Life as an Extreme Sport

Veronica the Vampire Slayer

Over at Beliefnet, the religion and pop culture blog is comparing Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Veronica Mars, with the latter show not yet living up to the former. She has some interesting things to say, but per the norm, fans go a bit weird in the comments and defend Veronica Mars as though the show will be killed based on this single article. I mostly find it to be an odd case of coincidental timing, since I was just talking about the show and why it no longer holds my attention with both Sandra and Michael. Sort of summing it up is what I said in the comments in the Idol Chatter thread:

I should confess that I only started watching Buffy when it was for a class, and then I got hooked and ran through 5 seasons in 3 months – so story arcs and progress was much more evident than it may have been in a “time of viewing” situation.

That said, I’ve tried VM. Several friends were very hooked last year, and persuaded me to watch. And I did, and I really enjoyed some of the interactions between characters – especially Logan and Veronica.

This year, though, failed to hold my attention. Yes, it’s a modern attempt at noir, a genre I love. They did it very well last year,… but what it’s missing is what Buffy had in spades, although BtVS lost it in the last two years of the show.

Buffy was a teenager, and so were all the other characters. Sure, they were fighting supernatural beings and had powers and such…but at the core of everything, they were teenagers, and they acted like it. Teenage crushes, first loves, awkwardness, pimples, cramps, bad hair days.

VM has adults running around a high school setting. The only time I’ve truly enjoyed the show ahs been in the interactions between Veronica and Logan, because those feel like interactions between teenagers. The rest of it, I just don’t buy – Veronica is a early 20s girl in a high school, as are the rest of the characters. Very rarely, they slip into being teens, and then the show grabs my attention, because then it feels like it’s supposed to.

That said, I think that, provided VM gets renewed for another year or two, it gives the show much more potential than BtVS had, because the background they hang the stories on will be able to grow into the characters they’ve developed – they will become adults, and the cognitative dissonance that exists currently will disappear, and create what I think will become a very compelling show. The point at which BtVS began to fade – college and life beyond, areas Joss just isn’t good at writing – should be where VM finally finds its feet.