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September 17 2005

Salon.com awards the Buffy to Veronica Mars. This year, Salon.com names Veronica Mars "the most underappreciated show on all of television," carrying on the great Buffy tradition of wonderful shows not enough people are watching.

The article doesn't contain much new material; instead it links to two previous positive reviews of the show. The second in particular focuses on comparisons to Buffy:

'Buffy' was a very different show from 'Veronica Mars,' with a markedly more fatalistic tone and an almost operatic sense of tragedy. But it did lay some crucial groundwork for 'Veronica Mars': While both shows pretend to be geared toward a teen audience, it's really adults, well past the trauma of teenagerhood but still all too aware of how much it can sting, that gravitate toward them.


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And this was my first post. I hope I didn't screw it up.

Congratulations on your first post, I don't think you screwed it up at all. Good summary and well-chosen quote.
Thanks! Whew. I have to keep remembering that this is actually a Whedon board, not a VM board. I'm an active member of the VM fandom, but I haven't really been involved in Buffy fandom before. Although the two are colliding more and more these days.
Polter-Cow, we have a VM forum at whedonesque.org. You can check it out here.
The main difference between Buffy and Veronica Mars will be in the role of the fandom. Unfortunately the Veronica Mars fandom will suffer from the lack of UK input. Why do you say that Simon? I hear you ask. Well the Brits played a major part in the Buffyverse fandom. I don't think anyone can doubt that. But Veronica Mars is not being shown on a terresterial channel like the BBC or Channel 4. Instead it's being shown on the not so much watched cable network "Living TV" at 6pm. Which is not a good timeslot for any show. People are still trying to get home or they're having their dinner. Joan Of Arcadia got put in the same timeslot and that show barely registered on people's horizons.

However when Buffy was shown on BBC2 at 6.45pm, it got a lot of viewers which in turn led to a very active British fandom. Sure there are people downloading VM episodes in the UK but that's not going to make much of a difference.
Anyone know who Salon awarded "the Buffy" to last year?
Keith G: As stated in the article, it was awarded to "The Wire".
Polter-Cow, we have a VM forum at whedonesque.org. You can check it out here.


Heh. Thanks, but I need a new forum to keep up with like I need a new beloved show to be cancelled. It was hard enough deciding I ought to register here! I think I'm up to seven or eight online communities to keep track of.

Well the Brits played a major part in the Buffyverse fandom. I don't think anyone can doubt that.


I can! Tell me the story. Like I said, I was never really part of the Buffy fandom proper. But it does suck about the UK airings of VM.

Oh! Though you might be pleased to know that one of the members of Mars Investigations is from the UK. Represent! (We also have someone in Germany, Israel, and Canada.)
In all fairness, Simon, I think we'll have to wait and see. Granted Buffy on Sky One wasn't too far behind the US, but on BBC2 for example we were usually at least a season behind. I don't have Sky so I had to rely on that, and I know a lot of people do have it, but I think in a couple of years if Veronica Mars is screened on BBC2 or C4 it may gather a bunch of very dedicated fans, just like Buffy did.

Unfortunately the trend in the UK at the moment for US series that aren't quite as popular as Desperate Housewives or E.R. or Lost is that they are shown on one of the smaller Sky channels before being bought by C4 or C5 to be shown in a graveyard slot. The situation with Angel on terrestrial is a good example, C4 ended up showing it after midnight on Saturday nights, then C5 gave it a good timeslot but eventually ended up burying it late on a Thursday night or something.

Alias is on the Bravo channel on Sky, which isn't as big as Sky One, and on C5 on a late night slot, and I've noticed the same goes for shows such as Dead Like Me.

Ironically, Charmed has managed to retain a decent Saturday evening timeslot on C5 whereas much better shows like Angel or Alias haven't. I guess it shows that scantily clad women and flimsy storylines really do increase ratings. :(
Indeed, the reason Angel got shafted to midnight was a mixture of ratings and complaint issues. A lot of the fans actually caused the show moving to a stupid timeslot as Channel 4 marketed it very heavily for it's inital 6pm timeslot (it was TFI Friday's replacement), but it had so much cutting (nearly 2 minutes gone from the first episode - BEFORE the opening credits) fans complained on mass to OFCOM it offended them. Unfortunately C4 then moved it to midnight to stop the complaints.

Exactly the same thing happened with "Babylon 5", which originally aired at 6pm, but they had lots of editing and complaint issues - Delenns "bastard!" line being an example (Babylon 5 was never a kids show).

Depending how season two of VM does (assuming it isn't canceled), I could well see Sky One or the BBC picking it up if it does better. It got low US ratings for the first season, which will mean people will avoid it as 'the next big thing' - that happened with Lost and Desperate Housevies because they hit hard.
But with Angel, after the whole first season debacle, I remember that they put season two on at a decent timeslot at 10PM on Saturday nights, but due to (I assume) falling ratings, it kept getting pushed back further and further rather than it being allowed time to develop an audience. I'm not actually sure how great the timeslot was, I know that the 10PM slot on C4 during the week is usually very popular but at the weekend it's not so much.

I agree that simply the type of show Veronica Mars is and the network it is on doesn't mean it will be as big as Lost or anything. Neither Buffy nor Angel ever got ratings that big, but they still stuck around for quite a while and I think VM can do that as long as everyone tries to support it as much as they can.
Anyone interested in ensuring that Veronica Mars stays on the air should check out www.saveveronicamars.com. I was one of many who signed an online petition last year to bring the show back for a second season, and I think that the site was instrumental in doing just that. It also has a lot of other VM-related news--a VM soundtrack is in the works!

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