"The Word 'Coma' Bugs The Hell Out Of Me"
RT: ...and there was the rally in the first episode as well. And the Safe Ride Home program, and we hear that dorm floors are no longer coed. But the big demand is that they shut down the fraternity houses. It feels to me like one of those arguments of, okay, we install cameras everywhere, there are security guards everywhere, and then...where's the show? What does Veronica do?
CB: Part of the reason I ask is that I speculated that the reaction on a lot of college campuses would be something like we saw. I think the level of rape awareness is shockingly low on a lot of campuses, and I thought the frat boys' depiction was realistic too.
RT: Yeah, you know, when I went to the University of Texas, it was the thick of the anti-apartheid movement, and we had a shantytown built on the campus quad. The one time I've been arrested in my life was at an anti-apartheid demonstration. And if you walked through Greek Row, there was a big mocking billboard that had been put up in one of the frat houses that said "Freeze Nelson Mandela." And that sort of thing...that's what I'm interested in covering. I'm not interested in covering the nice frat boys who do their homework and treat women well. That's not story fodder in a noir universe. And just to back up, to get this out, because I don't think I said this earlier. I actually think I sort of bungled the question of why a rape storyline and why it felt like it was applicable. To me it just seems like the quintessential freshman-girl-in-college storyline; that feels very real to me. The fact that it was ongoing -- it gave it a different set of rules than we had in the first two seasons, where a murder happened, and you didn't feel the sense of peril. It wasn't like we created someone who was going to strike again. I wanted that sense of urgency: if Veronica doesn't solve it now, there could be more victims. So in addition to giving it -- I don't mean this word to sound flippant, but [the freshman girl's perfect] boogeyman or monster, a serial rapist who drugs girls -- I'm constantly searching for what is going to affect Veronica, what can Veronica dial into, what can sustain a multi-episode arc. And by the way, I want to make something clear -- I'm not backing off the story. I'm proud of these first nine episodes. I don't think there's any falloff. In any season, there are episodes I adore, and episodes that I don't adore, and episodes that I dislike, but I think our batting average is as strong or stronger than ever. I'm remarkably proud of this season. Our worst episodes are still, to me, Season 1. That season has been deified in this strange way. The thing I will give Season 1 is that the big mysteries worked better. But episode by episode, I like our batting average better than ever.