Veronica Mars

File this under: Shows I’ve Binge-Watched in Jamal’s Absence, cross-referenced in: Shows from the Early 2000s. Hear me out.

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In searching for Things To Occupy Myself these past two weeks, I decided to watch the entire series of “Veronica Mars,” the show about a father-daughter private investigation duo that was broadcast on the CW from 2004-2006. I’m only halfway through the second season, but I need to rave about how good this show is. I’d only caught an episode or two when the show was on 10 years ago, but better late than never, right? What stuck out visually back then, and what’s remained burned in my brain as the only real reference point I had for the series all these years since, was how hyper-saturated everything was. I’m not denying the light in Southern California is intense and gorgeous, but almost every scene is ablaze with red or orange or green or yellow. It’s Soderbergh-esque in its color hues, very vintage-Hollywood-film-noir, which is fitting given the plot. Veronica is in high school, so yes, there are the usual high school television show clichés and plot lines (love triangles! homecoming dances! SO MUCH MAKING OUT!), but there are also overarching mysteries in each season in addition to the smaller, single-episode mysteries they solve (murder, questionable paternity and maternity, ethnic biker gangs, etc.).

While it could easily toe the line of being cheesy, what I’m struck by most is the show’s slickness, maturity, and sarcasm. Thinly-veiled sexual innuendos, a cheerleader’s head bashed in, rich-kid-poor-kid conflicts, and, most impressively, a female lead who makes self-depricating jokes about her flat chest and can handle a taser. Not something you saw everyday on basic cable in 2004 (especially for a teenage-geared show). And did I mention the colors?

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I went through 34 episodes in a week. It’s been fun to enjoy all of the circa 2005 Hollister/American Eagle/So-Cal-casual fashion (midriffs! hoodies with fur collars! puka shell necklaces on guys!), cultural touchstones (everyone has an AOL email address! Nokia flip phones still dominated the cell phone market!) as well as the America’s Next Top Model guest-stars (backstory: both shows aired on the same network, and challenge rewards during cycles 4-6 of Top Model were small roles in an episode of Veronica Mars. Cross-pollinating at its finest! Though I’d totally forgotten about it until Naima, Kim, and Furonda appeared on screen as a field-trip chaperone, car rental agent, and office receptionist, respectively). More notable guest stars include Jessica Chastain, Paris Hilton, Jane Lynch, Aaron Paul, Leighton Meester, Kevin Smith, Michael Cera, Melissa Leo, and the list goes on and on.

The first season finale (which I watched on my wild Saturday night-in) knocked me on my ass. There were so many plot twists and surprises I thought I was going to pass out from holding my breath. You guys. It’s that good. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I finish. Oh wait, yes I do!

Last year, after over seven years since the last episode aired, diehard fans who weren’t satisfied with having just three available seasons in the canon rallied together and funded a Kickstarter campaign to make a Veronica Mars movie. Over 90,000 people donated $5.7 million dollars (more than double the original goal), making it one of the most successful campaigns in the site’s history. The original cast filmed a new, full-length movie last summer, picking up where their characters left off ten years later.

It comes out Friday in theaters and as a digital download. I think we know what I’ll be doing.

Fellow Marshmallows (I’m allowed to use the lingo, I’m a fan now), I have a confession: Team Logan all the way. Don’t even argue.

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March 11, 2014 / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 23

23 comments

  • Oh I used to love this show when it was on- major bummer when it got cancelled. I had heard about the movie but I have to say, the trailer looks better than what I thought. Thanks for sharing!

    • I couldn’t believe that it got cancelled when I was reading about it. That seems so crazy, it was such a popular (and good!) show. I’m glad to be finally getting into it, even ten years late :) xo

  • I love Kristen Bell, so it’s weird that I’ve NEVER watched Veronica Mars! This will be changing ASAP!

    • She seems so sweet and has thankfully never been involved in a tabloid scandal involving drugs or going commando. She’s classy and adorable! Especially in this series, you’d love it. xo

  • i have never watched this show, in fact i hadn’t really heard of it. i had heard the name but if you told me it was a band i would have said “oh ok.” but i might have to stare at some saturated goodness and get caught up in a little teen drama here and see what you are talking about. i do love kristen bell. i have fiercely since i saw this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5jw3T3Jy70 xoxo

    • Well it was 10 years ago, so I’ll give you a free pass. I was graduating high school when it first aired, so I was more their target demographic. You should give it a shot, though! It’s not girly or too high-school-y, and Fisher might like it?
      The sloth meltdown gets me every time! I actually watched it again over the weekend somewhere in the middle of my full-day marathon with Veronica Mars, and I actually got teary eyed at the end! She’s just so cuuuuuute. xo

  • ahhhh between this blonde Logan and the one from Gilmore Girls, it’s clear why I have a Logan addiction, right? Is your friend’s son still on the market, circa 2024? Also, was it not impossible to breathe for almost the entire first-season finale? A tv show has never scared me so much. So good, so good, so good. !!

    • I KNOW, RIGHT?! I was freaking out watching the season finale (THE TAPES! finally finding out what happened to Lily! finally finding out who roofied Veronica! THE CABIN, omg), it was all just too much. I’m hoping for just as many surprises at the end of this season, too, but I probably can’t handle any more to be honest. I have a theory about the name Logan, as we’ve discussed, and I’m convinced only blond rich kids have that name. I need to do more Logan Echolls research though (yumMY). xo

      • …wait. Apparently, the Logan from Gilmore Girls guest starred in an episode of Veronica Mars with the Logan from VM?!?!?! How did I miss this and not die?

        • EXCUSE ME WHAT. I clearly haven’t seen this episode yet and don’t want to spoil anything for myself, so I will not go a’Googling for it, BUT WHAT?! xo

  • I’m generally a late adopter when it comes to TV type things, so I hear where you’re coming from here. Neel and I just started watching Downton Abbey and of course Violet has been insisting on being called “Lady Violet.” But I digress.

    I’ve never seen this show, and it’s hard to imagine a time when I’d get a change to binge watch the way you are, but you’ve certainly made it sound intriguing. I followed that Kickstarter campaign with half an ear… that was AMAZING! An author I read regularly always talks about leaving a party when you’re having the most fun; I wonder if that’s why it got canceled when it did. Hmmm

    • Yeah, I was how many years behind on West Wing? Probably the same amount as Veronica Mars. TV just isn’t what it used to be! Except for House of Cards. And Downton (and of COURSE Violet wants to be called Lady Violet. Maggie Smith’s character is my favorite on that show. How far along are you guys?).

      That’s an interesting thought about why it got cancelled. Better to end on a high note than do what Mad Men (and Top Model, jesus that show is on its 20th season and it ceased being any good around cycle 8) is experiencing…major suckfest. I’m already getting sad that I’m halfway done Veronica Mars! I want to start over, haha. xo

  • hmm I saw the kickstarter but I dont know if I like Kristen Bell. I just finished watching House of Cards and Homeland which were both epic.

    PS Theres always Law and Order SVU :) Ice T is amazing.

    • What?! How can you NOT like Kristen Bell?? She’s so cute! Have you not seen her sloth meltdown?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5jw3T3Jy70 If you can watch that and not fall a little bit in love with her, there is no hope! ;)

      I do love Law and Order SVU, but it does really get too scary for me after a while! I can’t take that many horror stories about women living alone! Eeps xo

  • I think I missed something big – I just heard about this show when the kickstarter campaign began. Thank you for explaining what it’s about and why it’s wonderful. I may now have to check it out – gotta find a rainy weekend and some snacks and I’ll be all set

    • It seems like it would be right up your alley. If you have time, check out an episode or two! Or fifteen… :)

  • I’ve never even heard of it? Should I have? Maybe it never made it over here. We have House of Cards Series 2 next on our list of things to watch but I am working my way methodically through all the episodes of Miss Marple whilst the husband is away. although they are not as good as Poirot obvs :)

    • It might not have made it over the pond, and it was 10 years ago, so maybe it did but not in a big enough way to make it on to your radar? It only had a short run here, so that’s possible. I missed it, after all! House of Cards is UN. REAL. You will lose your mind after the first episode of this season, just a heads up :) xo

  • Now I’m intrigued. I’ve heard about the show…now I might get sucked in! Haha. Sounds really good! I also binge watch TV shows. On House of Cards now.

    • It’s the perfect show in that it isn’t too mentally taxing but is also not mindless. I’m good for three or four episodes a night, haha. How good is House of Cards?? xo

  • J’ai regardé Veronica Mars en France. J’aimé beaucoup mais la Tv, n’a pas acheté tous les saisons donc il y a plein de mystères que je ne connais pas.
    Elle avait pas été violé ave une drogue? c’étais quelqu’un de son entourage?
    En tout cas, la bande d’annonce ça claque!! ;)

    • Il n’a pas été Logan! Je ne dirai pas plus;) Mais oui, c’était quelqu’un de son entourage. Il était plus choquant, honnêtement. Tu peux acheter les DVDs sur Amazon, je pense, si tu veux :) Je ne peux pas attender pour le film! xo

  • oh, fabulous. I’m always on the look-out for new ‘old’ TV shows to watch. I’ve only seen a couple of episodes over the years. sounds promising!!