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Fourth of July Weekend: Catching Up with "Veronica Mars"

I'm curious how all of you spent this glorious Fourth of July weekend.

Me, I spent it doing what I love best: sitting around and watching television. In this case, Mrs. Televisionary and I spent a long, lazy weekend rewatching an old favorite, Veronica Mars Season Two on DVD.

I have to say that the trip back to Neptune was just as fun the umpteenth time as it was the first. Longtime readers of this site know my love of all things Veronica Mars so it was an absolute blast to walk back down the corridors of Neptune High and piece together the mystery of the sophomore season's main mystery, the bus crash. Of course, time fades certain memories (so THAT's what Kendall was doing in Duncan's shower) but you couldn't peel the smiles off of our faces during the 20-odd episodes of Veronica Mars' second season.

In Veronica Mars, creator Rob Thomas and his talented staff had accomplished what few others in American television (save maybe David Lynch and the writers on Twin Peaks) had done. Using high school as a backdrop, they created a fantastic noir world, utilizing the dusty tropes of that forgotten subgenre: plucky private eyes, menacing biker gangs, femme fatales aplenty, and setting it all against the most horrific personal hell any of us ever endure: high school.

Like Buffy before it, Veronica Mars found the perils and pitfalls of adolescence the perfect springboard to explore mysteries both big and small, but the the juiciest were usually the ones that involved our spunky heroine directly: the murder of best friend Lily Kane, the bus crash and the murder of Curly Moran (remember how he washed up ashore with V's name written on his hand?), the Hearst College serial rapist.

As for those that didn't directly involve her (but did allow her to earn some scratch, which she seemed to have spent on gorgeous little ensembles), the cases were often just as labrynthine, even if they were contained to single episodes, and often involved a revolving cast of familiar faces from Neptune High. While the series succeeded at quite a many things, one of its strengths was in the consistency of the student body and the return of former guest stars.

And while the outcome of Veronica Mars' second season is now no longer shocking once you've seen it once through, it's been absolutely fantastic to take a trip down memory lane and relieve those moments that later seem positively shocking: Cassidy and Mac's adorable courtship; Logan's predatory pursuit of Hannah; Meg's secret pregnancy; poor Grace being kept locked in the closet; Duncan's disappearance with his newborn daughter. That these are just the footnotes to a deliriously complex mystery only makes Veronica Mars' sophomore season that much more delicious.

But do yourself a favor and return to Neptune for a spell. You'll thank me afterward.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Another favorite show we have in common, Jace! In fact, the much-too-short-lived Veronica Mars is one of my all-time favorite series (as is Buffy ... must be something about somebody else's teen angst that appeals to me!).

Some friends and I just recently discussed reviewing both Veronica Mars and some of my favorite Buffy episodes. You've inspired me to do so - Thanks!
greebs said…
I bought my wife the entire series after she recently gave birth to our beautiful baby girl, and we watched the first two seasons in those first few weeks while we couldn't do much but sit trapped on the couch. I had never actually seen Season 1, which is phenomenal and Season 2 is also great. We haven't really watched much of the last season...it doesn't hold up, sadly, but it's still better than lots of what is out there. A shame this series couldn't keep on going.
Anonymous said…
Sigh...I miss this show.
Amy said…
ha, I thought about re-watching this show this weekend. I do so miss it.
Veronica Mars definitely deserves to be revisited. The plants and payoffs in the first and second seasons are just as brilliant as the banter and I wonder where Rob Thomas would have taken the show had he not been forced to get rid of the season long mysteries that made VM so great.
Vance said…
I still think Veronica Mars: FBI years could work and SHOULD WORK.
Anonymous said…
"My name is Cassidy!!"

I just lent all my VM DVDs to someone who had never seen them before. She was a bit skeptical, but once they were in hand she flew right through them. I wish I could experience the show from that perspective again.
Anonymous said…
Ah I would love to rewatch Veronica Mars again pretty soon. I have the DVDs but there's just so much to watch it will be a while before I get around to them.

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