Signs of Tivo Life on Veronica Mars

One thing about TiVo: It prolongs the inevitable. How much longer can I go without watching the two-hour Veronica Mars season finale, which aired two weeks ago? First of all, it’s a series finale, because the show was canceled (an extinction fact I can barely bring myself to type) by the hit-starved CW network (stands for Cowards! Wastrels!). It’s a strangely philosophical question: If it’s always on TiVo — unplayed — is it ever really over? Because as soon as I choose to make it through the last case of the most exciting crime-solver to hit detective fiction in years (yes, that includes books), I will be faced with the realization that one of my very favorite shows will be no more.

Over at NBC, they move a ratings-challenged warhorse like Law and Order: Criminal Intent to the USA network, but there’s been no reprieve for talented creator–executive producer Rob Thomas’ 3-year-old show, even the reported attempt to shift the series a few years into the future, when his spiky, sexy and engagingly brainy SoCal noir heroine (played by Kristen Bell) would be a Clarice Starling–type FBI trainee. (She was no lamb, but Veronica was definitely silenced.) So there the finale sits in the “Now Playing” cache, a beloved Season Pass marquee title that will slowly inch its way down the list as new programs are recorded, like a fading athlete’s ranking, and do I even want to see that happen? Which means I’ll have to watch it soon, and eventually face the final insult, that wretched option “Delete Now.”

Before the DVR, a canned show was something a devoted fan could feel suitably apart from, a tragedy caused by the delinquency of others. Now, I’ll be doing my own part to end a series by hitting a button, administering the final dose with a decisive click. I know I won’t like it.

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