Throwback TV: Veronica Mars Season 3

Throwback TV: Veronica Mars Season 3

The final installment of the beloved Veronica Mars TV series shifts our characters out of Neptune High, right into Hearst College, Neptune’s premier institution of higher learning.

All of the characters that we have learned to love over the first couple of seasons are back for the third go round. They have continued to develop from the events of season 2. For example, we have the lovable lout Dick Casablancas, who has been deeply affected by the criminal activity and death of his younger brother, Cassidy. In typical Dick fashion, his method of coping involved booze, partying, and women.

BELLNow that Veronica has moved along from high school, it doesn’t take long before she begins making enemies at her new school. Being smarter that the rest of the students in her criminology class doesn’t exactly endear her to her new classmates, or her new TA, the former prized student of her respected professor.

But, as we know, it won’t take long until people all over campus are asking her for favours, creating the small mysteries that move the series along. And of course, we have our large-scale mysteries that serve as the undercurrent for the year. An on-campus rapist, a mysterious suicide/murder, and Veronica’s tumultuous relationship with Logan Echolls, keep our heroine busy, all while trying to remain a successful student, work a part-time job, and continue helping out her father at Mars Investigations.

Veronica Mars remained nicely consistent throughout its three season run. The same things that worked in the first season continue to work in the third, and it is a formula that viewers have come to enjoy and love. Personally, I didn’t find the third season as engrossing as the first two, but that doesn’t mean that there is really an kind of drop in quality in the show. The last year is every bit as enjoyable as the first two, even if the mysteries aren’t quite as all encompassing or impactful on Veronica as they were the first couple of times around.

As always, the relationships are what make this show great. Logan and Veronica. The introduction of new roommate characters in Piz and Parker. The old standbys in Veronica and her father Keith, Mac, and Wallace. These relationships have been built up for three years, and we are not disappointed in the way that they have developed over the course of time.

Season 3 of Veronica Mars does not disappoint. The only sad thing is that there wasn’t more after the end of this season. On the DVD version, you can see the sneak peak of what would have been season 4, where Veronica would have been an intern at the FBI. Perhaps it was a good thing that the show ended after its three years. Veronica Mars was never destroyed by soap opera plots, or uninteresting side plots. It remains something that is always an entertaining viewing. This is one of those series that can be re-watched time and again, every few years. The wit and humour always remains, and the standout performance by Kristen Bell is never diminished over time.

If you have gone through the first couple of years of VM, you will not be disappointed by the third. Keep watching, marshmallows!

Throwback TV: Veronica Mars Season 2

Throwback TV: Veronica Mars Season 2

After the addictive, thrilling, and funny first season of Veronica Mars, most viewers will immediately plunge into the second season of the show, which continues from where the first season left off.

With the murderer of Lilly Kane behind bars, Veronica is now a senior, and continues her battle against the elites of Neptune, the issues at her school, and the race war that is on the cusp of exploding on the streets of her hometown.

v2There are many great things to further enjoy in the second season of this show. The story of Aaron Echolls continues, as he tries to prove his innocence for killing Lilly. His son, and Veronica’s sometimes boyfriend, Logan, is also in his own fair share of trouble, as he has been accused of stabbing and killing one of the PCH bikers. There is that little matter of her still not knowing who raped her at a year end party the year before….

Season 2 moves these stories along, as well as introducing a new problem that serves as the central mystery for the season: a bus crash after a field trip to Shark Stadium kills several Neptune High students. Luckily, or strangely, all of the richer kids were not on the bus ride home, having opted to take a limo ride home. Thus, the questions begin to come out. Who’s fault was it that the bus crashed? How did all the rich kids know to get off? Who was targeted with the crash?

The bus crash leads us on an intriguing mystery over the course of the system, that also cleverly ties in to older mysteries that the show began in it’s initial year.

As with the first year, Veronica works to solve mini-mysteries while she works on the bigger one at the same time. She still puts herself in overly dangerous situations, she still possess a razor-sharp wit, she still is forced to look in the mirror now and then and wonder who she really is, and what her role is in the destruction of the lives of people around her.

All of the main characters from the first season remain, and her inner circle is expanded from only Wallace, to more frequent appearances by Mac, and more important roles by Logan, Meg, Dick, Duncan, and Cassidy/Beaver. These characters play secondary roles in Veronica’s life, and this is something else she needs to deal with. Is she out there to help other people out, or is she in danger of becoming too self-centered and focused on her own revenge to truly be able to call herself a friend?

The secondary characters are also given stronger story lines, including Wallace becoming involved with his father, taking some time away in Chicago, and getting into some issues with a vehicle incident.

Veronica Mars, the second season, offers more of what viewers learned to love in the first. It is an endlessly clever show, with strong writing, great acting, and carried by the excellent lead of Kristen Bell as Veronica.

If you have watched the first season, I am going to guess that you are hooked, and year 2 will definitely not disappoint.

Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Book Review)

Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Book Review)

I think we have found a great beach read here, in the mystery novel based on the characters created in the cult TV show Veronica Mars. Originally meant to serve as the basis for the film version that was released earlier this year, The Thousand Dollar Tan Line now works as a sequel to the movie.

The story revolves around Veronica, who is now back in Neptune after her adventures in the film, waiting for her boyfriend, Logan Echolls, to come back from his overseas tour of duty, and working a little bit for her dad, as she tends to do.

mars2It is set during spring break, where Neptune is invaded by drunken hordes of college age students, ready to blow off some steam. All is going normally, until a couple of co-eds go missing. From here, the mystery unfolds, and Veronica investigates the disappearance, or possible kidnapping, or possible murder, of the two missing girls. It leads her all over Neptune, to large spring break parties, to run ins with the most dangerous drug cartel on earth.

The book is co-written by VM creator Rob Thomas, which allows an in-depth knowledge of the characters in the story. We don’t need the backstory on everybody, like her friends Mac and Wallace, but instead are expected to know about them. That being said, this novel doesn’t need to be only for fans of the show. It is independent enough that the regular reader could get on board as well, because at its core, this is basically just a good mystery read. There is nothing incredible about it, but it reads just like an extended episode of the show. The mystery itself is solid, it keeps the reader guessing for the majority of the story, and it is a pretty fun read.

Credit goes to Kristen Bell, who so perfectly portrayed Veronica on the small and silver screen, that whenever Veronica is speaking, it is impossible not to read it in her voice, with her inflection and nuances to the character. Bell did such a wonderful job in becoming Veronica, that her performance transcends to text as well.

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line is definitely not high end literature, but it will keep you entertained until the end. It is fairly well-written, all of the characters we have grown to love are in the story, and Veronica does what she does. She is still the witty, and edgy, and intelligent, and risk-taking girl that we grew to love on TV.

For fans of Veronica Mars, this mystery novel will be a must have for your summer reading list. Enjoy.