Weed Shop has all the ingredients for a great web series– a subculture-filled world of a medical marijuana shop in Los Angeles, a catchy theme song, a fun, animated web site, and free give-aways to viewers. Yet, the show still feels very much like a work in progress which also makes it surprisingly lovable.
While the web series world is becoming a competitive breeding ground for possible TV and film deals (note, another web series about a medical marijuana shop entitled The Clinic is still in the works) it also still remains a great place to experiment. Let’s face it, CBS, or any of the big three networks aren’t likely to jump on a show set in a tenuous world of borderline legal drug dealing—that’s what cable, and the Internet are for!
Although, a weary eyed development exec probably would enjoy a chuckle when listening to Weed Shop’s Executive Producer Michael Perri tell the story of the show’s development.
“The road to Weed Shop started like many ideas,” says Perri. “Over too much beer and Jaeger Shots… All over town, we noticed that more and more medical marijuana shops were popping up. What goes on inside there we thought to ourselves at 3am at a friend’s house? The number of shops in SoCal has tripled to 600 hundred shops in the past 3 years alone. So, we said let’s create a workplace comedy pilot and maybe film some webisodes.”
Perri’s partner Rock Shaink started penning the script, and as Perri puts it, “Cheers in a Weed Shop was born.” With an itch to start shooting, the two borrowed money from friends, and family, and called in favors and even bartered to get it done. Inititally Shaink and Perri thought $15,000 would be enough, but ended up raising $30,000 to finish it and were proudly able to pay cast and crew.
The show does indeed still feel to be finding it’s feet. Lead Dan Gordon seems to bring an very naturalistic acting tone to the show while all his surrounding characters are larger than life to the point of occasionally being unbelievable. Nonetheless, stunts like adding an alive or dead hooker permanently living in the Weed Shop are just the kind of wacky stunts one would hunger for in a medical marijuana type setting.
Perri says the two are “aiming high” with the show. They had a presence at this year’s ComicCon handing out thousands of stickers, and t-shirts which paid off. After the big weekened their pilot episode streamed 120-thousand views.
The guys are now out and about promoting the show and pitching to TV networks, but at least hope to bring a second season online to current viewers. In the meantime, viewers can catch catch up on past episodes on their website weedshop.tv. A new set of eps is set to debut November 5.