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‘Life’s a Bitch and Then You Die’ – My Veronica Mars Odyssey: Season One

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What will follow is an account of my experience with the TV series Veronica Mars – also the movie, the book and the upcoming webisodes. With the recent announcement of these webisodes and never having watched so much as a scene in my entire life, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about! This is my no-prior-knowledge, plenty-of-TV-experience, habitual-junkier take on Veronica Mars Season One. Please be aware that if you haven’t seen the show there will be a spoiler section so be careful, you’ve been warned.

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Veronica Mars

It was a rainy Friday afternoon not unlike the afternoons before it, but this day was special, this day I would make the decision to drive to my local video shop and commit my time to the popular TV series Veronica Mars. Little did I know just how much time I would actually be committing to it. All I knew at the time was it was some sort of Nancy Drew type series set in an American high-school, to that I was correct. What I didn’t expect was the charm of Kristen Bell, the wit of the writers and the subtle yet delightful tinges of film noir. Veronica Mars is a series based around a sarcastically witty 16 year old, Veronica, whose dad owns a private detective agency after his fall from his respectable sheriff position in their home town of Neptune. Neptune is a small town with some very rich residents, or as referred to as the 09ers, amongst the lower middle class residents, Veronica and her dad included. In this season, Veronica, as an adept sleuth herself, investigates the murder of her best friend Lilly Kane.

Firstly, love, love, love the dialogue and witty back and forth in this show, very fast paced and Buffy-esque with heaps of pop culture references coming in a close second to Suits. Bell and Enrico Colantoni who plays Veronica’s father are absolutely brilliant together and are often times a breath of fresh air in the midst of some pretty heavy episodes. This Nancy Drew cross with The O.C. teen crime drama always keeps you guessing to the very end. Almost every episode ends with the culprit being some one unexpected. While this is gripping and entertaining it is a bit of a let down for the people trying to play along at home.

Veronica Mars

Veronica Mars

The main characters are made up of your typical teenage trio, or as I like to call it the high school effect. There’s the strong sarcastic protagonist with a friend on one side who is either super dorky or in this case super cool and the other friend who is nerdy and more often than not tech savvy. Don’t believe me? Here’s a few examples off the top of my head: Smallville, The O.C., Buffy, I’d even go so far as to mention the pre-pubescent kids we all know and love from Degrassi High, and while we’re on the after school specials, The Saddle Club. Boom. In saying that though, there is obviously a method to the madness and it definitely works in their favour with this one.

Disappointingly, the obvious film noir in the first episode, complete with voice-overed flash backs and your red lipped femme fatale, turns in to just a subtle homage to the genre. There are a few pretty redundant filler episodes, which can be forgiven because of the massive 22 episodes which was even more than normal for a first season back in the day. Despite these tedious filler episodes, almost all of them have some small tie in to the major mystery of the season; hats off the the writers for that one.

While the first season features some big issues like suicide, date rape and gang activities (probably not appropriate for young eyes), it fails to really tackle these issues. They keep the plot line moving and provide some twists and turns here and there but are never fully explored emotionally by any of the characters and there are at often times little repercussions. In a first season with so many episodes this lack of depth seems like a missed opportunity.

This next part is for you existing Veronica Mars lovers out there, SPOILERS ahead:

Veronica and Logan

Veronica and Logan

Was I the only completely slow person who did not see the Veronica and Logan kiss coming (henceforth referred to as Vegan)? I did not see it coming but my God, it was a stroke of genius. Put the most loved and most hated characters together in a kiss off. Brilliance. Even worse the fact that her oh-so-revealing voice overs didn’t even mention it till the next episode was torture. The second piece of spoilery goodness that needs to be discussed is the big reveal ending of the real murderer. What I loved about these last few plot breaking scenes the most wasn’t the out of left field twist but the suspense and danger around Veronica. This usually calm and collected, I’ll go so far as to say suave character, is absolutely terrified. The once invincible lead finally realises her mortality and it doesn’t just creep up on her, it kicks her full in the face. Bell could have downplayed the violence and terror and kept her wailing to a minimum to preserve her character, but she didn’t. I think she made the right choice and I hope this major character development continues on next season.
So if you didn’t catch that, overall I am highly impressed with the first season. I’m curious as to whether season two is more of the same or they shake things up a bit. I think I’ll leave it on that note as I have season two in my hot little hands and am starting to get the withdrawal shakes. If you have anything to share I want to know. Please comment below or let us know on social media.

Stay tuned for the second installment of my long overdue Veronica Mars Odyssey.

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  1. 6 Classic TV Characters Who Should Have Stayed Dead | Sorry I'm Late.com

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