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.

Orange is the New Black Season 2 (TV Review)

Orange is the New Black Season 2 (TV Review)

After a seemingly endless wait, the second season of the hit Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black, has been released to the streaming service in its entirety. This show was heavily hyped during its first run, and rightfully so. The story of Piper Chapman, a yuppie woman sent to prison for 15 months for smuggling drugs for her girlfriend nearly a year before, was a highly entertaining season.

The release of the second season is one of the more hyped ones in the history of Netflix and their original programming. After coming out on Friday, this weekend would spell a lot of binge watching by fans of the show. I can’t see tons of people pacing themselves with this one, since they have been waiting for it for so long.

orangeThe season begins with Piper being shuffled off to another prison, after the incident that concluded the first season. Apparently, beating another girl to a pulp gets you in some more trouble. Or so we are lead to believe.

In all honesty, Orange is the New Black Season 2 starts pretty slowly. There are even a couple of episodes near the beginning that barely has Piper appear in them, as the show continues its original path on focusing on one or two characters per episode, and showing their back story. But the show really is about Piper and her struggle in a world that is not hers, and when she isn’t in much of the episode, I feel that the episode was lacking. Not that the secondary characters are bad, or aren’t good for the show. In fact, they were so helpful in making the first season such a success.

A few episodes into the new season, the show begin to hits its stride once again. There are new characters that come in to the prison, including the cute, but annoying, Soso. She is a younger girl, a political activist, who talks incessantly. I assume she is there to be a humorous character, but she is quite annoying to begin with. Eventually, like the season, she settles in, and becomes a better, funnier, more interesting character. Her desire to protest everything, including showering, makes her far more interesting than the nattering mess she began as. Even during her sex scene, she manages to talk non-stop, which is one of her funnier moments. By the end of the year, Soso becomes a very likable character, and another strong addition to the show.

We are also introduced to Vee, a tough-as-nails drug dealer with connections to Taystee and Red from the past. She comes in and tries to re-arrange the pecking order in the prison, causing some of the major conflicts of the season.

In the end, the show remains about the journey that Piper is undertaking. Once the first few episodes are sorted out, we get back to her troubles, both inside the prison, and with her crumbling life outside of it. She has gone through changes, continuing on her path of toughness that she began in the first year. No longer is she the passive, nerdy, fish out of water, but she is starting to show that prison is a place that she sort of belongs. She has made a home for herself there, despite the numerous issues that keep arising for her. We as viewers spent the first season believing that she never really belonged in that place, but by Season 2, we start to wonder if that really is where she belongs. There is an anger that has bubbled to the surface with Piper, and it is fun to watch her character develop.

Inside the prison walls, the stories that we started to learn about in the first season continue on, so we aren’t left hanging with what happened to the women we started to care about. There are some new back stories that reveal a lot about the characters. There are also heightened tensions between the racial divisions and groups in the prison, which causes backbone to the season.

In all, perhaps the second season doesn’t live up to the hype of the first. It was massive, and would have been difficult to live up to. But, Orange is the New Black remains an excellent show, and the second season is eventually very entertaining. Once the fun returns to the show, it is an enjoyable look into the quirkiness, problems, personal struggles, and deeper societal issues with a minimum security person.