Netflix Orders Marijuana Comedy Series Starring Kathy Bates
TV, making a 20 episode series order for the show that has the veteran skills of Chuck Lorre and David Javerbaum at the helm. Disjointed is a stoner comedy based around an L.A. cannabis dispensary. The excellent Kathy Bates will take the lead role as the store owner, managing a group of constantly high employees -undoubtedly the source for ensuing dope centrist humor. Deadline reports that Bates’ character is a long-time campaigner for marijuana legalization, who is taking advantage of the relaxed cannabis laws in California and achieving her ambitions by running a dispensary. This will not be the first time Lorre has acquired the notable talent of Bates for one of his projects; the Oscar-nominated actress earned an Emmy for her guest appearance on Two And A Half Men in 2012. Lorre has found previous success working on various sitcoms, writing several episodes of Roseanne in the early 1990s and cycling through various series before ending up at the helm of the hugely popular Big Bang Theory. Netflix has a growing collection of original sitcoms, such as Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Grace And Frankie. The network’s open minded attitude towards traditionally controversial subject matter should make it a great fit for a weed orientated show, allowing Lorre more freedom to explore this potentially hilarious context than his usual home on CBS. It should be fun to see Bates take on a lead role in a sitcom and spread her comedic wings within this role as a marijuana matriarch. With Bates on board and the proven comedic expertise from its showrunners, this series has the potential to be something special. With luck, Lorre will be able to land some equally good talent to play the other regulars at Bates’ dispensary, and it will be interesting to see how the showrunner handles the move to a streaming platform like Netflix.
The Tragedy of Stoner Comedy
Fourteen states have effectively decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, and on June 4 Mayor Bloomberg and the New York Police Department announced plans to follow suit in NYC. As marijuana goes mainstream, its media portrayal has likewise softened. In the film, marijuana transforms seemingly normal, upstanding American youth into maniacs similar to the opium fiends of earlier stereotypes. Drugs were everywhere: on the strip, where people dropped microtabs of acid and then painted themselves blue; in middle schools, where young pushers did the work of the Fagin-esque masterminds of the marijuana trade; and in middle-class homes, where the sharing of one joint led a young Don and Betty Draper-esque couple to neglect its newborn in a bathtub with a running faucet, where the tot ineluctably drowned. Their straggly long hair, stoner talk, and constant fiending for the demon weed established the stereotype that prevails, in various permutations, to this day. Of late, the stoner comedy has become more realistic. The movie blended stoner stereotypes and broad humor with blood, gore, and violence. More than likely, the stoner comedies of the future will continue to play up the humor while conveniently overlooking the tragedy at the heart of American marijuana prohibition. Whatever the case, there will be no stoner comedy that deals with the harm inflicted on a family when an adult male breadwinner is sent to state prison for what is essentially a victimless crime. Marijuana prohibition has been the gateway to an exponential expansion of the prison-industrial complex, but that’s a reality silver-screen fantasies will not touch. As with romantic comedies, which give us a skewed view of love, the stoner genre is riddled with distortions and misrepresentations-a bad trip worthy of the worst directors in Hollywood.
Stewart Richlin’s Long Strange Trip To Become a Weed Lawyer
On any given night, past security and down a long corridor emanating a skunky, aromatic haze, attorney Stewart Richlin can be found in the lounge of a cannabis speakeasy comedy club. The people who select themselves into the cannabis community are groovy people who have a nice aura around them. After studying at UCLA and Southwestern Law before becoming an attorney in 1986, Richlin quit his job in 1995 to become a yoga teacher. Without a break between kindergarten and law school, Richlin says he was beginning to feel burned out after taking the bar exam. Though he practiced law for a few years, yoga offered the kind of break he needed and re-inspired his law practice later on. In 2002, Richlin reopened his own law practice, focusing on the then-brand new medical marijuana industry, helping growers and dispensary owners comply with state regulations. Until the implementation of Assembly Bill 266, which requires growers, dispensaries, delivery services, manufacturers and others in the medical marijuana industry to obtain state and city licenses while forcing some to shut down by 2018, when it takes effect, California’s largely unregulated medical marijuana program gave Richlin an opportunity to apply what he learned from yoga to his law practice. L.A. County alone is home to the city of Los Angeles, 88 independent cities and county land, so there are 90 different sets of medical marijuana rules, he says. If the opportunity presents itself, Richlin will also try to make the jury laugh – a little comedy goes a long way in the courtroom, bringing the court and jury down to basic human interaction. It’s part of Richlin’s greater move back into comedy as he prepares for the next stage of his career, which involves writing a TV pilot about opening up a yoga studio.