When you come across ‘best tv shows ever’ lists, you’ll see a hodgepodge of obvious award winning television shows like The Wire, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, etc. Every once in a while, you’ll come across a little known UPN/CW show called Veronica Mars. Back then, I would scoff and say how weird this Dawson’s Creek/Gillmore Gills look-a-like made this list? I mean a show about the dramas of little ‘ol highschoolers? How is this ABC Familiy-esque TV show getting such high praise? So I threw it in the back of my head and judged the judgements of others and claimed that it must have been some sort of fluke.
And then that Kickstarter happened. Creator Rob Thomas launched a Kickstarter asking loyal Veronica Mars fans to help make their dream come true by asking the unreal sum of $2,000,000. Twenty four hours later, the goal was broken and the final sum of the Kickstarter ended past $5,000,000. So I had it. That was it. I had to see what the big deal was about. Who was this Veronica Mars and why was she so special? What could compel fans enough to throw $5,000,000 at the promise of a movie about some non-premium cable TV show? How does a such a rabid fan base exist that I’m not a part of yet? I investigated all these by finally catching up on the three seasons of Veronica Mars in preparation for the movie. And now I just wish I was a fan earlier, so I could too help support this much needed cause.
The Story is Fairly Dark and Compelling
Veronica Mars is set in Neptune, California, precisely around the time it was released in 2004. Neptune is like what you would expect California to be, which means a couple of things: there are rich people and there are poor people, both of which are involved in some shady things from time to time. What does that mean for the story? Veronica Mars follows a fairly procedural drama with a couple of twists and turns. Each episode sort of focuses on a one-episode crime involving the sketch people of Neptune, while spending a couple of minutes to advance the main story.
Queue the lead character of which the show is named after. Veronica Mars is a high school student at Neptune who is trapped in her Hell of a high school. Generally regarded as an outcast, she spends her time doing favors and solving crimes in Neptune with her father, who works as a private investigator. Together they solve the major crime of the season while working smaller ones in between. The crimes they solve though are far from stolen vanilla ice cream. Sure the fundraiser money is stolen in some episodes, but other times, murder, incest, rape, and suicide are bigger issues that can be quite shocking when coupled with the light tone of the show sometimes.
However, between the crimes Veronica Mars is generally set in a high school setting, with some of the drama of the show revolving around relationships, grades, and Prom. This lightened mood helps balance the sometimes dark stories while adding ounces and ounces of adorable. Speaking of adorable…
Veronica Mars is Adorable and I Want One of My Own
Veronica Mars, played wonderfully by Kristen Bell, is one of the most adorable and probably one of my favorite television characters ever created. She’s witty, sardonic, strong, and incredibly smart. She values true friendship and can handle herself in just about any situation. But she can also be vulnerable. And throughout the show, we see how strong she is and how people can sometimes be afraid of her, but in her private moments, she’s still human. With a dark past involving date rape and county-wide shame, Veronica Mars has transformed herself to be cold, unemotional, and passive when it comes to her peers.
But let’s not forget she’s a 105 lb blondie. Rocking all angles of adorable on both the inside and outside, Kristen Bell has created Veronica to make pretty much any tasteful guy’s heart melt. Whether she’s spitting out Big Lebowski lines, putting on fake accents, or singing karaoke, I’ve fallen for her over and over and over again.
Her Supporting Cast, Mainly Logan, is Absolutely Delightful
Of course, if the only good character on this show was Veronica, then it probably really wouldn’t be worth watching the 64 episodes. Veronica Mars has an incredible supporting cast, with emphasis on Jason Dohring’s Logan Echolls. While most of the other characters on the show are static, displaying similar characteristics throughout the entire series, Logan Echolls evolves the entire series. He might be the one of the most traumatized characters in the whole series, and though he starts as one of the biggest douchebags ever, the character has layers that slowly unfold throughout the three seasons.
Also behind Veronica is a memorable and lovable cast. Enrico Colantoni plays Veronica’s charming father, Keith Mars, whom we see where Veronica gets her wit from. The father/daughter relationship Veronica and Keith is one of the most adorable things on screen and he definitely ranks as in a top 10 list of best fictional dads. The rest of the supporting cast are essentially Veronica’s peers in high school and college. These range from the love-to-hate types to the unquestioning best friend to the ex-lover/possible brother [what!?].
The number of guest stars also shine here. The biggest shout out to Ken Marino’s Vincent Van Lowe, who plays a rival private eye with a questionable moral code. Other than that, guest stars range from Paul Rudd to Adam Scott to Jessica Chastain to Jane Lynch. Each of these guests brought their own personal charm to create memorable plot lines.
The Veronica Mars Movie is Coming
Like I said, when the Kickstarter finished up its goal in less than a day, this series caught my attention. For an audience to flock so passionately to a TV show that has been cancelled for almost 7 years, I immediately thought to my other favorite tv shows I would gladly flock to like Firefly and Arrested Development. If there exists a fanbase this rabid, then it is a personal rule of mine to investigate what the buzz is all about. So after finishing this series, I understand why the rabid fanbase acted the way they did, and I’m ultimately upset that I missed out on being able to support the feature film release.
Above I’ve included the Kickstarter video that includes Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Ryan Hansen, Enrico Colantini, and Rob Thomas the creator himself. It includes a number of nods to the series that were all joyous to watch. And Colantini still being in character after over half a decade is priceless. It’s a little jaw dropping to see the noticeable age in all of my favorite cast members, but the notion that the team was getting back together filled me with giddy joy.
Overall, Veronica Mars is one of those cult phenomenon tv shows that had a good stroke of luck to allow its fans to get the closure it deserves. This movie is Firefly’s Serenity. It’s Arrested Development’s Netflix revival. Who knows what series will be started next? But right now, this is the only one that matters to me. So what, I wasn’t able to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign. But I’ll be in line to purchase my movie ticket to see what Mars Investigations and Co. are up to.