On the CW series Veronica Mars, the sharp-tongued eponymous college detective manages to get the best of–among other people–the pretty young airheads who get in her way.
That’s how you can tell it’s a TV show. In the real, meta-world of TV ratings, things don’t always work out so nicely. This week, Mars went on hiatus to make room for America’s Next Top Skank, a.k.a., The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll, in which young women compete to become the next member of the burlesque-cum-singing group. The show did better–a lot better–getting over a third more women 18 to 34 than Veronica Mars did. (Thanks tvtattle for the link.)
Does this mean young women would rather be admired for their bootays than their brains? That’s probably going too far, especially based on one week’s ratings. For starters, Next Doll was up against mainly rerun competition. And as I’ve said before, just because people like to watch reality contestants doesn’t mean they want to emulate them–often, just the opposite. And there’s the simple fact that a demanding serial like Mars is simply more work to watch than a reality show. Still, not great news for Mars fans.
On the other hand, The Wedding Bells had a pretty mediocre first night, so it’s not as though selling women stereotypes of themselves automatically means big ratings. Maybe David E. Kelley has a dramedy script about hot-pants-wearing girl singers in his desk drawer.