TV Review: 'Red Widow'

Red Widow
Rahda Mitchell plays a Russian-American housewife who takes over the family drug business on "Red Widow"

Meet Marta Walraven, TV's new Nancy Botwin. Radha Mitchell stars as the Russian-American housewife who takes over her husband's Northern California smuggling business on ABC's druggy drama, Red Widow.

In the two-hour pilot, Evan is murdered when his partners decide to move from marijuana to cocaine importing and rip off 75 kilos. As payment for the missing stash, Marta must bring in a new "consignment" of drugs for kingpin Nicholae Schiller (Goran Visnjic). Marta gets involved to protect her three children and spring her brother Irwin (Wil Travlal) out of jail.

Like Nancy in Weeds, it appears that Marta will do just about anything to achieve her goal, such as seducing and bribing a dock supervisor so he'll handle the drug-filled ship container.

In Episode 2, the cocaine arrives disguised as chocolate bars. Schiller's so impressed he hires Marta to bring in some more.

Network TV dramas are usually pretty schlocky, with extreme close-ups, melodramatic music and cliched dialog. "Red Widow" has all of these traits, but the subject matter makes it required viewing. Fans of Breaking Bad and Weeds might have a new favorite show to watch.

Watch Red Widow on ABC, Sundays at 9 pm EST.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.