Sideways director Alexander Payne is developing a family pot comedy for A&E

By William Hughes

(AV Club)

The TV green rush continues, with Deadline reporting that Sideways and The Descendants director Alexander Payne is the latest high-profile name to take a whiff of the recent push toward marijuana legalization, and smell TV success hiding underneath all that dank, kind bud. Payne is working on an as-yet-untitled series for A&E, based on a popular Dutch TV show about a family that finds itself embroiled in the world of pot farming after the patriarch inherits his father’s secret weed-growing operation.

Titled Holland’s Hoops in the Netherlands—after the family’s heartiest strain of weed—the show centers on a beaten-down man who realizes that his wife is cheating on him, his kids don’t respect him, and his life has lost all meaning. (We could probably have saved some time in the previous sentence by writing “He’s an Alexander Payne protagonist.”) The family has to come together to keep the “vast criminal enterprise” going, which sounds reasonably heart-warming, at least until someone ends up in a drum of acid or whatever.

Payne’s show—which he’s developing alongside Sideways writer Jim Taylor, The Descendants producer Jim Burke, and Miguel Arteta—is one of several pot-themed comedies and dramedies currently in the works. Most notably, Big Bang Theory mastermind Chuck Lorre is currently working on applying the workplace sitcom formula to your friendly neighborhood dispensary for his Netflix show Disjointed, which stars Kathy Bates as the owner—and frequent client—of a store selling legal pot in California.


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