Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Is Veronica Going Crazy?
Dear Rob Thomas,
First of all, I want to thank you for bringing Veronica Mars into my life. She’s become my new Buffy, in a world where Buffy no longer exists except in reruns (and, presumably, on Halloween). Logan is my new Spike; Mac my new Willow; Keith Mars has become the Giles/father figure that we all watch and sigh at with deep filial love.

In season 4 of Buffy, she went to college. I worried about what might happen, but I liked the first episode. It was funny, had some great zingers, and a great huge book conked Riley in the head. (Unfortunately, it didn’t put him into a lifelong coma.) Then the second episode had the roommate, and it was funny as hell. And then… well, we all know what happened next. Military, X-Filesish crap. Hostile 17. Adam. Craziness.

But at its heart, Joss Whedon stayed true to the premise. This was a show about a woman, and it never, ever felt like a show that had been written by a man. Joss knew how to write women.

But Rob… that’s not happening in season 3 of Veronica. She went to college, and I loved the first episode. The second one was pretty good, too. But the show is becoming as strange and offputting as this picture of Kristen Bell that I'm using to illustrate my letter to you. I’m starting to get uncomfortable with this whole underlying mystery involving the “feminists.” First, you’re turning them into the loud-mouthed, abrasive, hairy-legged stereotype that jocks all make them out to be. One has a bolt through her nose and is about as cuddly as sandpaper, and the other one is just rude and obnoxious and doesn’t have a sentimental bone in her body. Secondly, the word “feminist” is pretty outmoded – most women would probably consider themselves feminists. You’re turning them into FemiNazis. My buddy Crissy and I watch this show religiously and last week she said to me, “You don’t think it’s going to turn out that the feminists are the ones orchestrating the rapes to shed more light on their cause, do you?” And we both thought about it for a minute, and then shuddered. We thought, no. The man who created Veronica Mars could NOT do that to us.

And then, in last night’s episode, the feminists were sparring with the loony National Lampoon type geeks, and the geeks made a joke about raping the “blonde in the middle” and ohmigod, don’t you know it, the blonde in the middle gets raped by the end of the episode. And suddenly our worst fears seem to be coming true.

And then there’s that whole plotline with Logan. He lies to Veronica, he looks shady when she follows him to a casino, he’s doing things behind her back, he’s flirty with his “weightlifting” buddies… and in the end Veronica says SHE is the one who is being bad and should stop being suspicious of her boyfriend? Not only did this particular episode make it look like women should accept it if their boyfriends are flirty with other girls and evasive with them, and that feminists are all bullheaded loonybins, but THEN Logan delivers the line, “This would be the first time a woman has been misled by Dick.” Nice little double entendre there.

Seriously, Rob, for the first time ever, this show feels like it’s being written by a man. A man who only knows women insofar as he’s read about them in comic books.

Weevil is back, but he’s super-puffy (think Xander in season 6), and his storyline is just… unbelievable. A college would not allow a criminal of Weevil’s caliber anywhere near the school records like that. It just wouldn’t happen. Is this your way of writing him out of the show? Just make him a janitor in the background? We had so much hope for Eli in season 1, and now it’s just gone. And Keith… what the hell is with Keith? He’s chasing mysteries we can’t figure out, and the way you left that whole Kendall scenario from the first episode is just wrong.

Look, Rob, we know this isn’t like you. We know you’ve been under a lot of pressure from the CW to make this show more user-friendly. Make the Nancy Drew mysteries shorter, more palatable, and easier to follow for those who like their dramas more CSIable. But for the rest of us, who love our cult television shows, who love the uniqueness of this show, and who care about these characters as if they were family, PLEASE don’t do this. Let’s go back to being who Veronica was last year. I can’t leave this show, no matter how bad it becomes – I just love Kristen Bell too much to ever leave. But don’t make my Tuesday nights painful ones, as I sit alone watching a show that everyone else has dropped.

And besides, with only 13 episodes ordered, you have to buck up and KEEP your original audience, or CW will give you the ax. Don’t let that happen, Rob. I’ve already lost Buffy and Angel, and I can’t handle losing Veronica, too.

Thanks for listening.

2 comments:

Crissy Calhoun said...

thank you, Nikki. I (obviously) second those sentiments. And I'm walking away from the show if it all gets blamed on the evil man-hating feminists. And I lurve this show. A lot.

The Chapatikid said...

Me too. Especially if they keep calling them "the Feminists" for the entire season.