I recently argued that we should accept the end of a long-running series like Gilmore Girls instead of holding out for the promise of an infinite run. Well, today I need to reconsider – The CW has decided not to renew Veronica Mars for a fourth season. While the show has certainly declined from its first season – which might be the single best season of television exemplifying the balance between episodic and serial narration I know of – it’s still better written and acted than almost anything else on the air. Producer Rob Thomas has been more than willing to make changes in the show to accommodate network wishes, dispensing with season-long mysteries this past year and even pitching a series reboot by jumping forward 4 years, to Veronica in-training for the FBI. But ultimately, The CW preferred looking for the next Pussycat Doll. Sigh.
The good folks at The A.V. Club are taking the high road, saying we should be thankful for what we got and embrace the short-lived series that never fell apart. True, but VM at its worst would still be better than 95% of other TV, and I fear that Rob Thomas might be looked at as damaged goods & become unable to get another show supported. Someone give him another chance!
As an aside, every time I teach my Television & American Culture course, I always screen one contemporary show with a marginal audience that I want my students to discover & recruit some fans (and use the show to exemplify some broader argument, of course). I’ve shown Arrested Development, Alias, and Veronica Mars, all of which were canceled within the following year. I hope I’m not cursed – next in line for the Fall is Battlestar Galactica…
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