Veronica Mars:
A Review

By Autumn Topping



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Veronica Mars. Most everyone has probably heard the name somewhere before but what comes to mind? A canceled TV show brought back from the dead perhaps? But what do you think of the character Veronica herself? Some may consider her merely a fictional private eye, while others a disillusioned Nancy Drew, noir inspired vengeful sleuth with biting commentary about life in general. Jane Austen has got nothing on Veronica. Then of course there are the rest of us Mars fans who know the truth about Veronica: she’s a marshmallow, and we fellow marshmallows have been waiting a long time for the continuation of this too soon canceled cult classic about a teenage, cynical private investigator with a big heart.

When news broke a year ago about a Kickstarter campaign, the internet went wild! How on earth could fans fund a film for a show canceled six years earlier? Would there be enough backers to make this happen? Surely, the small but loyal fan base would have mostly dissipated over the years. Within a few hours, however, we (all of us backers) proved all the naysayers wrong, funding the film in the first day! Still, no one could have predicted the outpouring of support thrown in Veronica’s direction, with almost 6 million dollars raised by the end of Kickstarter (well over the goal of 2 million). Never underestimate a fan’s desire for an ending…
 
So, what about that ending? Would adult Veronica be just as engaging as teenage Veronica? Did the film live up to the hype for Mars fans? When Rob Thomas first created Veronica Mars, a cult show that ran from 2004-2006, he began the story about this teenage girl whose best friend had recently been murdered. When Veronica’s father, the Sheriff, got ousted after supposedly messing up the case and going after the murdered girl’s father (one of the richest men in town and founder of Kane software), Veronica herself became an exile in the grand town of Neptune where class divisions between rich and poor became even more apparent to the now hardened Veronica on the outskirts of popular society. Seeing the corruption, Veronica turned to detective work now that her father was a private investigator, driven to uncover the truth of Lily Kane’s murder in the process. The setup was clever, the dialogue cutting and sharp, and Kristen Bell’s delivery of the lines funny and engaging.
 
As the seasons continued, however, the show just wasn’t a big enough hit for the CW (well over 2 million viewers by the end and now above most shows on the network…) and so the show was canceled without an ending, something particularly devastating for fans of the “epic” romance between Logan and Veronica, Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) once Neptune’s “obligatory psychotic jackass” according to Veronica. Dark and damaged, Logan became the ultimate bad boy in need of Veronica’s love. The two became drawn to one another like a bad, albeit entertaining addiction with snarky debates between the two along the way. Unfortunately, their journey was cut short…until now.
 
For Mars fans, the wait was well worth it! Nine years later (in the show’s years), and Veronica is six weeks away from taking the bar and becoming a full-fledged New York lawyer. She has a nice boyfriend (Piz) and life is seemingly going good, albeit a little on the boring side. She did escape the terrible clutches of Neptune after all.  Then, she catches the news: Carrie Bishop, a pop singer and someone she had gone to high school with was murdered and Logan, Carrie’s boyfriend, the prime suspect. With a call for help from Logan, who she hasn’t seen in 9 years, she gets sucked back into the world of Neptune and the exciting world of being a private eye, thus beginning our own nostalgia trip back to a fictional town. She opens her old box of tools and begins to investigate. Who really killed Carrie Bishop?
 
Aside from the surprisingly engaging noir mystery, is the other plot about the corruption of Neptune and the class war between the rich and the poor.  Cops are setting up innocents, the division even greater than when Veronica graced the classrooms of Neptune High. This divide, not being the main focus of the film, ends open ended with several questions left hanging in the balance. But don’t worry, this is purposeful. If all goes well, this background arc opens the door for future movies (that is if it makes enough money at the box office). 
 
More than just plot and intriguing story, the characters are back and just as lovable as ever. Truly a love letter to the fans that backed it, Rob Thomas rewards them with cameos from most of the old gang (even several of the guest stars) to even new cameos from James Franco (seriously hilarious) to Kristen Bell’s real life husband Dax Shepard. While all the nods to the TV show will go over the heads of new viewers, that’s okay because this fan backed film really is for the fans. With lots of Logan and Veronica love, a great mystery, engaging dialogue and noirish voice overs, there is never a dull moment. Best of all, aside from all the fabulous and romantically epic Logan/Veronica interaction, Veronica is back, fitting her adult role like a glove.  She could still snark with the best of them.
 
Seven years later and Rob Thomas and the cast haven’t lost their touch. Every character, while evolved (Logan the most changed thanks to his newfound maturity), still feels like who they were all those years back. Veronica Mars may have once been a long time ago but not anymore. Hopefully, the success of Veronica Mars will open the doors for several returns back to Neptune with new mysteries and even return visits for other fabulous shows canceled too soon. Until next time, fellow Marshmallows!
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