Parker won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Botwin, who sells marijuana to keep her family in their home in the fictional suburb of Agrestic.

“Weeds’ second season began filming April 24 in Valencia, Calif., and likely will air on Showtime in July.

Kohan said she felt “blessed” because of the creative freedom but unsure what the response would be because the show was “so under the radar.”

“We were just working in a little bubble and not thinking about the world,” she said.

Kohan said she was called in to do commentaries just after giving birth to her third child, a son. She found the experience awkward at first (“I'm much more comfortable on the page”) but adapted quickly.

As for incorporating drug sales into a cable TV show, Kohan said she was looking for a hot-button topic to anchor a show.

“It is sort of based on the zeitgeist that there are pot-dealing moms out there in suburbia,” Kohan said. “I think everyone has a pot smoker in their family. But I am too much of a control freak to be a stoner personally. I'm more of an amphetamine girl.”

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