Mary Jane has been making A LOT of appearances on the small screen lately, and I am happy to report that in the vast majority of cases, cannabis is being portrayed as it should, as simply a normal every day part of life, just like it actually is for millions of people every day.
One trend I have noticed lately when it comes to marijuana on television is, much like in real life, women are leading the way. Even Marge Simpson! Â In many scenes, a joint or a vaporizer has replaced what would have traditionally been a glass of (usually red) wine. Pop culture fiction is definitely mimicking the reality that more and more women are not only using marijuana as part of their regular routines, they are more comfortable being open about it.
Here are some recent marijuana on television highlights we at Z-Dog Media have spotted. Â Good news, the quality and entertainment values of all these shows is, ahem, high.
Showtime’s Golden Globe winning drama that explores the conflicts and aftermath of an extramarital affair returns for Season 2 in October. The first episode this season features female lead Moira Tierney (Helen) regularly turning to her vape pen to help cope with the stress of the breakup of her marriage. We also noticed that in episode 3 of Season 1, the clock above the community room sign in the library scene just happened to be set at 4:20.
Not only is weed featured in HBO‘s hilarious political comedy set in a world, not unlike our own that’s just slightly closer to the brink of nuclear war in the Middle East than we are (or hope we are), you almost have to be a connoisseur to get all the inside references! Much of the story is set in the embassy where Alex Talbot, played by Jack Black, makes extra cash selling marijuana to foreign diplomats. In one scene Black and a customer banter over indicas versus sativas, and the customer complains “that sativa kept me up all night.” The characters go on to discuss how “grass” will give you an appetite but it can also put you to sleep.
In what might one of the earliest instances of cannabis culture product placement, they even reference a Volcano without explaining to the audience what it is.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out Tim Robbins’ spectacular performance as the drunk, womanizing Secretary of State Walter Larsen, which makes the series worth watching in and of itself. But there’s much more to this outstanding comedy that will have you in stitches (when you’re not wondering how real this all could be).
Josh Gad and Billy Crystal essentially play themselves in this FX comedy about the making of an FX comedy show. I always found the show hit and miss (apparently most viewers did too as it didn’t last long), but the best episode involved Mary Jane. In it Gad and his buddy Clifford hot box Gad’s living room before leaving to attend the “Kid Critic;s Awards.” Crystal unexpectedly joins the party. While we never see the two leads smoke together, it is obvious they do, and of course, hilarious mayhem ensues.
Hand of God
This Amazon original drama series stars Ron Perlman as a father in the midst of an existential crisis who believes he is receiving messages from God. It’s a complex plot with lots of subplots but all revolves around the the dilemma of Perlman’s comatose son being removed from life support. Dana Delaney, as the wife whose patience is on the verge of running out, is frequently seen smoking and vaping marijuana, more often than not in a public place, sometimes in the middle of day, and often with her dealer. The character makes no attempt whatsoever to hide her marijuana use. In one episode she proudly utters the line: “If I am going to breathe that deeply, I want a joint in my mouth.”
Women take the weed lead again in Happyish, a Showtime comedy series centered around Thom Payne, played by Steve Coogan in a role originally intended for the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, a disgruntled and unsatisfied 40-something ad exec. Thom’s wife, Lee, played by Kathryn Hahn casually passes a joint to her girlfriend while the male halves of the couples enjoy beers. She, like many women, also enjoys Mary Jane in her solitary creative time. The quirky show never found its audience and was cancelled after a single season, but its sassy, smart sarcasm that nearly everyone can relate to merits seeking it out.
Jamie Lee Curtis’s character, in Fox’s campy horror comedy, relaxes in bed at night with a joint. Who can blame her, she is head mistress of a school where students keep getting murdered in gruesome fashion. The star-studded cast that includes Emma Roberts and an almost unrecognizable Leah Michelle adds to the appeal of this quirky dark slasher movie parody.
Before this season, who knew that TV’s ultimate matriarch, Marge Simpson, was a stoner? In answer to daughter Lisa’s question about how the Simpson family got the room for baby Maggie, Marge casually answers “It was the room I used to grow weed in” The popular Fox comedy holds a number of records, includingÂ the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American animated program, and in 2009 it surpassed Gunsmoke as the longest-running American scripted primetime television series.