Say What You Will…

But I thought the finale (season or series…) of Veronica Mars was intense, heart-pounding, exciting, emotional, and, essentially, two good hours of television.

Veronica’s episodes seem best when she is working to take down an institution AND working on getting revenge—both of which were heavily in play here.

And how freaky was it to see a painting of Lilly Kane suddenly appear?

Goodbye, friend. I’ll buy you on DVD…

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.

Show Me the Monkeys

In honor of Veronica Mars‘s return from winter hiatus on January 23 with an episode called “Show Me the Monkey,” I’d like to recap some of the show’s best episode titles so far. I’m hot for good titles.

“The Wrath of Con”
In which Veronica tracks down the source of an internet con artist who preys on high school girls with money to burn.

“Ruskie Business”
In which Veronica helps a Russian mail-order bride track down her missing fiancé.

“Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang”
In which Beaver hires Veronica to prove his stepmother Kendall is having an illicit affair.

“Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner”
In which Veronica’s boyfriend runs off with a newborn baby.

“One Angry Veronica”
Two words: jury duty.

“Rashard and Wallace Go to White Castle”
In which Veronica attempts to prove that Wallace did not run over a hobo after a late night stop at White Castle.

“Ain’t No Magic Mountain High Enough”
In which Veronica saves her school’s senior trip to Six Flags by pinching the thief of the winter carnival’s profits.

“The Rapes of Graff”
In which Veronica must clear of rape charges the name of the boy who once broke her heart: Vandergraff.

“Nevermind the Buttocks”
In which Veronica tracks down the occupants of a muscle car whose occupants mooned the rich kids right before the bus tragedy.

“Look Who’s Stalking”
In which Veronica protects her friend Gia from a perceived stalker who may or may not have blown up the bus.

“My Big Fat Greek Rush Week”
In which Veronica must infiltrate a Stepford Wives-like sorority in finding out who raped her friend Parker.

“Hi, Infidelity”
In which Veronica is accused of plagiarism and, in the process of clearing her name, uncovers an uncomfortable secret about someone in her life.