Weeds Fires Up Homegrown Video Contest

Anyone who’s watched Showtime’s hit series Weeds is likely to recognize the show’s imminently catchy theme song, “Little Boxes” (“Little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky…”). Each week, a different artist performs their rendition of the tune (past performers include Death Cab for Cutie and Randy Newman; The Shins have recorded a version as well) — now, fans get to show off their own versions. Showtime is hosting a user-generated video contest: Submissions are due by Sept. 14, with the winning song airing on Showtime and its performer(s) collecting $10,000.

And you know what? The entries are not all bad. My personal fave is the Daft Punk-inspired Little Robot Boxes.


Other media companies should take note of what Showtime is doing.

First, the contest is simple. Uploading a version of the song is a snap, and there’s a place for visitors to rate their favorites and post comments.

Second, Showtime provides an MP3 of the song to listen to (or remix, or mash up), as well as a music and lyrics sheet (in case you need a little help).

Finally, and most important — it fits organically with the show. In other words, it doesn’t feel like it came straight from the marketing department.

So far there are 38 entries — which isn’t bad for a show about a drug-dealing mom that airs on a paid cable channel.

While I won’t be entering the contest (you can thank me now), I will be singing my own version of the song when Weeds airs tonight.