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''Veronica,'' ''Gilmore,'' More Christmas Song Notes

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 29, 2006

Not my favorite episode of ''Veronica Mars'' last night. No big emotional kick, and the shortened story arc -- while getting us to the point more quickly -- left me feeling as if we had lacked details about the story and the characters. (More Mac! More Mac!) Wasn't crazy about the Logan-gets-revenge bit, either. Yes, we all know that he loves Veronica, but it still felt a bit stagey. On the other hand, the case was solved in a reasonable way, the actual criminals made sense and the setup for the next arc was all right. So I was satisfied. But lots of TV is satisfying. I was hoping for something more powerful.

Missed a bunch of ''Gilmore'' this season; thanks to the bride, an avowed ''Gilmore'' fan who cannot go long without it, I've done some catching up via last week's episode and last night's. Regular readers will recall that I am a believer in Luke-and-Lorelai, so I can't say that I'm crazy about Christopher-and-Lorelai. But the story is being told reasonably well and Lauren Graham is certainly trying to make it work. (Although, what's the deal with her hair lately? Seems a little messy for Lorelai.) Still, I am hoping that evolving Luke -- who has finally figured out what being a father means -- will evolve his way back into Lorelai's heart.

Other points: Alexis Bledel didn't annoy me as much, perhaps because I had not seen her every week, but she's still not as on game as the other actors. The Rory-Logan reconciliation scene was carried heavily by Logan. And, on a fine point, I don't think Emily would refer to a ''hunk'' of cheese. Just wasn't her kind of word.

Research continues on Christmas tunes. Instead of the John Denver version of ''Please, Daddy,'' I'm going to go with Alan Jackson's. E-mailed with Bill Danoff, who co-wrote the song, and he thinks Jackson nailed it. Jackson's ''Honky Tonk Christmas'' CD is pretty good generally, by the way, certainly better than his ''Let It Be Christmas.'' Don't know why country singers -- Lee Ann Womack also comes to mind -- think the way to be novel at Christmas is to go big-band-ish. You're just setting yourself up for comparison with the titans (Crosby, Sinatra, et al.) and you're going to lose.

Something from Twister Sister's ''A Twisted Christmas'' is going to make it into my story. As has been pointed out, you can sing ''Oh Come All Ye Faithful'' and ''We're Not Gonna Take It'' interchangeably, but Twisted Sister carries that idea into other songs; the lyrics and original melody are basically used in service of a crunching sound from the band. Very peculiar, but listenable.

Some other contenders: Ralph Sinatra, ''Christmas When You're Dead''; Linda Hughes, ''Elvis Won't Be Here This Christmas''; Bush, ''Good King Somethingorother''; James Brown's version of ''Merry Christmas Baby,'' because of that Jamesian thing that creeps in at the end -- both the relentless beat from the band and James's ''bring it a little bit higher'' chant-to-scream.

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