Sep 21st 2009 By Nicholas Nadel
The new HBO comedy series "Bored to Death
" premiered last night, and amid the Brooklyn-specific jokes about Israeli movers and stroller moms, we noticed something -- these characters smoke a lot of pot. Like more-than-half-the-cast-of-"Weeds" levels of pot.
Jason Schwartzman's wannabe private investigator smokes up so much, he actually loses his girlfriend in the first episode over it. And Ted Danson's character, already the Kevin Nealon of the series, pretty much spends the entire episode baked out of his gourd.
If nothing else, "Bored to Death" is yet another example of our current laissez-faire attitude towards marijuana use on television. It certainly isn't the taboo subject it once was during the "very special episode" days of '80s television. Read on to take a look at some blissfully retro depictions of Mary Jane from TV's "Just Say No!" era.
"The Cosby Show"
In the aptly named "Theo and the Joint," Cliff and the rest of the Huxtable clan are concerned when they discover a joint in Theo's geography book. Of course, the joint isn't his, and Theo promptly accuses spacey classmate Wickers of planting it on him before discovering that school bully Braxton is the real culprit. Sadly, "Who put the joint in my geography book?" failed to become as ubiquitous a catchphrase as "Where's the beef?"
When Punky and her pal, headband enthusiast Cherie, join the girl's club "The Chicklets," they soon discover being "with it" isn't all Valley-girl speak and giant earrings. After commandeering their tree house for club meetings, head Chicklet Emily produces an assortment of drugs that would make the addicts on "Intervention" blush. Cherie and Punky successfully "say no" to Emily's sampler platter of "grass, a few uppers and a little nose candy," and inspire the rest of the Chicklets to turn on their dark overlord. Seriously, though, "nose candy"? '80s-TV kids had far more-hard drug experience than anyone on HBO.
"Saved by the Bell"
"No Hope in Dope" finds the Bayside gang hyped up for an appearance by teen sensation Johnny Dakota, who for some reason has chosen their high school as the location for his anti-drug commercial. But, as it turns out, Dakota is a hypocritical d-bag who tries to get Kelly hooked on his wacky tobaccy. He should have offered some to habitual caffeine pill-abuser Jessie Spano. ("I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm ... so ... scared!
") Of course, the "Bell" bunch sends Johnny and his stylish pompadour packing and end up filming their own PSA with the help of late NBC president Brandon Tartikoff. Apparently cramming Screech into a locker is one thing no Bayside student can say no to.