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‘Weed Wars,’ ‘D.U.I.:’ I’ll be Stoned for Christmas

There’s an interesting if unintended scheduling juxtaposition on Thursday: “Weed Wars,” a Discovery Channel series that focuses on a medical-marijuana dispensary in Oakland; and right before that on sister network TLC, “D.U.I.,” a show that’s essentially just another “Cops” retread, presenting the dangers associated with getting caught driving intoxicated.

In other words, no Reefer Madness in one, refreshingly, but a lot of Alcohol-related Sadness in the other.

Admittedly, neither show is qualifies as a breakthrough, though as I noted in my recent column and a subsequent review, “Weed Wars” does reflect an evolving, less scolding approach toward recreational drug use on much of television.

By contrast, “D.U.I.” is another simplistic law-enforcement showcase, highlighting how drinking and getting behind the wheel can ruin your life. TLC says it’s not just another “Cops” knockoff, but yeah, it kind of is.

The show is set in Oklahoma, where driving under the influence and college football appear to be the two primary pastimes. (To be fair, one of those nailed by the cops is caught driving while stoned in the half-hour episodes previewed.)

Notably, the flagship channel is trotting out another new series about contraband, “Moonshiners,” which premieres Dec. 6. Now if they could just figure out a way to combine this mini-trend with other prevailing genres — say, pot-smoking Alaska miners who happen to operate their own pawn shops — they’d really be onto something.

At any rate, home-made booze, home-grown weed and the consequences of using them appear to be very much on the TV menu during what’s usually a pretty moribund month in terms of original fare, other than the customary Christmas-themed specials. And all just in time for the holidays.

Ho ho ho. And this Christmas, that smoke coming out of the TV hearth might not be a yule log.

 

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