I’m here to celebrate the life of Veronica Mars. Long may she live in TV re-run perpetuity. VM was, (and sadly I must say was because the CheeseWads at the CW network hosting VM have decided there is no more life on V. Mars) an intelligent show, plotted craftily, not only with great story arcs, but with enough savvy to give you episodic happiness.
There is a great mid-point in the spectrum of TV where intelligent shows with real plots and real people (as opposed to intelligent shows with polar bears on islands or esoteric X-plots) that don’t rely heavily on sex/skin/innuendo, such as Veronica M, or Friday Night Lights, reside.. These shows always attract rabid, savvy fans, but not enough rabid savvy fans to sustain the show for more than three years (if that long).
Friday Night Lights survived the cut this year and will re-appear next season..that’s the good news. The bad news is that FNL is scheduled for 9:00CST/10:00EST on freakin’ Friday nights. I realize there is some symmetry there, but the audience for this show actually has the kind of life that doesn’t include consistently watching TV on Friday nights. Thank God for DVR/TIVO, but do the network small-g gods care about the TIVO crowd?
Intelligent shows with inpenetrable plots (Lost, X-Files) seem to have a longer shelf-life, but often turn from inpenetrable to incomprehensible (anybody: describe the last 20 episodes of X-Files and the mythology). I’m here to grovel for shows that don’t need the extra-sensory, but have an ear and eye for the extra-ordinary travels and travails of the human heart.
I have nothing against Lost, but it doesn’t fit my needs for real TV (not to be confused with ‘reality TV’). I want humanity, and I don’t need constantly sex-driven plots with lots of skin thrown in, any more than I savor shows that completely ignore sex.
Raise your glasses for the ‘Freaks and Geeks’, ‘Joan of Arcadia’ and ‘Veronica Mars’. Savor what we have left – ‘The Shield’, ‘Ugly Betty’, ‘House’ and ‘Friday Night Lights’*. I may have to cut back on my vast social life in order to make it home on Fridays by 9:00 PM..
*Grey’s Anatomy gets close, but seems to be relying on the ‘soap’ numerator versus the ‘real plot’ denominator in my top-secret ratio determining whether a show is worth watching.