Netflix’s “Disjointed” Comedy Series

By Benji Garcia-Reyes

IG: @themedimexican

This 80’s TV style multi-camera sitcom starring Kathy Bates is not meant to change the world, it’s meant to be “a not too serious” streamed sitcom about pot and stoners. The series is co-created by Chuck Lorre (“Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory”) and former Daily Show producer and writer David Javerbaum. They must know how many of us there are out there and the fact that we’re always looking for something to watch.  

“Disjointed” is composed of stuff you can watch and smoke to. It has silly gags that if missed, one is not lost in the episode, and others that if you get the reference, it will make you “LOL.” Like the “Rutherford B. Haze,” the “you too high to chat,” or the “Best of Dank & Dabby coughing highlights” bits.

“Disjointed” is better if you’re stoned and better yet if you are a Chuck Lorre fan… because it’s a Chuck Lorre show.  It is a formulaic, slow-paced show with constant tangents which won’t bother one enough to stop watching because they occasionally seem just right.  The traditional multi-camera format is combined with animated segments, re-enacted flashbacks, fake cannabis commercials, and fictional YouTube videos to hit several gags, bits, and story lines.  Netflix spent a bunch on this show to make it look like a CBS show without the CBS limitations and audience. Netflix even has their own official marijuana strains. Even with the occasional low-brow jokes and puns, “Disjointed” is worth a watch, especially for cannabis users.

“Disjointed” is a sitcom set in a pot dispensary: Ruth Whitefeather Feldman, played by Oscar winner Kathy Bates, is the head of “Ruth’s Alternative Caring” a legal California dispensary.  She’s a lawyer, activist, a patient herself, a mother, and a self-described Shaman and Rabbi.  The employees / goof-offs at her shop include an accent-changing grower, a couple of lady budtenders, a PTSD flashback suffering security guard, a few silly patients, and her newly graduated and ambitious son.  The “Strain O’the Day” reviews, daydreaming sequences, YouTube video bits, animated PTSD flashbacks, and the characters themselves help with the show’s pacing and keep the viewer entertained

“Disjointed” is not for everybody, especially those unfamiliar with Cannabis.  Its characters’ use frequent profanity might be a bit shocking for people used to major network sitcom language.  The animated sequences have no set-up or clear transitions, which makes it hard to establish that these are actually the security guard Carter’s military PTSD flashbacks. “Disjointed” is funny but meant to appeal to a very broad audience.  Like other Chuck Lorre projects, it’s not comedy genius, it’s sitcom paced television, which always includes basic, “mainstream” comedy.

Even though this show is not meant to save the world, “Disjointed” earned my intellectual attention with the shop’s security guard Carter’s storyline.  Played by Tone Bell, Carter is an Iraq war Veteran who had never smoked or considered using pot to alleviate post-traumatic stress symptoms, which are manifested on the show as elaborate psychedelic animated sequences – all worth watching on their own.  I applaud the way this delicate subject is portrayed amidst all the show’s slapstick and foul mouth “meh” moments.  One of the best episodes was when other employees share with Carter – mid-breakdown – why they started using marijuana.  It gave all the characters more life and heart than expected, and I appreciate the show attempting to build compassion in the viewer towards patients.  

Truth be told, Kathy Bates’ Ruth is 90% of the show, and most of the jokes are about people “being stoned, trying to get stoned, or what happened last time you smoked.”  “Disjointed” is meant for non-serious sitcom loving stoners, who have more than enough time to Netflix & Sesh to this 20 episode series. So if you’re “too serious” about pot, this show is definitely NOT for you.