EEDS" is back, and it's about time. Showtime's banner dramedy about a pot-dealing suburban mom is one of the best reasons to pay for cable. As Nancy Botwin, Mary-Louise Parker captures the sardonic narcissism of a widow who enters the drug world out of desperation (what else could an upper-middle-class, stay-at-home mom do? Sell Avon?) only to be seduced by early success and her own bad-girl self.
Surrounded by suburbia's socially and emotionally mangled -- slacker-stoner brother-in-law Andy (Justin Kirk), loser-stoner accountant Doug (Kevin Nealon), socially climbing-nonstoner frenemy Celia (Elizabeth Perkins), troubled sons Silas (Hunter Parrish) and Shane (Alexander Gould) -- Nancy finds order and a certain clarity on the proverbial other side of the tracks, bonding with supplier Heylia (Tonye Patano) and Conrad (Romany Malco).
But her ambition gets the best of her, and there are reasons nervy mothers living in gated communities aren't drug kingpins as Nancy found at the end of Season 2. In Season 3, almost everyone faces payback, and this sort still rhymes with rich.
A suburban dystopia with a cast to die for, "Weeds" is as much character study as dark comedy; this season's additions of Matthew Modine as a sleazy community developer and Mary-Kate Olsen as a love interest for Silas promise to make those characters even darker and more hysterical than before. The only problem is the show's length -- a half-hour is not nearly enough time to spend each week at the Botwin house.
(Showtime, Mon., 10 p.m.)
-- Mary McNamara