Review: TV Show Veronica Mars still worth a watch
Now is the best time since 2004 to start watching Veronica Mars.
About to be rebooted for the third time, the franchise created by Rob Thomas has featured its original three season run, a Kickstarter funded movie, two novels and now, a new season to be released later this year.
It is not too late to jump on the Veronica Mars bandwagon, and I can tell you it is a worthwhile ride.
Let’s go back to the beginning. Season one enter on Neptune California in 2004, a town in which you are either incredibly rich, or poor. And yes, there is no escaping it, it’s noughties galore. Mini skirts, hipster jeans, flip phones and even an early season cameo by Paris Hilton.
The series centres around Veronica (Kristen Bell) who used to be your average American teenage girl, until her best friend Lily (Amanda Seyfried) was murdered the previous year. Her dad seemingly fumbled the investigation and was forced out of his job as the head of the town’s police to a private detective. Her dream life crumbled around her and she was left as a social pariah at school. But working part-time for her Dad she has picked up more than a few detective skills she uses to navigate her life.
The show’s format features in episode arcs of Veronica investigating mysteries for her friends and schoolmates combined with the season arch of who really killed Lily? Yes, the show features a lot of Veronica’s high school, but don’t be fooled it’s not your average teenage drama. More teen noir than anything else, the show doesn’t shy away from exploring the darker side of teenage youth with drug use and sexual assault often under the spotlight. There will be some surprising mysteries, snappy dialogue, interesting characters and oh so much sass.
The season does manage to stay interesting the whole way through with the Lily mystery featuring many twists and turns. Some stand out episodes include “Like a Virgin” when the whole school gets distracted taking an online purity test the results of which become weaponised to publicly shame, and “Mars vs. Mars” which explores trust and if sexual assault survivors should be automatically believed.
Overall the show is feminist, funny and often quite touching. Anchored around the relationships, and none more than Veronica and her father. Their relationship is easily one of the best daughter relationships featured on television. Veronica’s father Keith (Enrico Colantoni) is a nuanced character that has been developed further than that of the average protective father. He knows his daughter well, respects her and tries to do his best raising her on his own.
I don’t watch show’s set in high school anymore, but I still found re-watching Veronica Mars to be a worthwhile exception. The show is just as fun now as it was then, well ahead of it’s time.