*Decade Old Spoilers Ahead*
Three weeks ago I started watching the TV show Veronica Mars, which aired on UPN and The CW, form 2004-2007. I watched it because I wanted to see the Veronica Mars movie, currently in theaters. I wanted to see the movie, not because I really gave a damn about the character of Veronica Mars, but because it was the first big movie to hit theaters financed through Kickstarter. And I wanted to totally show the studio system that movies based on [good] cancelled TV shows will draw people and CAN make money. To paraphrase one of my favorite dead dad movies, make it, and they will come.
I am so excited about this idea possibly working for other cancelled TV shows, that I almost contributed to the Kickstarter campaign for the Veronica Mars movie, even though I had never watched a full episode. I didn’t contribute, so I will have to provide my support by purchasing a theater ticket and/or digital download.
I was already contemplating watching the series when my beloved Entertainment Weekly did a cover story on the VM movie. I read the whole article, totally clueless as to who these characters were. I figured, if I am going to go see the movie, I might as well find out who the hell they are. Not wanting to spend much (any) money, I used a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime.
I really love high school based dramas with some humor, especially those with chicks as the central character. So why didn’t I watch VM the first time around? I am not big on mysteries. I don’t want suspense. Just let me watch the event happen, then let the aftermath play out. I don’t want to have to “solve” anything.
Also, I was probably busy watching another high school drama set in sunny California featuring tensions between the rich and the poor, Fox’s The O.C.
I kept watching VM this time because she had a cute, flippy haircut that I wished I could pull off.
I really like the theme song “We Used To Be Friends” by the Dandy Warhols. But, I heard it on The O.C. first.
After watching about four episodes, I went back and reread the Entertainment Weekly article. The article talked about how all the fans wanted her to end up with some Logan guy, played by Jason Dohring.
WAIT AN F’ING MINUTE!
The asshole who just tormented Veronica for four episodes? He is mean, evil, possibly mentally disturbed. The guy who knocked both headlights out on her car AS SHE WATCHED?!
I’m sorry, but if you f’ up my car, I am not going to forgive you and start dating you six months later. This information made me very eager to see how the show would make such a leap. I did not believe it could be done. I was very stubborn in my convictions that no matter what, I would never believe that she should be with Logan.
But by the first season finale, I realized it HAD happened. I now wanted them to be together. Oh, he was still an asshole. But the writers set it up that his whole life was falling apart around him. And they showed that he could feel love. So, I guess a mixture of pity and showing love towards Veronica won me over. I kept waiting for his voice to change in future episodes, but it didn’t. It is very high and smarmy. He needs a black mustache to twirl as he makes his snide comments.
I have read where the creator Rob Thomas didn’t first intend for Logan and Veronica to get together. Apparently, when Logan and Veronica were on screen, everyone with the show saw the chemistry and said, “Ya, we want to see more of that.” The problem is, the times when Logan and Veronica were dating, they actually had LESS screen time together to do their finely-timed wordplay and flirty looks. The times that they were dating, Logan just sat around and mooned for Veronica, waiting for her to stop by his penthouse. The times they were broken up, he just sat around and brooded. It was like dating Veronica turned him into a eunuch. It actually made me miss him being a giant asshole. At least he was more interesting then.
Veronica Mars is not the type of show you expect it to be. A lot of the episodes are about a student you have never seen before, and how Veronica helps them solve their problem. It is pretty deep. People are raped, people die, those dead people come back and haunt the living. There is also a class war in Neptune, between the haves and the have nots. It just seems too ambitious for a show about a little blond high school girl.
Most TV shows I can predict what will happen before it does. That is not the case with VM. That is both a compliment, and probably the explanation for why it was cancelled. People like predictability. That is why Survivor and America’s Funniest Home videos are still on the air.
Veronica drives an older convertible that she uses to bop around town and trail people. It is quirky and I like that. It represents that she is a have not. But it is badly damaged in the season one finale. How is it that she is still driving it, fully intact, in season 2? I think the insurance company would have totaled it, with all that front end damage.
I found it interesting that they cast the show with what I would call an unconventional cast. Neither Teddy Dunn, who played Duncan, or Jason Dohring, who played Logan, were guys you look at and instantly think they are superhotties who could be magazine models. Don’t get me wrong, they were not trolls either. And Kristen Bell, while great in the roll, stands at only 5” 1’. Without acting talent, it would be very hard to get a part at that height. (I am short, and I have another 3 ¾” on her!)
“Annoy, tiny blond one, annoy like the wind!”
–Logan to Veronica
The O.C. always ended every episode happy to a kick ass song, with everything more or less everything resolved (Marissa letting Volchok slither into her trailer would be an exception. EW.). Veronica Mars ended almost every episode with a cliffhanger, which is kind of annoying when it is already 2AM and you need to use will power and turn it off and go to bed. VM had some songs in it, but they just didn’t strike me as impressive as the ones used on The O.C. Maybe because watching it so much after the fact, the songs are no longer timely? I don’t know.
Sorry I keep comparing VM to OC, but it seems as though even the staff at VM realized the similarities. Season 3 of VM the credits were even redone in orange and bars, very similar to The O.C. opening credits. Probably a suggestion by the network to emulate the more popular O.C. Except that The O.C. would sadly only last another year itself. There is a quick reference to The O.C. in the VM movie as well.
I liked Veronica Mars. A lot. But I still wouldn’t put it in my Top 10 shows. It is a good show, but mystery just is not my genre. It might make honorable mention in the Top 15. I just can’t identify with her enough. She is too sassy and strong, two things I would never be mistaken for. Even on The O.C., I could see some of myself in geeky Seth Cohen.
“FYI? If cuddling is the best part, he didn’t do it right.”
–Logan to Veronica
Ryan Atwood and Logan Echolls both got in tons of fights. Somehow, I just was always rooting for Ryan, and his motivation always made sense to me. Not so much with Logan. While I grew to enjoy Jason Dohring’s stage presence and quippy one liners, my heart will always be with Ryan, his wife beater, and his stare that could shut up Seth with one glance.
While Veronica does not make my Top 10, she is way better than most of the stuff on TV today.
I am glad I watched the series before I watched the movie. There were parts in the movie referencing the series that made me laugh out loud and others that made me say “aww” and brought some extra fluid to my eyes. I like it when I am able to get inside jokes. Although so many people went through Neptune High School, that half of them I can’t remember. All the blond girls look alike.
“Our story is epic.”
–Logan to Veronica
The movie was pretty much like watching an extended episode. Maybe it would have been more impressive watching it on the big screen in the theater, which is what I wanted (and still might do). But, well, I didn’t want to drive and hour and fifteen minutes away to a theater that was showing it. And I didn’t want to wait. So I downloaded it from Amazon. This whole experience has made me realize that I have a more addictive personality than I first realized. It is a good thing I desire pop culture and chocolate, and not alcohol and drugs.
If I watch too many episodes of VM in a row, it makes me feel very snarky. Which isn’t good when I am at work getting paid to provide excellent customer service. Extended viewing makes me feel bad ass, and makes me want to wear my pony tail higher.
[Veronica is trying to change a flat tire]
Veronica: Just as God made me.
The movie adds Jerry O’Connell as the current sheriff. Tina Majorino reprises her role as “Mac” from the VM series.
POP QUIZ: What 1992 series that I loved featured Jerry O’Connell and Tina Majorino?
CLUE #1: Also starred Jay Mohr.
CLUE #2: Also featured future two-time Oscar winner Hillary Swank.
ANSWER: Camp Wilder!
I can’t resist including a totally off-topic clip from the show, featuring Hillary and fellow recent Oscar winner Jared Leto…
My parting thoughts? I am busy being amazed that I can watch a 10 year old TV show, one episode after another, and then download the movie instantly four days after it came out which was only made possible through personal donations by fans. What a crazy world we live in today! It is times like this that the Internet and so much technology seems like a good thing.
I totally cannot get the song “We Used To Be Friends” out of my head now.
Other random trivia:
According to IMDb.com—
Kristen Bell has dessert after every meal, including breakfast. (For my post on this subject, click here: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2013/10/09/lunch-dessert/ )
Kristen is from Michigan and roots for the Detroit Red Wings. (Like me)
Guest stars on Veronica Mars the series and movie include:
Joss Whedon (acting!)
Lara San Giacomo
Ed Begley Jr.
Ryan Drummond (I’ve met him!)
Jamie Lee Curis (I’ve met her!)
Dax Shepherd (Mr. Kristen Bell)