Thursday, June 16, 2005

I'm Seriously Underwhelmed

I've seen the first two episodes of Veronica Mars, and I must ask, "Just what is the big deal?" Kristen Bell is marvelous in the title role, and I'm definitely a fan of Enrico Colantoni. Jason Dohring is really creepy as the creepy kid. But the characters are all so...well, typical high school story characters. Except for Weevil, a skin-head motorcyle type who seems a little over the top.

By the way, I'm talking about this here because the creator of the show is Rob Thomas, who has written a a few YA novels.

I think the problem with Veronica is the similar to the problem I found with Looking for Alaska--just another high school story. Perhaps that's the problem with writing about high school. High school never changes. So many generations have lived through it that it just seems like a real-life cliche.

Veronica has frequently been compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Can you believe I can't find an official site for that show? Though you can buy all kinds of Buffy junk at Joss Whedon's weblog. I think Veronica is more like a twenty-first century angst-ridden Nancy Drew.

I think Buffy worked well because the show took all the high school cliches--popular girl, nerdy girl, jerky guy, mean girl--and combined them with vampires. You have to take cliches and shake them up with something different to make them tolerable. Perhaps a high school story in outer space would work. You have to do something different with it so viewers won't feel that they've seen all this before.

For me, Veronica Mars doesn't do it.

In all fairness, here is another opinion. You'll find it in the June 15 post in the blog A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy. This is a new blog, only three months old, on books with a lot of Buffy thrown in.

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