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Veronica Mars
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Watch It: The WB | Amazon Instant Video

After her best friend is murdered and her father is removed as county sheriff, Veronica Mars dedicates her life to cracking the toughest mysteries in the affluent town of Neptune.

Review:

So…anybody heard any news about this show lately? Yesterday at 9:30 am CDT, creator Rob Thomas launched a Kickstarter for a Veronica Mars movie. The goal was $2 million, and it seemed like a lofty one. The show had been off the air for six years; would there still be a following? They reached the halfway point in under five hours, and topped $2 million in under eleven. Those who donated, Ashley and I included, helped guarantee a movie (and closure for us fans) in less than half a day. So that following? Still there! I quite literally cried when we reached the halfway point, because this is six years in the making, and I have never loved a show the way I loved this one, not before, not since. I’m tearing up as I type.

The summary is only the beginning of this show. It features Veronica, who has a million reasons to trust no one, making her way through the torture that is high school after her best friend, Lilly, is murdered. Her family has been torn apart, and she literally has no friends. Horrible things have happened to her. She is hardened because of her experiences, and while she makes mistakes (a lot of them, actually), she is a strong woman, a role model, and pretty much exactly what I, Tina, look for in YA protagonists. After losing his job, Veronica’s father, Keith, becomes a private investigator and Veronica learns the trade from him. She runs the front desk, but she also takes cases from kids at school. She is so jaded, and nothing she sees in the cases she works, from her peers or her father’s, makes her want to change her mind: “If there’s something I’ve learned in this business, the people who love you let you down.”

Veronica begins to make friends in season one, starting with the lovely Wallace. He is so great throughout all three seasons, and he provides a really good counterpoint to Veronica’s headstrong impulsivity. We also meet Mac, played by the great Tina Majorino, as a computer whiz with a really heartbreaking story. And we can’t forget Weevil, the leader of a Latino biker gang with a heart of gold. And then there are the 09ers, and let me warn you, you will hate some of them at first. At the forefront is Duncan, Lilly’s brother and Veronica’s ex-boyfriend. Mystery swirls around him all season. And then there’s Logan, Duncan’s best friend and Lilly’s boyfriend. He is Veronica’s biggest menace and has the ability to hurt her the most with his words. He is cruel and he is unrelenting. But, in Neptune, nothing and no one is as they first appear.

These characters are in no way flat or one-dimensional. Everyone has shades of gray, everyone has a backstory, and everyone has a sympathetic angle. No one is straight-up evil, and no one is completely pure. This show has nuance, handles gay and lesbian characters with tact and maturity, makes jokes and pop culture references so sharp, you’ll be quoting them years after you’ve watched all the episodes. The characters are intelligent and witty, and completely worth your time getting to know. In the first two seasons, there are season-long and multiple-episode mystery arcs, in addition to Mysteries of the Week, smaller cases Veronica solves (or doesn’t) within the scope of an episode. In the first two seasons, the continuity between seasons is fantastic, and you’ll hear lines and see people from season one in season two.

Now. Season three. The dreaded season three. Prepare yourself, because I am very emotionally attached to this show, and this section will seem dramatic. I am honestly conveying my opinion, but by no means let that negatively influence how you see this show. But season three is why I couldn’t give this show five stars. In season three, the characters go to college. The transition is… not smooth. The show had barely been approved for a final season, the show moved from UPN to the new WB, and a lot of the original writers were let go. The format was changed so that the season-long arcs no longer existed. They did this to make the show more appealing to new viewers, but all it really did was make original fans quit the show. In my opinion, everyone began acting out of character. They changed into people I didn’t recognize. To this day, I have not seen the entirety of season three, only bits and pieces. I can’t watch it, because it hurts to see my beloved characters mangled this way. I, along with lots of others, quit watching entirely. We killed the show, basically. Season three only had twenty episodes instead of twenty-two, and ended on a cliffhanger so horrible and heart-wrenching that people were screaming for a movie before it was even over.

And now? We’ve got it, baby. It’s a done deal.