Sunday, May 13, 2007

"Has anyone ever told you you look like a feisty young Barbara Eden?": Veronica Mars

Behold Paul Rudd! He makes all things new!

Firstly, my apologies for the lateness. I explained this once before, but LA caught on fire and the local CW affiliate decided it would be better to air fire coverage than this and Gilmore Girls, despite every other channel airing their regularly scheduled broadcasts. Being out of the nation's second largest market probably contributed to the show having its worst ratings since early season one (if not its worst ever) and possibly meant it won't get picked up for next year. So, thanks, KTLA. Thanks a lot!

Anyway, it's too bad so many have tuned out, worried about the lack of an overarching mystery, because this Paul Rudd hour was one of the series' funniest. I don't know if it was one of the best, but the one-liners were hilarious, and Rudd's turn as a washed-up alterna-rocker was spot on, right down to the mid-90s power pop that his former band, My Pretty Pony, was responsible for. Obviously, a lot of this could have been Rudd, who's just a funny guy, but it felt like the writers really brought their funniest stuff, as all of the characters made me chuckle at least once.

Now, the mystery in this episode was a little lame (and even Veronica seemed mad at herself for not checking the bag to make sure it hadn't been swapped with another right from the top), so I can see why some fans have been grousing that it's just not the show they signed up for. But, honestly, the characters in this episode were all so amusing that I was willing to just hang out with them for a while. I didn't need a deeply sophisticated mystery full of twists and turns to feel satisfied. Still, I hope that the standalone mysteries don't turn completely lame for these final three episodes (and, indeed, next week's is about the Lost Boys of the Sudan or Darfur or something from the looks of it -- I smell more preachiness!).

Logan was the only character I wasn't feeling this week. I liked his recruitment of Mac and Max to help him with his business proposal for his class (and the dangling nature of the storyline almost certainly means that he'll end up bolstering his millions with money made from -- which sadly doesn't exist), but I didn't get with his mooniness over Veronica's new relationship with Piz.

That said, even though I know Piz is off to another show and such, I enjoyed the way that he and Veronica tentatively consummated their flirtation (by holding hands at a rock concert -- awwwwww). I like the energy Kristen Bell and Chris Lowell have in their scenes together -- it's vastly different from the energy she has with Jason Dohring or had with Teddy Dunn, yet it remains palpably one of a mutual attraction, as opposed to her chemistry with Percy Daggs III or Francis Capra (who has apparently disappeared from the show).

I find myself kind of hoping that Vinnie Van Lowe will win the sheriff's race, as I am not a huge fan of impossibly virtuous Sheriff Mars. Keith makes a good sheriff, obviously, but his investigation with Deputy Leo (returned from wherever he was off to all this time -- up to and including that WB sitcom) was the other lowlight of the episode. I like Enrico Colantoni, so if the show returns, let's get him back into the private eye role, where he's got more to do.

I always liked Mac dating the hot environmentalist guy, but I do think she has more chemistry with Max. I don't know if that's because they're both playing nerds or what, but stop complaining that she shouldn't be with a guy who has hooker issues. She should do what makes her happy, duh!

Anyway, a solid episode all around and one that made me more hopeful for these other standalones. Let's see what Veronica's doing next week, when she uses her detective acumen to take down a respected member of the literary community!

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