There is Life on Mars
The first episode of "Veronica Mars" aired in Australia last night. I'm not quite ready to join those who are hailing this show as the new Buffy, but it was certainly an enjoyable first episode.
Like Buffy, Veronica is a girl in a small, fictional, Southern California who was once part of the "popular crowd" but has now been forced very much onto the outer. Like Buffy, she's a stereotypically atractive blonde girl (although Kristen Bell is not quite as beautiful as SMG) and like Buffy, she conceals a real vulnerability beneath her toughness. But, what makes Veronica seem to me most like Buffy is the basic "high-school is hell" feel of the show. Veronica has, within a brief period, had her best friend brutally murdered, her father has lost his job, she's been raped, her mother has left her and her dad and she has lost her status as one of the cool kids at school. The dialouge, while not as funny as the dialouge on Buffy, does have a certain Buffy-esque crispness, and I think I recognise the influence of Buffy is certain parts of the characterisation of various high-school students.
On the down side, the sound-track is nothing like as good as Buffy's. They have "We Used to be Friends" by the Dandy Warholes as the theme-song. In their defence, I'd probably like that song a lot more if I hadn;t first heard it as the theme song of "My Resteraunt Rules" and it is more appropriate here.