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April 13, 2005 / jnolen

Name that tune

Here's a little quiz. Where do you think I heard the following conversation?

Guy: How can you even have an opinion on Ubuntu if you haven't tried it? 2.6 kernel, live CD, they even had Gnome 2.8 the day Warty Warthog came out!

Girl: I'm sorry! I'm perfectly content with OS X. I can have all the awk, grep and sed I want without any need for that pitiful [unintelligble] application.

Guy: But the fonts are de-uglified! And it's free! Ugh. You know what, keep living in the dark ages!

Girl: I know what I like.

The answer? Last night’s episode of Veronica Mars. Yep — network television. Who’d have guessed?

Now I know — I have absolutely no business watching Veronica Mars. It’s on UPN. It’s targeted at high-school girls. But what can I say? It’s brilliant. With both Sorkin and Whedon on the bench this season, it’s definitely the got best dialog on TV. And it’s one of the two new network shows this year that I find worth TiVo-ing (Lost being the other).

I turned up my nose at Buffy for two full years because I thought it was a ridiculous premise. I won’t make that mistake again. And while Veronica Mars isn’t as good as Buffy — it lacks the emotional gut-punch — it’s in the same ballpark.

And at least I’m in good company. Salon loves the show. As does this Chicago Tribune review. And LA Weekly, too. So it’s not just me.

Oh, and don’t forget the computer angle, which is what started this whole train of thought. As demonstrated above, this is a show that takes its technology seriously. Several of the episodes have revolved around computer-related crimes. And in every instance that I can remember, they manage to get the details exactly correct. (At least, the dialog is correct. The computer interfaces, which are on-screen pretty frequently, are often not.)

Seriously, it’s dead on. No MacGuffins here. For example, in tonight’s episode [SPOILER] the plot revolves around someone using a neighbor’s open access point to frame someone else. And there’s a quick shot of Veronica with her Powerbook accessing the same wireless network, using the Airport menu, just as you would expect. There is some staff writer on that show who really know what he’s doing.

Oh, and of course, the good guys all use Macs.

Extra bonus trivia: You might not recognize her, but the girl from the dialog quoted above is a recurring character played by the same actress that played Deb in Napoleon Dynamite.

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