Thursday, May 24, 2007

Another Whimsical Thursday

I had to put off Whimsical Wednesday yesterday because of certain other pressing news. If bad stuff is going to go down, why does it have to go down on a Tuesday?

Anyway, one serious note to open. If you disagree with PETA's stance on LSU having a live tiger mascot, just say you disagree and say why. Saying something to the effect of "I'd like to get two tigers and feed the President of PETA to them" just makes you look like a jerk. Healthy debate is a good thing.

This week saw the end of one of my favorite television shows. Veronica Mars involuntarily ended its three year run, which started on UPN and ended on the CW, after the end of UPN. In case you don't know, Veronica Mars is a show about a teenage private detective. It's a lot smarter than it sounds. At its best, it was film noir set it high school. It took on issues of race, class, and privilege as intelligently as anything I'd ever seen on television. It also had mostly terrific acting, especially for a show that was put together with such a small budget.

It started with the death of violent death of Veronica's best friend Lily (seen only in flashbacks and dream sequences), which Veronica took upon herself to solve, though it brought her up against the very wealthy, the powerful, thee corrupt, and the violent. In a twist I've never seen in a network show, she also had to solve her own rape, which occurred before the first episode, when she was sophomore in high school.

Along the way, it set up stars Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring for future stardom. It resurrected the career of Harry Hamlin, and put Enrico Colantoni back to work. No character was perfect, but no one (except Harry Hamlin) was unambiguously evil. Good people sometimes did bad things for their own reasons, and bad people sometimes softened.

It lost a little steam after the first season. The second season's primary mystery was a less compelling, "Who put a bomb on the school bus?" story. The third season really ran out of gas, but the final episodes were great, harkening back to Lily's murder and bringing back seemingly forgotten issues of class and privilege. If the rest of the season had been that strong, there would probably be a 4th season.

Anyway, here's a YouTube video.

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