Mourning Veronica


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

One Response to “Mourning Veronica”

  1. 1 Jonathan Gray

    Fear not: Kristen Bell returns, as the voice of “Gossip Girl”:
    “At an exclusive prep school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, students addictively follow text-messaged scoops on scandals and heartache among their peers as reported by Gossip Girl, a shadowy presence whose identity is known to no one. Gossip Girl’s dispatches kick into high gear as Serena Van Der Woodsen ends her self-imposed boarding school exile and returns to Manhattan, surprising even her closest friend, Blair. As Gossip Girl continues to stir the pot and feed any potential scandals, student buzz sifts through any available clues to the hottest topic of all: Who is Gossip Girl, anyway?”

    Maybe Veronica rebooted years earlier, in Manhattan? sounds dire, no?

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