Ciara’s Top 5 TV Shows: #4 – VERONICA MARS

Veronica Mars

Has there ever been a high school student cooler than Veronica Mars?

Months prior to the pilot, Veronica’s best friend, daughter of a bllionaire Lily Kane is murdered, her sheriff father wrongfully accuses Lilly’s father and is disgraced and forced to resign; amidst the massive public backlash Veronica’s mother abandons her and her father, her boyfriend (Lilly’s brother) breaks up with her, her friends, including Logan Echolls, Lilly’s boyfriend, turn against her for standing by her father and she has to deal with the horrors of high school. Oh, and she is raped at a party.

Then the series begins. Veronica investigates case-of-the-week plots whilst trying to solve the murder of her best friend; the red herrings are wonderful, the contrivances almost non existant. The acting is truly phenomenal, with only minor exception in the wooden characterizations of Wallace and Duncan. But Weevil, Mac, Keith Mars, Sheriff Lamb, Logan Echolls and of course Veronica herself would make my list of ‘Favorite TV Characters Ever’.

Veronica’s father sets up his own P.I business and Veronica, of course, helps out. The father/daughter duo is one of the best teams in television history. Keith Mars is pure awesomeness as the loving, protective father and friend. As his daughter, Veronica could not be sweeter. Though technically a procedural, rarely does it feel clichéd. The writing by Rob Thomas and his staff is almost on part with Aaron Sorkin for wit:

Keith: You don’t go to the Oceanside bars that the college kids hang out at, do you?
Veronica: I prefer the biker bar by the train station. I get more attention there.

Or:

Veronica: This is not funny! I need to see that diary! She’s lying. I know it. I can feel it with every fiber of my being.
Keith: Honey, you don’t have to get all blue in the face.
Veronica: You’re patronizing me?
Keith: To be fair, I am your patron.

The Emmy Awards snubbed Kristen Bell (I know: the Emmys snubbing somone? Seriously? Unthinkable!) who deserved to win-forget just being nominated, which she sinfully was not-for her outstanding portrayal of the titular character. Bell’s Veronica Mars had the strength, charisma, intelligence and charm to carry the entire show. She was not some dumb pretty girl whose independence was just a façade as she was constantly rescued by suitors and her father. When she cornered herself she relied upon no one to save her, nor did she suddenly turn into a 5 feet tall martial artist who flipped 200 pound bikers over her shoulder. You may roll your eyes at a plot involving a mail order bride from Russia, but dammit, if Veronica Mars was on the case, you were screaming at the commercials to hurry up. When she faced motorcycle gang leaders, vile sheriffs and high school bullies, you believed they were intimidated by this petite blonde in striped vests. Best of all, she was deeply flawed. Veronica’s cynicism and sarcasm were as entertaining as they were defence mechanisms. Her trust issues were not just said; they were shown. There are dozens of corners she jammed herself into, which she easily could have avoided had she relied on someone else. But she did not, and simultaneously she wasn’t annoying because of her lack of trust issues; she was relatable.

The show rarely sensationalized the traumas of parental death, abandonment and abuse, transsexual parents, adoption, drug use, bullying, rape and murder, but nor did they gloss over them.

The show deteriorated somewhat in the second season, though one of the best singular episodes was the second season “Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner” when Veronica finds out that someone her friend babysat was being abused. If you want to hear the absolute creepiest song ever, listen to the French band Air’s song “Run” played at the end of the episode. Seriously, you will not be able to sleep. Beyond that, the third season proves that television high school students should never go to college.

But the first season was just about flawless. If you haven’t seen it, check out the pilot: if you’re not hooked, buy a fishing rod because you need manual help.

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