During the past seven years, audiences have seen Mary-Louise Parker’s Nancy Botwin transform from loveable, suburban pot-dealing widow/mom to arsonist to Mexican cartel queen to prison lesbian and back again in Weeds (10 p.m. Sunday, Showtime). An early-on fan, I found the first few seasons to be leagues superior than the over-the-top latter half; although always technically a criminal, Nancy’s actions were comparably more justifiable in the beginning. She wasn’t such an emotionally detached whore. Sorry, Nance.
Despite her metamorphosis into this unlikable anti-hero, I held on, hoping for the glimmer of the show I used to love. Redemption, perhaps? So Shane and Silas grew up (almost relatively normal), with Andy and Doug in tow, the “new baby” is now a walking, talking, miniature human and Nancy has technically paid her (Shane’s) debt to society. Yet it still didn’t feel like all was fair in love and weed. While Nancy might be too far gone to return to her roots, the season eight premiere last week almost felt like the “old” Weeds. It certainly didn’t hurt that Nancy was comatose through 90 percent of it.
With the nostalgic theme song “Little Boxes” returning to the opening credits, we can also expect characters and themes from seasons past. Hopefully the hospitalized Botwin can hang on, like viewers have, for a kickass season that has been confirmed to be the series’ last.
This week’s episode takes place a few months later, with Andy revealing his feelings to Jill, Doug pondering a questionable investment and Silas seeking out a new business venture. Listen up for recently reunited Ben Folds Five’s take on the intro song.
WEDNESDAY JULY 4
Futurama (10 p.m., Comedy Central) – Bender attempts to photograph an actor whose face is a mystery, joining the ranks of paparazzi.
THURSDAY JULY 5
Wilfred (10 p.m., FX) – When Wilfred refuses to be crated, Ryan brings the pooch to work.
But Wilfred’s popularity as resident office dog complicates Ryan’s job.
Louie (10:30 p.m., FX) – Louie has dinner with friends.
FRIDAY JULY 6
Comedy Bang! Bang! (10 p.m., IFC) – Guest Seth Rogen discusses vacations while wearing a plaid shirt and brown pants.
Bunk (10:30 p.m., IFC) – Comedian-contestants (comtestants?) include Michael Che, Andy Daly and Dana Gould.
SATURDAY JULY 7
The Walking Dead Season 3 Preview Weekend (11:30 a.m.-1:11 a.m. Saturday; 11:30 a.m.-11:15 p.m. Sunday) – As we reach the midpoint between TWD’s season two finale and October’s third season premiere, AMC offers the chance to catch up/DVR every episode before previewing what’s to come. Catch all of season one and the first half of the second season Saturday; Sunday morning picks back up with the rest of season two, followed by the live aftershow, Talking Dead (as if you needed any further proof of TWD fans’ nerd-dome) at 9 p.m. Host Chris Hardwick previews the upcoming season, tours the set, interviews cast and answers questions. At 10 p.m., check out the world television premiere of the show’s pilot in black and white.
SUNDAY JULY 8
True Blood (9 p.m., HBO) – Jason has a disturbing dream; Bill and Eric want Sookie to join forces in search of Russell Edgington.
The Newsroom (10 p.m., HBO) – Will’s message about integrity in the news sparks scrutiny of the Tea Party and backlash from the network.
Episodes (10:30 p.m., Showtime) – Matt buys Sean and Beverly new cars as a peace offering for potentially ruining their marriage. Pucks! has a much weaker second-episode viewing.
MONDAY JULY 9
Hard Times: Lost on Long Island (Premiere, 9 p.m., HBO) – This documentary follows four New York families dealing with unemployment and financial woes in 2010.
Web Therapy (Season Premiere, 10 p.m., Showtime) – Lisa Kudrow is back as iChat therapist Fiona Wallace for season two. What originated as an improvised web series became a cable sitcom about a doctor who believes short, online therapy sessions result in a quicker resolutions. Expect another star-studded guest lineup — Meryl Streep is featured in this week’s premiere.
TUESDAY JULY 10
Workaholics (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) – The guys host a few guests from their favorite religious strongman group.
CONTACT JAC KERN: firstname.lastname@example.org or @jackern on Twitter