Over the last few days, I've been wrapping up a few series. Some I have already forgotten. Enterprise was okay in a mediocre way. Andromeda was the usual hash of non sequiturs and bizarre writing. I can't say that I'll miss either one.
More interesting to me are the shows I've been watching that centered around big mysteries, which, once solved, seem to seriously deflate the show. Lost, for instance, has managed to keep the tension high for a whole season, deepening the interest with clever backstory on all the key characters (who were they before they ended up on the island?). But eventually they'll have to reveal more than the snippets they've doled out so far. When that happens, I wonder how they'll be able to sustain things.
Veronica Mars just ended it's first season. Every episode has included "this week's story", wherein our heroine figures out some crime or helps one of her buds. Then there are the minor continuing plot threads, such as where her Mom went. And finally, there were the two major issues: who killed Lilly Kane, and who drug-raped Veronica the previous year? Surprise! They solved both the major issues, and reached closure on several of the minor ones as well.
In fact, their season cliff hanger seems to be pretty weak. She has broken off a new relationship because she (wrongfully) turned her boyfriend over to the cops as a murder suspect. Then she has discovered that her old boyfriend, whom she had though might really be her stepbrother, isn't. So in the denouement of the series finale, she is relaxing late in the evening and answers a knock on the door. She opens it, looks at the camera, and says "I was hoping it would be you." That's their cliffhanger. Okay, this is the soapiest of soap operas, but I like the writing and the characters, so I'm glad it's renewed for next year. But I'm truly curious how they'll sustain the energy now.