Crimes Against Humanity: the CW

Today it became official: The CW canceled Veronica Mars.

Let me explain to you why this is stupid.

First, Veronica Mars is one of the few shows on television to realistically grapple with questions of race, gender, socieconomic class, sexuality, and other forms of privilege and oppression in American culture. It does so both intelligently and with compassion, oftentimes noting that life is full of uncomfortable gray areas and that, ultimately, everyone is sometimes good and sometimes evil.

A show featuring a young woman in the lead role who cares less about her hair and more about her SAT scores is rare on television. Veronica is a complex character whose moral compass (directed toward the betterment of life for most people around her) often calls on her to lie, cheat, and steal in order to “save the day.” Think Nancy Drew, except she’l lie to you to get to the truth.

And Veronica makes mistakes: frequently, and with huge repercussions. I can’t think of another show on television where a charcter’s flaws are rendered without apology. And Veronica is also brought face-to-face with her own hubris and lack of foresight, growing from each experience. When she tries to reconnect a lovelorn woman with her missing fiancé, she unwittingly leads a hitwoman directly to her target in the witness protection program. And she’s not above taking the law into her own hands, letting criminals dig their own grave and then watching them crawl into it, turning her back on them.

Veronica Mars is that rare show whose world is so carefully and lovingly rendered that the location itself becomes a character in the drama. Think Twin Peaks, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Northern Exposure, etc. Neptune, California—fictional—is more richly drawn than the shorthand New York-Los Angeles of most shows (and does anyone need to see another show about _______ people trying to suvive by ______ing in New York or LA anymore?).

So, CW, you’re dumb. To all other networks: pick up this show. It still has legs.

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