Be Cool, Soda Pop

I sit here, basking in what could only be described as the post-coital glow of a long-desired reunion with one of the greatest shows on TV, feeling somehow more complete than I did when I got up Tuesday morning. In the interests of sparing you seven loyal readers from slogging through some kind of half-assed essay, my regurgitations will be limited to bullet points. You're welcome.• The season premiere of "Veronica Mars" was pretty much everything I'd hoped it would be. I didn't have quite the emotional baggage tied up in it as I did with the "Studio 60" premiere; my early, earnest, teenage love for Sorkin's "Sports Night" pretty much ruined me on that count. Likewise, I'm curious about "Lost" this year but am wary of the show after the gradual decline of its second season. But "Veronica Mars" is still engaging, honest, and confident of the road it wants to walk. Creator Rob Thomas' script did a solid job at handling some necessarily clunky exposition: Having all the high schoolers wind up at the same college; having Keith address Fitzpatrick by name while driving him to meet Kendall; having Logan and Dick mention Beaver's suicide; etc. He introduced new characters, hinted at possible relationship conflicts, and ended the episode on dual cliffhangers. Brilliant. • For instance: The light. The show has always confounded a realistic expectation of lighting design, casting its characters in stark rays of pink or blue or green in the midst of such mundane settings as classrooms and low-rent apartments. Keith's office is still bathed in an orgy of neon coming from nowhere, and Veronica's criminolgy classroom has stained glass windows for no other reason than that the show is constantly injecting flourishes of color into every situation. • Veronica's criminology professor? Jeremiah f***ing Lasky. What a weird bit of typecasting. • The only bad note: Thanks a pantload to the CW for foisting the godawful Aerie Girls on the viewers. It's just a group of stupid women who sit around and pointlessly discuss the show during the commercial break. That's bad enough, but infinitely worse is that it's sponsored by a women's clothing line. Look, I've already got enough to deal with loving a show that's been paired with "Gilmore Girls" by the clueless network, not to mention the fact that most of the shows I love seem to revolve around a strong female lead. I'm already doing my best to fake my way through life, okay? The last thing I need is to see a gaggle of dim giggling women speculating about Veronica and Logan or Lorelai and Luke (which come on, you know she's not gonna wind up with Christopher). • The show is still committed to unraveling a weekly mystery and progressing a larger story arc, as evidenced by Keith's trip to the desert with a Fitzpatrick, as well as sidelong confirmation of what was in Kendall's briefcase in last season's finale (apparently a mountain of cash). But there was no major introduction to a season-long puzzle, as in the murder of Lilly Kane or the school bus crash. That's not to say that this season's planned multiple-mystery set-up won't be satisfying. It's just a little sad to see the show's original conceit go. • Is Duncan still hanging out in Australia with his dead ex's baby? Is he okay with Veronica sleeping with Logan? Didn't they part with all kinds of professions of eternal whatever? I'm just saying, she could call the guy. • Seriously, the whole Aerie thing made me deeply self-conscious.