So I reneged on my earlier idea to delay watching VM Season 2. Turns out I was sicker than anticipated, so I made it through season 2 almost as quickly as I got through season 1. I think that in an objective sense, the first season was "better" but the second season is a good continuation and worthwhile.
Criticizing the reality of the show misses the point. I was a bit disappointed that the show's lens on the world is so dark. Though this worldview fits the teenage perspective, most every character and situation turns out badly. Justice isn't served, the skeletons in the closets hold dark secrets; that's pretty much the overwhelming theme.
The end of season 2 sets up this season's college setting (I haven't watched any of this year's episodes) and I'm glad the high school thing didn't get stretched out anymore. The show is well done, but I'm not sure it really needs to keep going in a chronological sense. The fast forward idea bandied about for the future seems OK to me, based on watching the first two seasons. It would be sad to lose or limit the dad character (this would seem necessary), but pretty much everyone outside the title character is kind of expendable. The show cycled through a good bunch of characters in the first two seasons and to me it's more plausible to introduce a new supporting set of characters than keeping the high school friends/crew together. Looking at the boxes on the dvd sets (or watching the credits sequence), one sees a bunch of cast changes in billing over the two seasons, and it seems like some of these supposedly important characters disappear for episodes at a time.
Besides, the most interesting/likable characters were, I think, the more minor local flavor characters like the assistant principal and lawyer.
Now I'm watching NewsRadio. It's quite a bit lighter but not quite compelling enough to watch hours of the show consecutively.