Not Only Men Are From Mars…

… there is also Veronica Mars. Yep finished another TV DVD boxset. This one is about your typical teenage girl, part of the IT crowd until tragedy strikes. Her best friend is murdered and her father – the local sheriff, is convinced that the girl’s father is the murderer. Problem is that Lilly Kane’s father is a Bill Gates type who employs many of the locals and is very popular and respected. The stance of Veronica’s father does not sit well with the locals and when a drifter confesses to the crime ends up costing the sheriff his job. The stress of the whole investigation breaks up Veronica’s family and she becomes a social pariah at Neptune High.

The school is located in L.A. in 09’er territory as the Haves are referred to. Veronica’s father decides to stay in town and becomes a P.I. with Veronica as her assistant. The change in Veronica is painful to see. Flashbacks show her as a vapid and shallow girl. As her father’s assistant, Veronica is now a cynical and hardened cookie. She is very tough on the outside and veers towards the cruel at times because of the bitterness she feels.

While the show headlines Kristen Bell as the titular character this is largely a male ensemble cast. Its great seeing Bell’s Mars holding her own and often topping all the testosterone she has to wade through. Kristen Bell is a powerful and vivacious dynamo blessed with some great writing that cleverly references other noir sources as well as spearing pop culture.

Witness some episode titles:

Meet John Smith
The Wrath of Con
Return of the Kane
The Girl Next Door
Like A Virgin
Drinking the Kool-Aid
Silence of the Lamb
Lord of the Bling
Clash of the Tritons
Weapons of Class Destruction
Leave It To Beaver

The dialogue crackles and Bell zings with the best of them. My favourite relationship is between her and her father played by Enrico Colantoni.

Veronica Mars has the misfortune to be slotted against Lost and has struggled to find an audience. Fortunately the second season numbers are up and the show seems poised for a season three.

The setup of the series forms a season long arc and, apart from a moment of two of stretching credibility, ends with a powerful climax. Miss Bell is quite the find and coupled with the consistently high level of writing, though there are one or two clunker installments, makes for one of the good shows out there.

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2 Responses to “Not Only Men Are From Mars…”

  1. bev_vincent Says:

    In his new EW column King says:
    If Veronica Mars is so cheap to produce (compared, say, to the per-episode budget of a show like Lost), how can it be so good? And how come budget seems to have so little to do with the relative merit of TV shows? For that matter, why is Veronica Mars so good? It bears little resemblance to life as I know it, but I can’t take my eyes off the damn thing.

  2. olddarth Says:

    Hey great minds think alike!


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