It’s no secret that we have a Grist-wide crush on Kristen Bell (the world’s sexiest vegetarian!). So I feel obliged to take a break from the green and note with great sorrow that CW has cancelled Veronica Mars, Bell’s sharp, sassy, criminally underappreciated star vehicle.
It’s a cliche at this point that females are bombarded with unhealthy messages in pop culture, but it’s true nonetheless. I’m honestly surprised women can stand to watch network TV. It’s filled with idealized virgins and scheming whores, every one supermodel scrawny. More recently, with the attempt to present "real" women, we’ve gotten the likes of Grey’s Anatomy, filled with insecure, indecisive, twitterpated drama queens. I can’t count the number of times a female character has been introduced on a TV show as spunky and independent (see: Izzie) only to descend within an episode or two into hysterics over some guy — of course an emotionally unavailable guy who fears commitment, cause that’s what men are like, right? (Actually, if I were surrounded by TV Women I’d be scared of commitment too …)
"Real" women, apparently, are neurosis-ridden perpetual adolescents. Between, say, June Cleaver and Meredith Grey, I’m not sure which is the most likely to embed destructive archetypes in impressionable young female minds. To say nothing of what impressionable young boys learn about women from all this.
In this milieu, Veronica Mars was a revelation: she radiated easy confidence. She was interested in but not obsessed with the opposite sex, vulnerable but not dependent, and above all, genuinely smart and funny. She was her own person; she had her own thing going. She spent her time outwitting men, not weeping over them. Hell, she even had a healthy relationship with her father!
Naturally it couldn’t survive. Instead, we can look forward to 10 more seasons of America’s Hottest Anorexic. A moment of silence.