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!

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.

Veronica Mars (Film Review)

Veronica Mars (Film Review)

The largest Kickstarter campaign ever comes to fruition in the film version of the TV show that quickly became a cult classic during its three-year run on the air, the Veronica Mars movie leaves no disappointment for fans of the series.

Ten years after leaving Neptune, Veronica has left her private detective life behind her, and is on the verge of becoming a high end lawyer in New York. Her life has been a success, as we all knew that it would be. She has a degree in psychology, and is weeks away from taking the bar exam. She is interviewing with top firms in NYC, on the cusp of a great career.

Until the call comes in.

“Veronica? I need your help.”

marsDrawn back to Neptune to help out Logan Eckles, her ex-love, who is again facing a murder rap when his former girlfriend and pop singer is found dead in her bathtub (Carrie Bishop, from the original show, although she is no longer played by Leighton Meester, one of the few disappointments in the movie). Of course, Veronica begrudgingly accepts to help him out with finding a lawyer, which turns into a much longer stay than she had intended.

Veronica Mars has everything one could want in a YV series-turned feature film. This was, after all, mostly funded by the fans, who raised millions of dollars to see this made. That is a dedicated fan base.

All of our favorite characters are back, and Kristen Bell, as Veronica, is in her finest form. She is as sharp and witty as ever, now able to say some of the things that she couldn’t on TV (I always enjoy hearing TV characters swear, it is partially unnatural, and partially awesome, because we know it’s what they would have really said, anyways). Even ten years after the first season began, we still love Veronica. She is still the underdog, despite the success in her life. And she continues to fight for what she believes to be right, which is the part of her character that we probably always admired most, even if we didn’t realize it.

There are great nods to the fans, even mentioning the cancelled fourth season where Veronica was to be an intern at the FBI. In the opening minutes, she even calls herself a Marshmallow, the name Veronica Mars fans have adopted for themselves. These subtle nods are fantastic, as they are not punch-you-in-the-face obvious, and it would not detract from a person watching the film as their first exposure to the character. In fact, this film does a good job of being a somewhat stand-alone production, in that you could watch it with someone who was not familiar with the series, and they would easily be able to follow along and enjoy it.

As for the story, and the mystery, it is as solid as always. There are some twists, and it is a good murder mystery, as was nearly every episode of the show. There is no let down here. At an hour and 45 minutes long, it is basically watching two back-to-back episodes, with an entire murder plot crammed in. But it doesn’t feel to rushed. And for fans of the show, watching back-to-back episodes is something that we have all done. Probably more than once. Ok, maybe some of us have managed to watch an entire season in one sitting (that’s a lot of sitting, but it got done!).

Not many actresses really own their character in the way that Bell owns Veronica. She is her. And even though she continues to act, and hasn’t been pigeon-holed due to the success of this show, there will always be a part of Kristen that truly is in a part of this character. We want to see them as the same person, because she is so good as her. Veronica Mars is the girl with the smart answer to everything, but who can also be fiercely loyal and loving at the same time. She uses her sarcasm as a mask, something too many of us are able to identify with. She is the outcast who never should have been the outcast in the first place, but wears her letter with pride, and always manages to hold her head up high, not ashamed of who she is. She is a true television hero.

One of my favorite things about the film is that they did not deviate from the formula of the show. This is exactly what people wanted to see. And they got it. They did not try to go crazy just because there was some more money and a built-in audience. They knew how Veronica Mars worked, and they stuck with it.

As usual, Veronica narrates the film, as the did on the series. She compares her need to help, to be near Logan, near Neptune, as an addiction, something that she dealt with in her life with her mother, and the various issues that floated around the elites of Neptune. It is a clever under-current to the story, the tale of a girl who wants nothing more than to get away, and stay away, but can do nothing of the sort. Another layer to the story, that is great entertainment.

For any fan of Veronica Mars, this movie is an absolute must-see. For those who never watched the show, you can count on a pretty solid murder mystery with some good comebacks and wit.

Just as the show always was.

New Trailer: Veronica Mars

I am unabashedly a huge fan of Veronica Mars. A great, fun, smart, and intriguing TV show when it was on, I have definitely poured through the three seasons of the show more than once. It was one of the shows that ended at the right time, before he storylines were too stretched out or the characters became caricatures of themselves.

Veronica_mars_introAnd Veronica herself, played incredibly by Kristen Bell, is one of the great female TV characters of all time. Sure, seems like high praise, but she is really that good. She is witty and tough, but held a deep vulnerability that made her irresistible as a character. Because of being Veronica Mars, I will watch pretty much anything that Kristen Bell is in, and am a huge fan of hers (she is currently excellent on House of Lies).

The big news for Veronica Mars nerds was the impressive Kickstarter project, where fans donated enough money to raise a budget to make a movie of the show they so dearly loved. This will be the first big-name project to be done in this way, which makes the movie a true labour of love. Fans wanted it so badly that they actually paid to have it made. That is an impressive following.

There has been significant buzz about the movie, obviously, and now there is an official trailer out. The movie will debut in March, and the trailer looks…awesome.

All of the characters are back. Veronica has left the life of being a PI, and is now a lawyer, but she is pulled back to Neptune when her old flame Logan is accused of murder. The events are centered on a reunion at Neptune High, which is an awesome way to get everybody back together and have Veronica hash it out with all the people (good and bad) from her past.

The trailer has everything you could expect and hope for. It looks dark, it looks funny, Kristen Bell appears to be in fine form. And despite not having the backing money of a huge studio, it looks like a very high end production. No cheesy look to this film.

I will confidently say that this movie looks like an absolute winner, and even though I rarely go to the theater to see movies any more, I will definitely make an exception for VM. I am excited.

Here is another link to the trailer.

http://theveronicamarsmovie.com/