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Veronica Mars

Posted by phduffy on 2007-01-17 15:02:37
3 forum posts
Review of Veronica Mars Season 1.

Based on a number of comments on a message board I frequent, combined with the awesomeness that zip, I decided to rent season 1 of Veronica Mars.

The show stars Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars. At the beginning of season 1 we find out that:
a) Veronica used to be best friends with Lilly Kane, the daughter of one of the richest men in town
b) She was dating Lilly’s brother Duncan
c) Her school was made up of rich people’s kids
d) Lilly Kane was murdered
e) Veronica’s dad, the sheriff at the time, believed that Lilly’s father was the murdered, despite a lack of evidence. By pursuing the case against him, he pisses off the entire town, and a special election is called, in which he loses his job as sheriff
f) Due to the fall out from all of this, Veronica is pretty much hated by everyone at her school, particularly Duncan’s best friend Logan
g) Veronica is raped at a party over the summer
h) Veronica’s mom runs away

Okay, so all of that is the set up. Season 1 essentially revolves around Veronica trying to figure out what really happened to Lilly. A typical episode involves Veronica either helping her dad (who now works as a private eye), or acting as a private eye to solve little mysteries at school. The problem is that most of the other kids hate her. Fortunately, she ends up making one good friend at the beginning of the year, and is able to gather up a couple more as the year goes on. Partially by solving their problems for them, partially by her former friends becoming a little bit nicer.

Now… if you were to look up the imdb entry for this series, you might be put off by the fact that Paris Hilton is in it. She’s only in one episode, and she’s essentially playing herself (spoiled rich kid).

So as the season progresses, Veronica starts to get clues as to who killed Lilly, where her mother is, what her mother’s connection to everything is, etc, which all comes to a head in the season 1 finale.

There are a number of great things about this show. It’s snappy and witty, without being cheesy, or completely unbelievable. It takes a similar idea as the movie Brick, that of the high school PI who’s influenced by Chandler and Hammett, but manages to make it more entertaining. The pulp influences are muted here, unlike in Brick. The show also does a nice job of growing over the season. Initially, everything is against Veronica. Slowly, she’s able to build a network of friends – the bad boy, the new kid in school, one of the cheerleaders, etc. They also do a great job of showing just how important the relationship between Veronica and her father is. He’s the only one left she can trust, and they play that up.

Red Herrings are planted throughout the season, and by the time you get to the last two episodes the only thing you’re sure of is that something is up. This isn’t a mystery in the classical sense, in that I don’t think you could figure out the resolution to the mystery based on clues presented in the show.

All of the regular actors are solid, but Kristen Bell in particular is great. You may remember her from Spartan or playing a hooker in Deadwood. The show also makes things interesting by sometimes dressing her up as a typical high school student, and sometimes making her look like a stone-cold fox. She also goes under cover as some sort of anime lovers dream girl, which I’m sure made lots of people’s days. She was also voted the world's sexiest Vegetarian. Luckily, although she’s playing a teenager, she’s only a year younger than I am, so I’m allowed to think that she’s sometimes a stone cold fox.

Bottom line, give this show a shot. Season 3 is currently airing, but I’d suggest rent, zipping or downloading season 1. Or buying it, although it’s like 65 bucks.
  3 forum posts