Wander into the weed with pot comedy ‘Disjointed’
Kathy Bates stars as Ruth Whitefeather Feldman, who was a pot advocate for years before she opened Ruth’s Alternative Care with her recent college graduate son, Travis. The other budtenders include modern-day hippie Pete; Jenny, who lies to her Chinese mother about her job; and Olivia, who is distinguished from the other two staff members by the fact that she doesn’t seem stoned all the time. Also on the staff is military veteran Carter, who suffers from PTSD and serves as the store’s security guard. Chris Redd and Betsy Sodaro play Dank and Dabby, a pair of completely unhinged Internet stars who are regular patrons of the dispensary; Nicole Sullivan is Maria, an overstressed mom who wandered into the store one day thinking pot might offer relief and seems to never have left; and Michael Trucco is Tae Kwon Doug, who runs a martial arts studio next door, has no use for a pot dispensary in the neighborhood and is given to all sorts of malaprops with sexual connotations he never gets. There isn’t much of a plot, although there are occasional moments that do seem to be circling some kind of story line.
Olivia and Travis flirt here and there, Pete thinks his pot plants are talking to him, Jenny breaks out in song at one point and imagines she’s singing in a nightclub, and Travis wants his mother to adopt more pragmatic management techniques, such as putting her money in a bank and not in the ceiling. A little of Pete, Jenny and Tae Kwon Doug goes a very long way, but most of the focus is on Ruth, Travis and Olivia, with off-the-wall moments for Dank and Dabby. Many times, the best parts of each episode are the fake pot commercials, including a hilarious ad with dancing cannabis containers all shot in glorious 1950s’ black and white. In further conscious defiance of logical episodic structure, there are even a few sophisticated animation sequences, including one representing the torment of Carter’s mind. If you watch Wolf Blitzer stoned, you’ll probably laugh, too.
This isn’t primo TV, but it’s also not stems and seeds. David Wiegand is an assistant managing editor and the TV critic of The San Francisco Chronicle.
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Remembering Miloš Forman, The First Marijuana Comedy Director
You may never have heard of Miloš Forman, but you should have. At least if you think movies about weed are funny, you should have heard of him. Miloš Forman did win two Academy Awards for directing two amazing films, Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Next of course starring Jack Nicholson. The movie you may never have heard of and may become a quick favorite is Taking Off from 1971. Mr.
Forman passed away last week at the age of 86. In his movie Taking Off, rich New Yorkers just do not know what to do about their out of control children that are regular potheads. They seek out guidance from a support group led by Vincent Schiavelli to discover how to manage their young stoners. They are advised by their support group to learn and understand what could be drawing their teenagers to marijuana by indulging in a smoke session themselves. Joints are passed around the group that do not seem entirely turned off by the idea and hilarity ensues.
On top of winning two Academy Awards, Miloš Forman won the Grand Prix award at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival for Taking Off. The Grand Prix award virtually makes Taking Off to most acclaimed stoner movie of all time. It makes movies like Pineapple Express make a lot of sense even though they may never had planned on it making sense in the first place.