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Review: Veronica Mars

So I'm in my post-Angel cancellation funk and ready to cling to any cool quirkiness I can find (alas, "Century City" how I miss thee! Wherefore art thou, "Wonderfalls"? "Tru Calling" thou didst at times suck ass, but thee did make use of Eliza Dushku and of Alec Newman, though whatever gave thee the idea that Jason Priestly could save thee???), and so as the fall season takes over I find myself clinging to "Veronica Mars" like my niece clings to her pacifier.

First off, cool dialogue, verging on Whedon-speak. Especially given the verbal clunkage of, oh say, pretty much anything with a teenager (it's been a few years but, like, I DID know words other than "like")--that means YOU, cursed WB!--the sparring between Veronica and the other characters isn't just a breath of fresh air, it's a tornado on a windless plain. Kristen Bell and Enrico Colantoni have brilliant chemistry as daughter and father, and, as when in the second episode they play "good cop bad cop" while working on a case--yeah, it's punk rock awesome.

Plus, There's also an actual ongoing plot that's interesting: a complicated murder mystery involving Veronica's murdered best friend, the disappearance of her own murder, and the shakedown of power between the rich families and the cops. The politics of the situations--Veronica's former sheriff father kicked out under public protest and forced to become a low-rent detective, the social rifts between the upper-class white kids and the Latino bikers at the high school (um yeah, you didn't know high schools in SoCal had Latino bikers? me neither), makes for studies in class, race, and gender as much as the normal teen angst thing.

My only worry is that the series will devolve into "Pretender" or "X-Files" style plot-hopping in an attempt to keep conspiracies an important plot device (also to help writers maintain a status quo without losing the audience...theoretically anyway). I call this the two-year-rule: if no significant changes occur within conspiracy plot, ditch it. As always, take "Buffy" as the model: they had a government conspiracy--subsequently uncovered in season 3 and becoming that season's main and coolest arc. But at only two episodes, I am almost optimistic enough to have faith that that won't happen here, provided UPN keeps the show.

C'mon, UPN, the only thing ya got going is "Enterprise." Keep this!! It's teenage noir. What's not to like??

[I want to say it's out of this world but that's so cliche it makes my eyes bleed...]

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