So last week’s episode of Weeds (No “spoiler alert” needed. Seven days is enough to turn on the DVR) was like a hit list of offensively hilarious Jewish humor. The setting: sitting shiva for Bubbie, who of course is killed by Nancy (Mary Louis Parker), the non Jew of the family.
The first hint to viewers should have been in the opening credits when the magen david on Bubbie’s yartzeit candle turns into a pot leaf.
Best new Jewish custom: Having a shiva goy. Played by pothead/city council embezzler/accountant Doug (Kevin Nealon), he runs errands for the family.
Worst joke: Doug is asked by Bubbie’s son Lenny (Albert Brooks) to go play some special lottery numbers–the ones from Bubbie’s Holocaust tattoo. “She survived,” Lenny says, justifying his action.
Best “Did no one go to Hebrew school?” mistake: With stereotypical klezmer in the background, the screen fades to black in between each day of shiva, showing the Hebrew letter and the number of the day (Bet Day 2, Gimel Day 3). They used the letter chet (the eight letter of the alphabet) for day 5 instead of a hey.
Best summary of Jewish life: One of Nancy’s sons is shocked to hear that Jews sit around for seven days after someone dies. “We’ll remember, soon we’ll eat, and we’ll remember more.” No wonder all Jews are obese, the son replies.
Best nod (was it intentional?) to Biblical Judaism: Fearing they are about to be busted by the border patrol for smuggling drugs, Nancy and her dead husband’s brother Andy, make out in their car to avoid suspension. Levirate marriage anyone?
Best “So true, I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry” line: Lenny, when talking to his grandson Shane, reminds him of the motto of the Holocaust, “Never Forget. We can never let genocide happen again.” Shane says that genocide has happened–in Rwanda, Cambodia, Serbia. Lenny tells him “Only to the Jews. It can never happen again to the Jews. Who gives a shit about those other people.”
Does it get any better?
Pronounced: SHI-vuh (short i), Origin: Hebrew, seven days of mourning after a funeral, when the mourner stays at home and observes various rituals.