"The Word 'Coma' Bugs The Hell Out Of Me"
CB: Yeah, I really thought these last four were awesome.
RT: You know, sometimes I disagree with the fans -- "President Evil" was one of my least favorite this year, and I sort of cringed when it came out, and strangely, the audience kind of responded to it.
CB: [laughs] I agreed with you on that one.
RT: But I thought we had a really good streak with [Episodes] 6 through 9.
CB: So just to follow up about the serial-rapist idea: you're saying that was a way of bringing a prevalent idea, in terms of college freshman girls getting raped, and making it more urgent and accessible by having one culprit?
RT: Yeah, I mean, there were a variety of reasons for it. The Duke lacrosse scandal certainly inspired the idea -- it dominated conversation around the writers' room for a while. And then it just seemed like, for a college girl, what is the scary thing, what is the real-world thing that could happen to you, and the idea that you go out and get dosed and you wake up and you've been raped, it seemed personal to Veronica, it seemed topical for a college situation.
CB: So let's talk about the fan reaction on the internet in general. My sense is that, overall, while it's not as overwhelmingly positive as it was in Season 1, people are still pretty well behind the show. What are your thoughts overall on the significance of fan reaction, and how do you decide what feedback is valuable and what's to be ignored?
RT: Well, I haven't really read much since a couple [of] episodes in this year. I have a vague sense that there's a vocal contingent who isn't pleased with where things have gone, but my internal barometer of how good the show is is the thing that's most important to me. I've said this before: in fact, in Season 1 and even well into Season 2, when things were sort of glowing, the joke that Dan and I had was, "Could someone set the timer on the backlash?" Because people fall in love with the show for certain elements, and once you leave those elements, they feel betrayed. While I don't read the fan boards, I still get every press clipping put on my desk, and honest to God, I've only had two bad reviews this year, including the Gillian Flynn one. And in fact, the other one was sent by a friend of mine who was just excited to see my name in the paper, and that one liked the show but listed problems in Season 3 that had to be fixed. So I think that one you'd grade out at a B-minus. So you know, I would love still to be basking in the warm pool of fan adoration, but I feel strongly that most of the fans still adore the show, and I'm very confident that I do, that I still think it's as good as ever.