Has anyone, perchance, been looking for me somewhere in the last, oh, ten years? Well, I figured it out where I was!
Turns out I’ve been living under a rock. A stupid one.
When the Internet and news sources alike suddenly were ablaze with word of the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever, I knew I had missed something very important in my pop culture education—Veronica Mars.
I vaguely remembered a show of the same name that had played on TV back when I was in high school—but even as an avid series watcher, and a self-proclaimed TV connoisseur—I didn’t have a clue what it was about.
Fast forward to February 2014 when I hit play on my very first episode, and I still had no idea what Veronica Mars was about to entail.
Starring the incomparable Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars follows a high school girl who, after the murder of her best friend, becomes an amateur detective and solves a wide-range of crimes for her classmates in the middle-class-less town of Neptune, California.
Sure, a teenage detective? It sounds silly, I know. I actually may have rolled my eyes at the concept in the pilot seeing as it sounds more like a middle grade book series, but even the movie calls itself out on it in its opening moments—because, by that point, it knew just how many people had chosen to keep watching.
This past Christmas break, a near and dear friend succinctly pointed out that I’m a fan of the hype. And by ‘the hype’ she did not mean the ultra-popular trend of the moment—no, she was referring to the stuff of smaller scale, but fiercely loyal followings, and bonus points if there’s an extra cool/awe-inspiring/heartfelt/insert-other-appropriate-adjectives-here cultural backstory to go along with it.
So re-imagine with me, if you will, that cold February evening. Just as Wallace tells Veronica she’s as soft as a marshmallow, I became painfully, shamefully aware that this particular gem had been missing from my radar for OVER A DECADE.
Unlike most shows these days, Veronica Mars effortlessly weaves its episodic cases with its series-long storylines, and current TV creators and writers alike should be painstakingly studying its dedication to continuity. Though, in truth, the storylines progressively weaken (in miniscule doses compared to the farce many series become) the opening season of Veronica Mars is without a doubt the tightest, best planned out season of a television show that I’ve had the pleasure of watching.
And as I mentioned, I’m a bit of a connoisseur.
Anyway. I waited an excruciating four days while Keely, who had caught an episode or two in passing, caught the bug and hurriedly caught up to me at the end of the first season. And then—not proud, but obviously incredibly proud—together we ploughed through the second and third ones in a blissful six days of TV binge-mode.
We had a movie to catch while it was still in theatres, after all.
This weekend we sat in a cinema full of fans of the show that giggled at tiny little Easter eggs the show’s creator had left for them to find in return for ten years of loyalty and a funded feature film. Or should I say… Keester eggs??? (See what I did there guys? HA! I’m in on a joke, too!)
I felt slightly nostalgic for a past with the show I didn’t actual have… part of me really wished, as I sat and waited for the movie to begin, that I too had been waiting nearly nine years, desperate to know what happened next. And not, you know, just 36 hours.
As for the movie itself, the budgetary restraints were obvious, but the film itself offered so much of what the fans had been wondering about over the years (since the show was abruptly cancelled after its third season), that its lack of dazzlingly cinematic grandeur registered on the radar of few. Plus, it was movie many of the viewers had actually contributed funds towards making, and that must have been a pretty damn cool feeling.
And finally, due to the genius of writer/creator Rob Thomas, the movie ended in a wonderfully believable way, allowing Veronica to keep fighting the fight, and without tying a nice, neat—and utterly implausible—bow on top of it all. And he managed to do this while also strategically placing each of his beloved characters in convenient-to-the-plot locales should the franchise ever continue.
Well played, Rob Thomas—you whore! (Guys, that’s an inside joke, too – can I be in the club now?)
Okay, artsies. I know I just made our triumphant return from analytical, objective, Oscar nominated reviews and immediately chose to bring it straight back to gush-fest territory—but truly, I do believe it’s an absolute shame that Veronica Mars never got the network loyalty and critical attention it deserved.
If you haven’t given it a go—now’s the time! You have… precisely… three days to watch its three seasons before you’ll miss your opportunity to watch the film in theatres.
Aaaand, if that’s a tad unrealistic for you, you can always download its digital copy on iTunes.
By next Tuesday, perhaps we’ll have ourselves some fellow Marshmallows!
See ya then!
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