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''Gilmore Girls''/''Veronica Mars''

By RD Heldenfels Published: May 9, 2006

There aren't enough hours these days to keep up with TV, and everything else. Because of ''Idol'' and the podcast, and a few home things, it was after 10 before we got to ''Gilmore Girls.'' I was thinking about sleeping then, only my stomach decided it was time to do some flip-flops. So while I waited to see if it would flip or flop, I watched ''Veronica Mars.''

These are two shows I very much like, but tonight they were wide apart on my enjoyment scale. Aside from the troubadour-invasion merriment, ''Gilmore Girls'' was just a bummer, and one I'm heartily sick of. The Palladinos are leaving the show, and it's already been pointed out that they're leaving the show in a box not unlike the one Aaron Sorkin left behind when he departed ''West Wing'' -- a nightmarish puzzle for the next producers and writers to get out of. (I'll save the details about it and ''Veronica'' for an update sometime tomorrow, since people may not yet have watched tonight.) But it's also the sort of ending that says, ''That's it, we're out of ideas, we're back to places we've been before, sorry, it's all we've got, goodnight.'' (To make that sound more ''Gilmore,'' say it very fast, and throw in your favorite pop-culture reference or anti-Bush joke.) I am kind of sick of it. Not sick enough that I'll refuse to watch next season, but sick enough to approach next season with a fair amount of skepticism.

''Veronica Mars,'' assuming it gets another season, I am already looking forward to. What a wowser of a finish, even if I haven't sorted out all the pieces, and one that solved the bus crash mystery, took us back to the second season and wrapped up a big, ugly, nasty loose end. If it ended here, so be it, but I want to know where those last scenes were leading. If ''Gilmore Girls'' said the ideas have run out, ''Veronica Mars'' said it's got plenty more to throw at us. And I'm ready.

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