David Javerbaum has won 13 Emmys as executive producer and head writer for “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” But when it came time for his first scripted project, the Netflix series, “Disjointed,” he chose to set the traditional multi-cam workplace sitcom in an unusual setting — a marijuana dispensary, casting Kathy Bates as the one-time radical activist lawyer-turned-mother hen of Ruth’s Alternative Caring.
“Doing the show in front of a live audience is the most traditional form of television there is,” Javerbaum tells Variety of the decision to include a hearty laugh track. “I wanted to juxtapose that familiarity with more daring subject matter. I thought there were fun, experimental things we could do.”
Sporting a series of weed commercial parodies, interstitial visual gags and psychedelic animation, “Disjointed” offers enough trippy surrealism for its presumably partaking audience, while also “normalizing” marijuana within its sitcom context.
And if the tone is mostly snappy repartee, “Disjointed” doesn’t hesitate to explore the darker sides of the weed conundrum – including a DEA raid that doubles as a harsh indictment of the feds’ war on drugs.
“I wanted to present a fair, funny, balanced, but also ultimately supportive view of that world,” he says. “We’re trying very hard not to simplify the subject matter.”
Still, Javerbaum refuses to admit exactly how realistic things got on-set. “I don’t think it’s in my interest to either confirm or deny that, but we all had the times of our lives making this show.”