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"Camelot smells like poo."
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January 30 2007

Kristen Bell gets asked the ultimate Buffyverse guest star question. On whether she'd want Sarah Michelle Gellar guesting on Veronica Mars, Kristen says "Oh, of course we'd take that! That would be amazing. Yeah!".

I think there is little question that this will be the final season for the show. It has never generated more than around 3 million viewers during its best days, and it no longer resonates in the way that it did during S1. To me, it seems like it does not know what to do with its characters any more. It has great supporting actors with Mac and Wallace, yet they were cut out of a lot of episodes this season. Logan has become a bit of an also ran, and Weevil, who can be compelling, was reduced in circumstance to a plot device. This leaves just KB and EC to carry much of the show, but when they decide to make Keith someone who gets involved in cheating, they sort of remove the moral center of the show. I'll miss it, but it has lost it way, to me.
I still love VM. And I'd love to see SMG in something well-written. Jesus only knows when Southland Tales is coming out.
To be truthful I never really got into Veronica Mars even back in the days when the rest of you guys were raving about it. I watched it and (sort of) enjoyed it, largely due to the lovely Kristin Bell, but it never hooked me in the same way that it obviously had many around here.

I lost interest half way through season two so I don't think I'll personally miss it too much if it ends this year.
Dana nailed the way I've been feeling about VM lately. It's really lost my interest.
Such a shame... season 1 was so excellent. I still watch, but it's nowhere near as good.

That said, I'd love to see SMG guest star.
To me, it seems like it does not know what to do with its characters any more.

Wincing, but agreeing.

I love VM, even though Season 2's finale made me cross-eyed with irritation and confusion, and Season 3 has been so low-key as to be nearly invisible. Three interrelated problems have cropped up since the mostly stellar S1:

1) Rob Thomas couldn't come up with a mystery to match the death of Lily Kane. The "bus crash" mystery didn't resonate nearly as deeply, and the plot itself was terrifyingly convoluted.

2) Veronica left high school, and there's no compelling reason for some of these characters to be on the show anymore. The VM/Logan 'ship, while popular, feels played out to me. (On the flip side, Teddy Dunn's Duncan Kane was written out at exactly the right time, but in a way that almost destroyed his character AND Veronica's.)

3) Budget constraints. Rob Thomas can't have all the regulars on at the same time, and the forced lack of ensemble chemistry drains the life out of the show.

I reluctantly agree with Dana that this'll be the last season. I'd like an S4 mystery to match S1, but I don't think we'll get it.

[ edited by cjl on 2007-01-30 23:37 ]
It will be a sad loss, even if it never has quite recaptured the magic of Season 1. Season 2 gets an automatic get-out-of-jail card around here based on several inspired casting choices, of course. And Season 3, while certainly victimized by some of the problems mentioned above--lack of a central compelling mystery, budget issues, etc--is still some of the best television on these days. I personally dislike the many comparisons people have tried to develop arguments over between Buffy and VM, but I do think it's fair to say in regards to the latter that nothing on t.v. has come closer to the pure wit and love of the language that Joss brings to the table since the Buffyverse moved on from the 'ol cathode ray tube.
If I saw those two together on screen at the same time my brain would probably explode.

[ edited by TwisTz on 2007-01-30 23:45 ]
I'm going to disagree with most of the folks here. After viewing VMars over and over again on DVD I'd have to say season 2 is stronger that season 1 overall. I love the show, even if it's occasionally frustrating keeping track of all the characters and plot lines.

It's the only series right now I have to watch. I'll miss it if its gone.
If they were able to get SMG, I'd tune in. Otherwise, the few times I watched VM, it never grabbed me enough to continue watching.
I think season 1 worked so well because veronica as a character works better as an the mystery was so personal. Once she kind of became popular again, i didn't really like her as much. Its hard for everyone in college to hate you, let alone know who you are. I think the show is still good enough to keep on the air...but we'll see.
I wrote a TV column in December that echoed several of the above sentiments. There's no doubt, Veronica is sadly in decline. CJL, I think, has his finger on the biggest problem -- the tired Veronica/Logan relationship that is sucking the life out of the show. Sometimes I feel like the LoVe shippers are now in charge of the storylines instead of Rob Thomas and his writers. (Although considering how low ratings are, I can understand not wanting to alienate the people who are watching, even if they're tuning in just for Jason Dohring.) Anyway, here's a snippet from my column ...

As originally conceived, our heroine was a feisty, whip-smart, independent girl with enough moxie to last a lifetime. The clever quips are still coming, but this season, Veronica seems like a whole new person. She's angry and clingy, needlessly chewing out boyfriend Logan (Jason Dohring) one minute and then falling into his arms the next. These two are supposed to be in a very complex relationship -- after all, his father did murder Veronica's best friend (and Logan's former girlfriend). This season, however, the couple has been dumbed down to the point where it feels like they belong on another CW show -- "One Tree Hill." And while the legion of Dohring fans would be aghast at the thought, it might actually be better for "Veronica" the show and Veronica the character if Logan quietly went away. His story essentially ended when his dad was killed at the end of last season, and unless his presumed-dead mom returns, Logan's tale is told. Time to move on, Veronica. Nobody likes it when you're mopey about your dreamy but troubled boyfriend all the time.

If anyone cares to read more, you'll find my column here.

I did enjoy last week's episode. Maybe this second arc will be a return to form.
You guys are breaking my tiny heart. I've recently watched Season 1, and it rocked my world. The sharp decline of Season 2 has been a shock to the system. I was hoping for much better things in Season 3. But these comments don't make me hopeful AT ALL.

I honestly can't remember another show that went from 'truly exceptional' to 'just okay' so fast. The plotting simply falls apart. Most shows are just starting to flex their muscles in their second season, so for the love of God, 'Wha' happen?'

(I did love Joss' S2 cameo, though - especially his contribution to the outtakes. 'We're like minstrels in the days of old!')

ETA the right quote - thanks Quoter Gal.

[ edited by Mythtaken on 2007-01-31 14:56 ]
I think VM's third season is going great(ly?), much better than the second season. The Logan Veronica stuff is getting crazy tired (especially the promos... the show isn't just about Logan and Veronica's relationship, CW!), but plotwise and dialogue-wise I think it's as clever as it's ever been. If not moreso in the plot department.

But I liked the second season plenty too, so maybe I just have... different tastes or whatever...

And to stay on topic: if they could fit her in in a way that wasn't "hey look it's SMG" then this would be pretty cool.

[ edited by Jobo on 2007-01-31 01:51 ]
Hell yeah it would be great to see Sarah Michelle Gellar guest on VM. It would be wickedly awesome to see her on my television screen again. Just like with Joss, a little Sarah makes EVERYTHING a whole lot better. :)
While I agree about the declining quality and infuriating Logan-Veronica "stuff", I will be very sad to see the show go if it indeed gets cancelled. There's always the hope that things could turn around; and even at its worst I still (mostly) enjoy it, and there's unfortunately little else currently on tv that does it for me. :(
Wow, I came to this thread expecting a lot of "that would be so cool"s and instead encounter some sadly pointed criticism of the show. I loved the first season, but the second season severely drained my love for the show (the finale nearly made me throw things in frustration) and this season has been very neutral for me. I no longer think it's the best show on TV, or even close, but it's not un-pleasant and I still adore several of the characters.

It's not the tiresome LoVe relationship that's dragging the show down, it's the fact that they haven't been able to devise an arc as compelling as the Lilly Kane mystery and that Veronica isn't emotionally engaged in the storylines as she was in S1. Can't blame her -- the writers have made her more of a procedural detective ala L&O than an avenging angel of justice, and the show lives or dies by her passion.

No passion in Veronica = a very blah TV show.
I'm loving the third season - much more than the other two. To me the pacing has been better than ever and the relationships realistic. I guess we just expect different things from the show.
One other thing. They have written Veronica this year as a different person- in some ways way too quick to jump to (wrong) conclusions that end up hurting people. As a result, I find myself not caring about what she is doing, since what she is doing ends up hurting all the wrong people. And Keith, Keith- what have they done to him? This is like the Buffy S6 of Veronica Mars, altering all the people you have come to love in negative ways. ***He said, knowing what that comment will unleash, but hopefully not...***
While this season has not lived up to the past ones, there are still some remarkable moments. The final episode of the first story arc (where the rapist was found out) was some of the best TV I've watched this season (and I watch far too much TV).

I agree that there's too much Veronica-Logan stuff (and I LIKE them together) and that her character is getting a little too abrasive and unlikable. I hope that both of those phenomena are actually set up for character change and realization. I hope.
I'm really enjoying season 3. I don't think it's inferior in quality, just different in tone.

Of course, I'm one who also loved season 4 of BtVS.
Hey, I loved season four of Buffy too. And season six. Not so much season seven. So, yeah, I guess Veronica season three is bringing back some disappointing memories of Buffy season seven for me.
Dana, I'm only going to say that whether or not you liked where the characters went in S6 of Buffy, there's no denying that the writers built up to those changes. With Keith it came completely out of nowhere and truly was disgusting to see coming from a character I respected so much. If they'd attempted to show me a reason why Keith would stoop to doing what he did, I might be able to buy it. But flying out of nowhere? Not cool. All imo, of course. :)
Well, if you saw tonight's episode, the spoiler for next week will surely trouble you- but it plays into what I have been saying about Veronica doing dumb things...

And tonights ep...meh.
I couldn't forgive Keith for cheating, that was one thing that I completely hated in S3. The fact that there were no permanent repercussions on his relationship with Veronica only made me feel more disappointed. I agree that both S2 and S3 can't compare to S1 in terms of intensity or plotting or writing. S1 was really quite something. I like the relationship between Logan/Veronica, the whole on/off dating thing is very much like some people that I know. On the other hand, it's difficult to get Veronica to care about something as strongly as she did the Lily Kane murder. There's the fact that as a character, she doesn't care all that much for the world or trust anyone, and there's also the fact that she's now in college - a small fish in a big pond. I liked last week's episode of VM, I thought it a lot more interesting than most of the other S3 episodes, and can't wait to see where it goes from here.

I haven't seen tonight's episode yet, so no spoilers please. Damn you, Australian TV!
Loved Season One. Liked Season two. Enjoyed a few moments here and there of Season 3... but overall kinda despise the transition to college. I took Buffy's transition to college in stride. Sure it was different from the first three years, but with Buffy the show grew more and more dynamic with time in Seasons 4-6.

If I'm not mistaken, I read recently the CW wants the format to be switched to all stand-alone episodes. I wish I could remember where I read that. Linked to from the .org VM thread? Perhaps. Wish I didn't have to work now and could dig that up. Anyway, on VM switching to stand-alone eps? I'm done. I fell in love with the STORY and how it played out over time in Season One. As for the "new" stand alone format, that's just some speculation really... consider it rumor until there's an offical announcement somewhere.

I would totally tune in to watch SMG guest star on VM.

After the second rape story arc (the first was well done and the second completely lame), I stopped caring to be home. I actually am fine with Keith and the cheating. But two rape arcs in less than three years turned VM into a public service announcement. Completely and utterly IMHO.

I plan to get the Season 3 DVDs to tie up a few loose ends I won't be catching over the next few months. Done.
Really I don't think I'd want any other characters. Just SMG and KB snarking for an hour.

I think the ultimate 'Buffyverse' question to ask Kristen Bell is not whether or not she would want to see SMG on the show.

Why not ask her how she would feel about actually playing Buffy? SMG is not digging her Buffy roots anymore, so it's not like it would hurt anyone's feelings. Sure wouldn't hurt mine.
No spoilers, non sequitur, but in the words of our billz, I thought tonight's episode rocked.
There is so much truth in many of your have no idea. I wish I could expound.
Yes it is Sheriff Lamb in case anyone is wondering. Hi :).
Are we all talking about the same show here? I think that VM is still the best show on TV. I agree that the tone is different and that the creative staff are trying different ideas. That's how you keep characters and shows fresh. Something doesn't work on VM, hang on, like Texas weather it will change. I don't want a repeat of the same thing over and over again. When I do, there are plenty of shows on TV that keep going back to the same place ep after ep, season... You know what I mean. Veronica is challenged in some unique ways this season and yes, she is causing some of her own problems. That can be frustrating when you love someone but you know? That's the point, there Sparky. Lighten up.

'Course I understand those who don't like VM, they have their own show, Smallsville, to keep up with. And that's okay. I'm sure most of them are too busy text messaging Oliver Queer to watch VM. Any show that makes Lois Lane into a floozy by having her make out with the entire JLA is, well, one of the shows I mentioned above.

And SMG? Ah, the 2 tiny blonde ones together on the screen. I may pass out.

Someone a long time ago mentioned that KB would make an excellent Fray for the mini-series of the same name, if it should it be made. May Joss's will be done on the small screen as it is in the comics. Amen.

Oh, and Jason Dohring for Wonder Woman. Booyeah!
Blimey, negative much ? Where's pat32082 when you need him/her ? ;)

I agree with most of the points made though probably just not as vehemently. Veronica and Keith's character transitions have been a bit too sudden but I mean from 'smart private detectives' to 'when the plot requires it, very dumb private detectives'.

Sounds to me as if folk no longer 'like' the people the characters have become and so are losing interest which is fine, that's up to the individual (and also strikes me as part of people's problem with Buffy S6 and 7) but Keith has an affair ? Welcome to the world, where good men do bad things all the time because, wait for it, they're human beings who sometimes make mistakes (granted it seems as if V forgave him a bit too quickly and that lack of arc-ish character consistency and development is one of my biggest issues with S3).

Also, Veronica jumps to the wrong conclusions because she can't trust people ? Much as I have issues with the way it's sometimes been done it seems like this is just demonstrating the not-so-cool aspect of being extremely cynical about the world and the people in it. In S1 her attitude fit (and she was more or less always represented as correct in maintaining it) because the 'whole world' really was against her, now though she's like a war-dog, conditioned to respond in only one way and, unfortunately, completely unfit for 'civilian' life and it might be interesting to watch her find out why this 'Veronica Mars, PI' persona she's built for herself just isn't going to work in the long run without modification (since having her put down seems kinda harsh ;).

So to me, S1 > S2 > S3 but personally i'm still interested in seeing how Veronica deals with her own strange little world (Rob Thomas can still pull it back and actually has the chance to do something interesting about today's 'all been done' jaded, cynical attitude towards the world). The skis are lined up and the engine's revving but Veronica hasn't jumped the shark quite yet. Everyone's mileage will vary though ;).

(and welcome Michael Muhney ;)
April - "If I'm not mistaken, I read recently the CW wants the format to be switched to all stand-alone episodes. I wish I could remember where I read that. Linked to from the .org VM thread? Perhaps. Wish I didn't have to work now and could dig that up. Anyway, on VM switching to stand-alone eps? I'm done. I fell in love with the STORY and how it played out over time in Season One. As for the "new" stand alone format, that's just some speculation really... consider it rumor until there's an offical announcement somewhere."

Don't know if this is what you were talking about, April, but it's a comment from Rob Thomas that confirms what you were saying.

From Ask Ausiello

"Our fear is that the big mysteries are keeping casual TV viewers away, and it's very difficult to engage Veronica in a multi-episode mystery without making it extremely personal. Season 1 was built around the mystery. Veronica's best friend was dead. Every series regular was intertwined with the mystery. Without replacing the cast with each mystery and/or killing Wallace, I'm not sure we can devise enough personal connection to a case to keep the momentum we had in Season 1."

If that really would be the plan for the fourth season then I'm afraid that would be the final nail in the coffin for any interest I had in the show. I suspect the same is true for many others, especially around here. The continuing story arc was the main reason that I enjoyed the first season to the extent that I did. Stand-alone episodes would kill VM, in my opinion.
Yeah, I'm with the Saje & others - I do still watch this show, I like aspects of it very much, but this is what says it for me, too: "S1 > S2 > S3."


And I liked this show so much...

My personal feeling is - based on no real evidence other than I firmly understand that this is how TV often works - the terribly-in-flux network execs tried to "fix" VM to get better ratings and ended up breaking what wasn't broken but was not popular enough to make good advertising dough. This happens too much in this town when those execs don't really get why something is good. They break it trying to take it apart to fix it to make it "run better."

Mythtaken, I too loved Jossir's cameo, and 'specially his outtake, which maketh me laugh and more just thinking about it. I've pasted in the transcript below {SPOILER}, which I typed up 'cause I hadda have it to feed my OCD.

And howdy and welcome, Sheriff MM, sure wish you could expound, too. I'd give some folding cashy money to hear your stories...

"Renting cars is a basic human need, like eating or sleeping or trying on shoes. Were like the minstrels of old. I think about these things, okay? Were like the minstrels of old, going from town to town, maybe singing, maybe entertaining people. People need that, the way they need to rent cars. See, Im thinking about these things in my off hours. What are you thinking about? Youre not even here when youre here, okay? Im here, Im doubly here, theres two of me. Im in the front, Im in the back. Im working here, Im helping them. Why? Because theres none of you. Maybe you should just think, What can I do better? What could be better about me, about Stacey? Stacey who works at Lariat, who works for Lariat, okay, who is a Lariat girl."
Assuming I can get this link to work, there's some promo pics of Joss on VM that I don't think have been posted here before.

Michael Muhney - "There is so much truth in many of your have no idea. I wish I could expound.

In my haste to help April out with the link to Rob Thomas' comment I somehow missed your post, Michael. Really rude of me not to say hi and welcome. That will teach me not to finish reading down the thread. :)

It is a shame that you can't say more but I'm sure we all understand why.
Thanks, Quoter Gal. Blimey, you are a machine with those quotes aren't you!

And steady on, did someone just call me a Smallville fan?! Just because I said I'm disappointed in the wobbliness of VM - a show whose first season I loved so wholeheartedly that it occupied almost all my waking thoughts, I even had to ring a friend at midnight while screaming at the top of my lungs like my mother at a Beatles concert the first time Logan and Veronica kissed - surely doesn't merit me such a grievous insult! ;D Ah, just kidding. Poor old Smallville.

And yay for MICHAEL MUHNEY. You give that nasty Sheriff a lot of nuance, despite a lack of same in the written material. Wish we really knew the story with the Sherriff's father, or at least got a few more hints. (How do you spell Sherrif, she wonders. It always ends up looking like Omar Sharif)

Enough whining from me. Of course, I'll still be watching - even at it's wobbliest, it's better than watching quasi-celebrities fight each other in the jungle or yet another police procedural.

Here here (or is it, hear hear?) to whoever suggested Kristen Bell for Fray. She'd rock summa that futuristc axe-wielding shit.
Since the good sheriff Michael Muhney himself is around, let's go ahead talk about some of the supporting characters. Yeah, I too feel the ones who have been around since the beginning have all been drastically underused this year. Budget issues? Maybe. I also know that Tina Majorino needed time off to go film Big Love.

But even in the episodes where Wallace, Keith, Lamb and Mac appear, they're not given anything particular interesting to do anymore. When's the last time anyone saw Mac helping Veronica with her tech savvy in some new and creative way instead of just tagging along to some party? And Wallace has really only stood out in one episode so far this year -- the prison experiment episode (which is also one of the few times Logan's been put to good use).

Also, they're not replacing the great supporting characters of past seasons with folks that are equally compelling. Again, quoting my own column: Remember Clarence Wiedman, head of security for Kane Software? Remember how creepy and cool that guy was and how his arrival at the end of a first-season episode would make the hair stand up on the back of your neck? Well, in his place, we now have drunken frat guys. Ho-hum.

Lastly, regarding the stand-alone episodes, when the CW shortened season three from 24 episodes to 22, Rob and company decided to ditch the planned third story arc and do four self-contained episodes at the end of the year. Sounds like a test run in case the CW orders a season four. What's depressing is arc three was to heavily involve Mac and Wallace. Sigh ...

[ edited by bobtaylor on 2007-01-31 15:59 ]
I think I feel similar to where RazorBlade's coming from. I've heard varying amounts of commentary/criticism for S3 so far, about the change in the tone of the show, the characterizations of both Veronica and Keith, and the presence (or lack) of the different supporting characters and their purposes. I think each season has had starkly different tones, and it's almost impossible for me to compare them as one greater than another - and S3 is only halfway through, so there's no way I can comment on how it may end up.

I understand those who may get tired of the LoVe ship stuff, but IMO, by this point, the two characters will be forever linked through so much shared experience. Logan's relative importance in Veronica's life will probably always have its highs and lows, but will never go away. I think their connection is played well as a pretty real portrayal of two young adults with mountains of trust and honesty issues on their own, trying to overcome a bit of that to be truly intimate (as per last night's ep). Each of them will continue to make mistakes that inadvertantly hurt each other, but the mutual attraction and deep-seated feelings will remain, so they will always be drawn back together in some way. Not to mention, the on screen chemistry between Jason and Kristen is undeniable.

As for the rest of the seasonal arc stuff, I really enjoyed the nine-episode campus rape mystery. The closer to that, "Spit & Eggs", was one of the best episodes of television anywhere this season. I'm looking forward to where the Cyrus O'Dell arc goes, too. Like many others, the "stand alone" type episodes have me more than anxious and worried, but I have enough confidence in Rob Thomas - at times as smart, witty and snarky a writer as Joss, IMO - to at least support the show and give it a chance. He will keep the characters' own personal arcs relevant and continuity-driven, even without long-reaching big plots.

Even at the show's worst, Veronica Mars is better than most other stuff on TV. The cast has chemistry in spades, with the chops to handle the fast-pace of the dialogue, and I for one hope that there is still a chance for a fourth season. The ratings - while never stellar, have averaged higher numbers than in either S1 or S2 (so far), and two of the three highest rated eps of the series have been this season, I believe. And if I'm not mistake, of all shows on The CW, VM is one of only two or three who's ratings have actually increased from the last season to this one.

The way I see it, regardless of any current/former watcher's frustrations with this season, for the sake of quality television in general, VM needs to be allowed to stick around for as long as Rob Thomas has stories to tell. For every scripted show that goes down, the wretched American Idol or Dancing with the Stars get a bump, and more mindless crap like Wife-Swap or game shows like Deal or No Deal pop up. And that just pains me more than I can say.

Lastly, a big "welcome!" to Michael Muhney. Awesome to see him around here, after all of his Joss-praise. I know Lamb as a character has gotten a lot of the supporting-character shaft from the budget and story constraints this season - like Mac and Wallace - but he still makes all of his screen minutes memorable.
Even at the show's worst, Veronica Mars is better than most other stuff on TV. The cast has chemistry in spades, with the chops to handle the fast-pace of the dialogue, and I for one hope that there is still a chance for a fourth season.

The way I see it, regardless of any current/former watcher's frustrations with this season, for the sake of quality television in general, VM needs to be allowed to stick around for as long as Rob Thomas has stories to tell.

I agree on all above points. Even though season three has disappointed, I'd still rather watch Veronica than any of that reality nonsense or even ... uh ... Smallville.

Yes, yes! KB as Fray would be fantastic, and would love to see SMG on VM.

I have to agree that although the third season of VM may not be as strong as the first two, it's still one of the most compelling shows on tv. It's the only show where I don't see the ending coming from a mile away, and I absolutely love that.
*blows kisses to clarkkent179*

I love this show. This show is probably the only "appointment television" show that I have left. This is the only show that in some way challenges me. Is the tone of this season different? Indeed. But I think "Veronica Mars" has struggled to find its niche in TV Land. Why is this show only pulling in 3 million viewers on a good day? I really don't understand. Because of that, I think they're fighting to do something... anything... to get the ratings up. I mean, let's face it, folks... it really is all about the ratings. Ratings = Money. Money makes the world go round.
*receives Arista's kisses appreciatively* Hey, I know you!

Word to the ratings thing. Sadly, the Nielsen system is more often than not the bane of quality television. The masses won't stay tuned in to detailed stories that take a while to unfold. Hence the drop-off for Lost this season, too.

Rob Thomas is trying to force a compromise into the format of the show that can keep the audience (or increase it just a smidge) while still maintaining the best parts of what makes the show unique. I don't envy his creative task, but do appreciate the work being put in to keep the show around. If VM gets axed this year, I'll be more than upset for a quite a while.
A very nice person asked me to pass on the following in regards to the actor who plays Weevil.

There was a health problem with the actor playing Weevil, Francis Capra, which resulted in a bad reaction to treatment that caused producers to keep him out of many episodes this season.

Wow. I didn't hear that Francis Capra was having health issues. I certainly hope he's recovered and feeling better.
Yikes. I also hope Francis Capra is doing well.

My watching of VM, like everything else, has been spotty. It is just so hard to make sure I am seated in fromt of a TV at a certain hour on the correct week to get the next episode. That said, I still like it and would enjoy filling in the blanks.

Of course SMG would be wonderful to have on VM. I expected everybody on this thread to be saying "well duh." ...Not to Kristen Bell's answer, just to the question...and not to the interviewer for asking the question, because sometimes questions are asked for other reasons than wanting an unexpected answer. (Did I get myself out of that one?)

SMG and Kristen Bell would be interesting together...half-sisters keeps coming to mind for some reason. (And while I am at it, I want to cast the guy on 6 Feet Under, who is not playing Dexter, as Nathan Fillion's brother...on something.)

Michael Muhney I'm glad you got your membership set-up for Whedonesque and are using it. Welcome aboard. I also hope we see more of you in VM as the season progresses.
Thanks, simon and "very nice person" - my good wishes go to Francis Capra for his health issues.

I thought there was something - it never looked to me like he had a weight issue per se. I thought he looked swollen, like he was heavily allergic or something like that. I'm just used to the look of that, having grown up around some people deeply allergic to many things, and consequently puffy.

Or I'm completely wrong and a crappy armchair physician, with absolutely no experience or license to "long-distance" diagnose. Well, I am that, in fact, but I still may be accidentally right...

(And thanks a bunch, Mythtaken, you have exposed my deeply-held secret. I am a machine - an early and fairly unsuccessful attempt at A.I. The only part they got even sorta right was the quoting function...)

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2007-02-01 00:13 ]
I almost find myself looking forward to what Rob Thomas and the people involved with the show will say after the CW has decided they've had enough and Veronica is no more. And Michael Muhney's cryptic comment has only increased my desire to hear about what went on behind the scenes once people are able to speak a little more openly.

Seriously, can you think of another network series that's gone through what Veronica has? Let's see, we've got: Constant rumors of cancellation, two last-minute renewals, forced Paris Hilton hirings, forced America's Next Top Model hirings, budget crises, cast members getting sick, cast members getting shafted, a switch to a whole new network, love letters from Joss Whedon and Stephen King, plotting that even the show's creator admits is sometimes too confusing, a reduced season order, tinkerings to the very structure of the show. What else am I missing?

Don't get me wrong. The brilliance of season one makes the whole thing worthwhile (at least from one fan's perspective). But jeez!

Seriously, can you think of another network series that's gone through what Veronica has?

Angel had its moments.
Angel had its moments.

Too true, Simon. A little more spread out, though.
And I hope that like Angel, that was supposed to go to stand alone episodes to please the network, VM still manages to carry on with arcs. I'm sorry to hear about Francis Capra and wish him all sorts of well and am pleased to know that he would have been in more eps otherwise.
But even before the esteemed MM joined our exaulted ranks, I've been saying we needed more Sheriff Lamb. I want to know his back story and I want to see him and Veronica interact.
Much of what I've been thinking about VM lately is echoed here. Something I've said before is that I don't think it is/was possible to maintain the outsider/noir atmosphere that the show started with. Noir depends on constant betrayal and it's one thing for that to be the mileu of an older, burnt-out person, but for that to be the constant environment of someone young, smart, beautiful, passionate, would go from being dark to be just plain dreary - and I think that's some of what's been happening this season. I think VM in order to survive has to reinvent itself as something a little lighter, and it has been having trouble negotiating that passage.

I also think people are right that Duncan and Logan's own stories have ended, and something that might bring back some of the show's intensity is bringing in new regular characters that have some of the same depth and backstory that those guys had. I mean Piz - c'mon, a cute guy with a crush on Veronica that's going nowhere. Who cares? And Mack's room-mate is a total nonentity - she got raped and even that didn't make her even remotely a compelling character.

That said, I don't think Logan needs to go, because when he and Veronica are together they bring in some of the most entertaining moments of the show. Just in last night's episode, which I thought was the best one of the season, the whole "As long as we're paying..." routine was great vintage Logan. And the way he played her about the "have you ever" question. Back in the beginning of the season, the Clint Eastwood bit. Logan's "That's Admiral Moneybags to you" line, with the bellboy. I think if Veronica and Logan were allowed to just be together without the breakup of the week routine, they have a great potential for a kind of Nick and Nora Charles style relationship that can bring in a lot of wit and still have room for the occasionall deep angsty chewy moments.
I'm coming to this discussion really late, but I love Veronica Mars with all my heart. Like many who have already commented, I think it's one of the best shows on television. And that's why this season has been breaking my heart. I still manage to find little tidbits of things I love (this past week's episode had so many zingers, I had to love it) and week-to-week, the dialogue remains snappy and witty, Kristen Bell is the most adorable thing on my set, the complete cast just works SO well as an ensemble. But it's been that darn overarching mystery that's not working this season, and that's the network dictating what the show will be creatively, which always spells complete and utter disaster. The downside to last week's episode was the Dean O'Dell mystery. V had no interest in it, so Keith is doing it. When's the last time THAT happened on the show? I miss the sheriff (and not just because he's posting here) just like I miss Wallace as a regular. I miss Weevil as the season 1 badass-slash-lovable thug. I was glad that Mac was back in a bigger way last week, but I hope that wasn't fleeting. The true shining moment this season has been the addition of Piz, who rocks my world. Here's hoping it's allowed a S4, and can redeem itself. From what I've heard, while ratings are still flagging, overall ratings on the CW are terrible, and VM's numbers are actually looking high right now. That might save it.
Wow. When I causally commented on what I perceived to be the problems with VM, I thought the topic would be batted around by five (or so) posters, and drop away fast. This is post #55--which shows you there's a lot of love out there for VM and a lot of people who know this show can be truly great, and desperately want this show to be great.

Welcome to whedonesque, Michael Muhney. I just want to say right off that Sheriff Lamb is one of my favorite supporting characters EVER, and your buddy act with Rico Colantoni in "Silence of the Lamb" (ep 1.11) made me think: "If these guys weren't already on a kickass TV series...this would be a kickass TV series."

But, much as I was glad to see him post here, MM's post almost broke my heart. He obviously loves this series as much (if not more) than we do, and apparently, there's behind-the-scenes turmoil that would crush the spirit of an avid VM fan. It's not what I would call "encouraging."

Sigh. I'm going to enjoy VM for as long as it's on. I loved "Spit and Eggs" and "Show Me the Monkey" and I've got "Poughkeepsie, Tramps and Thieves" lined up on tape. Bring it on....
I'm coming to the discussion even later than Nikki Stafford (but glad to see the Black is back up!), but I have to agree with so many of the thoughtful criticisms offered here. I want to throw in my thoughts, too, but, first, a shout-out to dreamlogic for the shout-out to me! I'm famous, yo! But not as famous as the person for my next shout-out: welcome, Michael Muhney. You make the guy who should be the villain of the piece interesting, and, esp. in the eps about the little girl locked in the closet, you make him really sympathetic and I agree with the other posters here who want to see more of Lamb's personal story! Also, you rock hard, sir, for going to B3 to help make it an unexpectedly great experience for my fellow Browncoats! I salute you! Keep comin' back to our little Whedonesque village; we definitely want to read what you have to say. ;-)

And now back to my what-the-hell-with-VM-S3? random thoughts rant. ;-)

I completely agree that 2 rape stories in 3 seasons is not great storytelling. In last week's ep, when Mac and VM and their new roommate (who is SO non-interesting that I can't even remember her character's name!) were preparing for the party, I remember thinking how sad it was that here were 3 characters who were all raped. Ewww. Why not spend more time focusing on Mac's and VM's recoveries (since in the S2 finale VM discovered that she had been abused just as Mac had, even though she had previously thought that it was all "OK")? Throwing in more victimizing just lessened the impact of their experiences, which we really should care very deeply about. Also, it kept seeming strange to me that VM was continually reluctant to get involved in finding the rapist; I would have thought her personal experiences would make her an unstoppable revenge-seeking machine, relentless in wanting to stop the rapes. That would have been an interesting storyline -- Keith, Logan, Wallace and others telling her that she was going overboard, losing sleep, blowing off her classes, taking risks or being overly angry, intimidating (using taser, Backup, etc.) or even being a vigilante to try to get rid of the guy. I could have seen her becoming obsessed, like Johnny in the late seasons of Dead Zone becoming obsessed over stopping the politician who's going to cause the nuclear apocalypse. But seeing her getting blackmailed into looking for the rapist by a number of different people, including the frat boys? Didn't fit the VM I knew in S1 and S2.

I do like VM and Logan together, but not like it's been this season. What made that couple work was the mutual bond of smart, cynical, snarkiness, which is a cover for a lot of emotional need inside (and also hot sex, let's face it). A breakup a week does not make interesting TV, IMO; even a cynical person can have a relationship where they trust their partner most of the time. Snarky banter, yes (remember when we heard things like VM to DK: "You're just here for your looks. Leave the heavy thinking to me, Sugar-Pants."?); constant suspicion and being proven wrong, no -- because, for another thing, VM is supposed to be a good detective; with all her suspicions of Logan being wrong, she's starting to look stupid, which would be death for who she is as a character. And, tell the truth, I'm trying to pull my grades up this semester, so -- I taped last night's ep and haven't watched it yet! I'll get right on it, yo! :-(

And since they took all the time to send the characters we knew to college with VM, why not use them? I agree, where have Wallace and Mac and Lamb gone, for the most part? About the only time I saw Wallace was in the prison experiment ep (which I agree was one of the best of this season) and the study-harder-don't-cheat ep. And where are the sleazy lawyer friend Keith uses, and Vinny the other detective in town? Not enough of them, too much of the new (not interesting) people. The criminology professor might be interesting, and I really liked O'Dell, but he's gone now. Piz could be a Riley, but he'd better start representin' (and, again, I haven't seen last night's ep yet, maybe he did represent!). I really liked where they were going with Weevil and O'Dell, and I am so sorry to hear from "a very nice person" that Mr. Capra was ill; I really hope he is doing better now!

Keith's affair. Ewww. That was a difficult thing to take. It's true that people's flaws are interesting and dramatic, but it's also true that Keith was the moral compass of the show. Also, it really felt like a "stunt" to me because his partner in the affair was Maya from Just Shoot Me! I kind of thought that first night, when Keith was struggling and struggling with the decision and finally just was sort of overwhelmed by need, made sense -- drama, human failings, desire, need for love, guilt, etc. -- but I would have had him break it off immediately after and continue to deal with the guilt feelings about it. (This paragraph brought to you by the word "guilt".) And lots and lots of tension and fight between Keith and Veronica about it, which would be amazing drama, since the close ties between those 2 are the center of the series, IMO.

OK, shutting off computer now and starting the VCR to watch last night's ep homework healthful, refreshing sleep. ;-)
I, too, am sad to hear about F Capra's illness. One of the things that pissed me off this season is the lack of Weevilness in the stories this year. He's legandary film maker Frank Capra's great-grandson for goodness sake!

I'm more saddened and surprised that my fellow Whedonesquers haven't spent their time wisely coming up with VM meets SMG story lines. Shame on us all! The bitchin' about season 3 is a sure sign we need to lighten up. To heck with the Valentine Story thing, let's ramp up some VM vs SMG Penthouse Forum fodder. So, as Jackie Gleason said, Away we go:

The set up, one of Veroncia's close personal friends (Sheriff Lamb? Ha, ha, MM only kidding) dies in a tradgic mud wrestling accident hosted by creepy Republician guys. Or was it an accident? Ronnie wants to go undercover. Mac tearfully tries to talk her out of it. Wallace will support anything she wants to do. Then it's 80's movie training montage time with Weevil as coach and Aaron as sparing partner. Keith looks somberly on, gravely concerned. Sheriff Lamb is in his bunk. Finally the big night. Ronnie enters the mud wrestling ring in a biniki that leaves nothing to the imagination. Mostly because mine is so weak by this point (the whole blood draining to another part of my body thing). Ronnie triumphs over the first 2 foes! Here I'm thinking doe eyed Wonder Woman what-a-be's. Then, S-M-G! wearing naught but pasties and a thong!

Never mind about the rest of the ep. I'll be in my bunk.
I really loved VM during season 1 (a masterpiece) and season 2 (truly thrilling), but this season 3 is being very soft due to the lack of regulars (where are Mac and Wallace? They HAVE chemistry with Veronica, we want some kind of scoobie gang!).

And well, I really hate the standalones (they're funny and good writted, but they're not the same as a bigger and longer story arc).
And I really hate Rob's decision to make all of the remain episodes as standalones. To me, it looks like he run out of ideas (he should see "Brick", an excellent vero-esque movie).

[ edited by Angel TheVampire on 2007-02-01 20:54 ]

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