Family Collage: A Picture is Worth Athousand WordsHugo RobinsonCommunication in The FamilyApril 8th 2011
The TV show Weeds is born whenNancy Botwin turns to sellingMarijuana to maintain her family’supper middleclass lifestyle, afterher husband dies of a heart attackwhile jogging with their youngestson.From there, an interesting seriesof events unfolds full of interestingfamily dynamics.
The Family• Nancy Botwin- Mother to Silas and Shane• Judah Botwin- Nancy’s late husband, father to Silas and Shane• Silas Botwin- Nancy’s oldest son•Shane Botwin- Nancy’s youngest son• Uncle Andy Botwin- Judah’s brother• Peter Scottson- Nancy’s 2nd husband, the DEA agent• Esteban Reyes- Nancy’s 3rd Husband, Mexican drug lord• Lenny Botwin- Judah and Andy’s father•Bubbie- Andy and Judah’s grandmother
The Systems perspectiveWhen people come together to form relationships, what is created is larger and morecomplex than the sum of the individuals; they create a system. Due to theinterconnections, if one component of the system changes, the others will change inresponse. Therefor, a change in one part of the system affects every part of thesystem (Galvin, Bylund, Brommel, 58)
When Judah, the head of the Botwin household, diesunexpectedly, because of the family’s interconnections,all components of the family system change drastically
Dialectical Tensions Uncle Andy moves in after Judah’s death to help out, but tensions are apparent and, while he helps in some areas, he also disrupts Nancy’s life and messes a lot of things up.
Communication Patterns andFamily Functions When Nancy becomes a drug dealer, the family’s cohesion becomes seperated. Without their father around, Silas and Shane separate themselves emotionally and Nancy limits her openness as she tries to hide from them her new way of making money
Because of the sudden disruption in their family, shane, beingonly ten years old, starts acting out and bites the feet ofanother kid during a martial arts competition.This act earns him the nickname “strange botwin” from hispeers, making it hard for him to make friends and making himfeel that much m ore alienated.
Healthy Sexual CommunicationWhile Silas was having no trouble whatsoever in the area of sex, Shane wasmuch younger and in need of some sexual education. Nancy was absolutely notgoing to have that conversation with Shane, as it is most times harder for theparents to talk about those sort of things.Andy takes on the responsibility of sex education, teaching Shane differentmethods of masturbation ( the banana peel method as shown) and the dangersof unprotected sex, which he is all too familiar with.
Parent-Child Destructive ConflictNancy becomes romantically involved with peter, the single father of the childbitten by Shane previously. Peter turns out to be a DEA agent but he doesn’tcare about her dealing as he thinks of her as too “small time” to bust. Justincase, they decide to get married as part of a deal to legally protect him fromtestifying against her. Naturally, Silas and Shane are very upset as they see this man as trying to take the place of their father. They become very rude to him, which results in Peter manhandling Silas. Nancy freaks out at him and they end their relationship.
Cohesion Changes Silas figures that Nancy has become a drug dealer in order to make money for the family. The Cohesion changes and everyone in the family becomes extremely open and honest about everything (well, almost everything) for the remainder of the family.
Family Decision MakingDecision making is the process by Decision making means getting thingswhich family members make choices, done in a family when one or morereach judgements, or arrive at family members need to agree withsolutions that end uncertainty each other to accomplish something
In order to avoid massive legal trouble, Nancy relocates her family to the Californiatown of Ren Mar. They stay with Andy’s father, Lenny, and they find themselveshaving to make a very controversial family decision. Also living with Lenny is hismother, Andy’s grandmother, but she is very old and very ill and doesn’t have muchof an existence. After a long argument, Andy and his father remember how animated and lively she used to be and decide to put her out of her misery and pull the plug on her.
While the family is in Ren Mar, Silas and Shane go to a new school. Because ofthe traumatic things Shane has been through at a young age, along with theopportunity for a new image at his new school, he snaps and randomly attacksthe most popular kid in school. This changes his identity drastically and hispeers start to fear him, giving him a sense of confidence and empowermentthat he’s never had. His attitude totally changes and he loses the young andinnocent appearance.
Unpredictable StressesNancy becomes pregnant after she develops yet another relationship, this timewith a Mexican crime boss/politician. Once again, another Family Decisionmust be made. Andy suggests Nancy gets an abortion with the reasoning thatshe will never be free if she has a child with a Mexican drug lord. Nancyultimately makes the decision to move in with him and he later proposes toher and they get married. Shortly after, Nancy has the baby.
Shortly after the birth, a woman from Esteban’s past, Pilar, threatens to killSilas and Shane and make it look like a car accident. Shane overhears her,grabs a croquet mallet, and bludgeons her across the head. She falls intothe pool next to them and dies. Right after, they realize the whole thingwas caught on tape.
Family RolesNancy realizes that Shane will be wanted for murder, so she decides they need to getout of town. They immediately start driving to Nancys hometown in WashingtonState with the intention of leaving the country. They don’t have enough money forplane tickets or fake passports so they all get jobs, except for Shane. Shane acquiresthe new role of babysitter and spend his days mostly with their newest familymember.
Family SecretsWhile in Nancy’s hometown, Silas and Shane discover their mom’s highschool boyfriend, Lars, who they both notice looks strangely similar toSilas. While Silas is talking to Lars about the car he is selling on his front lawn, Shane goes into his house and steals one of his combs in order to establish if he is, in fact, Silas real father.
Toxic SecretsToxic secrets poison family relationships. Maintaining such secrets may have chronicnegative effects on problem solving, conversational repertoire, perceptions, and emotionalwell-being. Even when no one is in immediate physical or emotional danger, toxic secretsnonetheless sap energy, promote anxiety, burden those who know, and mystify those whodon’t know. (Imber-Black, 1998)
When Silas discovers that Lars is in fact his father, he becomes extremely angry at Nancy and is forced to re-evaluate his whole childhood. He makes the decision not to go with them to EuropeHe starts to hang out with his father more and they bond. They drink beer together, likefather and son should do, and he lets him ride his Camero. Lars begins to teach Silas how toplay the guitar and shows him how to change sparkplugs before silas changes his mind andrejoins the rest of his family at the airport.