“I honestly don’t understand what the big deal about season 3 is. It’s different from the first 2 seasons, but what’s so bad about different? Also, I’m a LoVe shipper but the hate for Piz is just ridiculous and irrational.”
This is actually two confessions, confusing two separate issues, and they don’t necessarily have anything to do with the other.
I liked season three, quite a bit, but whenever a show switches to a different network, that network makes changes they believe are key but, don’t resonate with everyone in a fandom. (Scrubs and Roswell, for example.)
Season Three: 1) Two mystery arc with tag on episodes at the end lowered the stakes for the majority of the season. 2) Handling of The Lilith House feminist issues. 3) Beloved characters (Wallace and Weevil specifically) getting pushed to the background to make room for a Romantic False Lead. 4) Mysteries (not all of them by any means, but some) that were almost obvious in the outcome — seriously, as soon as the dean was murdered my roommate figured out who it was, and that person was never a suspect for any of those investigating the crime.
The Piz Issue: I’m just going to quote TV Tropes discussion of the False Romantic Lead on this one: “This is a hard character to successfully pull off, probably because they usually start out more as a plot device than a character. In many cases they exist solely to create tension and keep the lovers apart, so there’s a real risk that your Romantic False Lead, rather than proving a worthy rival to the main character’s romantic interests, will simply end up being a rather flat, boring character who just seems to show up and occupy space between the two romantic leads.”
So, there’s that. Piz was immediately introduced as a rival. For the purposes of being a rival. Without ANY character development, we were told, “Like him. Do you like him yet? But, he has floppy hair! He’s from Oregon! He plays in a band. Is that enough? What about those dimples? Do those help the matter at all?”
There are TV Shows that bring in a new romantic interest for characters and it splits the fandom in half because both romantic interests are such compelling individuals. This was not done.
I don’t hate Piz. But I also don’t like him. Mainly because I was never given a compelling reason to. And the fact that he was brought into the VMars movie for the same reason, doesn’t make it any better.
I agree with all of this so much, especially the part about how a lot of other shows have been able to successfully bring in a new love interest for a member of a popular ship and then have that new ship/character gain a lot more fan support than Piz did. This is why I’m always especially annoyed when Rob Thomas says that fans don’t like Piz because of LoVe. I mean, I think Rob Thomas is awesome but I do find it incredibly annoying that instead of just admitting that he could have developed Piz better he shrugs all of the dislike of the character off to shippers being petty.