MY LOVE LETTER TO VERONICA MARS (THE SHOW AND THE GIRL)

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There are so many posts you could do about Veronica Mars.  This could be a post about my favorite episodes; it could be a post with the best Kristen Bell clips from the series; heck we could debate Logan vs. Piz until the end of time.  But, rather than do that (just start googling, I am sure you will find articles about all those topics), I thought it more appropriate to explain why I love this show and this girl so dang much.  So, here you go.

I was a late-to-the-party marshmallow.  I started watching season 1 of Veronica Mars about a year ago.  However, I can honestly say, from the pilot episode I was hooked.  Hooked in a large part because of Veronica herself.

Veronica is a worthy lead character, a worthy heroine, and a darn good role model.  She is smart, quick, resourceful, resilient, funny, sarcastic, and loyal.  She could be me (or more realistically, a better version of me) and that is what is awesome.  Veronica doesn’t need superpowers to overcome obstacles; she is incredibly capable of figuring things out for herself (although, it wouldn’t hurt for her to ask for help sometimes).  This seems to be a rare thing in female lead actors these days.  Moreover, I think her best quality is that she does not care about what people think of her.  She knows who she is and she is comfortable with it.  This is a challenge for most adults, much less a highschool girl who is certainly not having a pleasant time in highschool.  We don’t often see strong female role models who are capable to standing up for what they believe in or the people who they believe in and that is what makes Veronica and her show incredibly special.

I don’t want you to think that I am blind to Veronica’s faults.  Because, I certainly know that she has them.  But, isn’t that what also makes this show even better?  The lead character isn’t perfect.  She isn’t necessarily an impossible standard for someone to achieve.  Moreover, watching Veronica cope with her trust issues, dishonesty, and her own judgmental issues, helps the viewers realize that these are qualities they should try to stay away from in their own lives.  We all go through some crappy situations in our lives and it is obvious that Veronica has had more than her fair share, but isn’t there something positive and inspiring about a girl who can keep going on and living her life (even if she has a few emotional scars from it)?

Now, we can’t have a conversation about Veronica without also addressing her father and her friends.  Veronica and Keith’s relationship is by far the single best relationship of the show.  Keith has managed to raise a smart and independent daughter all on his own.  I think the most important quality about Keith is that he respects his daughter.  I know he doesn’t always agree with her or her decisions, but in the end, we (and she) always know that Keith will be there for Veronica and that unfaltering love and devotion is what makes Keith a great dad.  Great father/daughter relationships aren’t found very often on TV and especially a father/daughter relationship where both parties try their best to be honest with each other.  Let’s face it, Keith and Veronica are special.

And, finally, we come to her friends:  Wallace, Mac, and Weevil.  Wallace is a gem.  He is the best friend that anyone would be lucky to have.  Further, the Wallace and Veronica relationship is again a tool to demonstrate that Veronica is not perfect–she does take advantage of Wallace’s friendship.  But, true friends are there for you always and are even willing to call you on your sh*t.  Wallace is a true friend.

What can you say about Mac, other than that she is completely awesome.  I think one of the best parts of season 3 of Veronica Mars is that Mac is given a chance to be a more developed character.  What’s special about the Veronica and Mac relationship is that both girls are willing to let the other person shine.  They are two girls who are not in any sort of competition with the other and that, my friends, we don’t see very often on TV.

I am not sure that everyone would consider “Weevil” to be Veronica’s friend, but over the course of the show I think it has become clear that Veronica and Weevil hold a special place for each other in their hearts.  And, Weevil is able to bring out Veronica’s sense of loyalty and ability to see the best in a person and those are qualities that make Veronica great.  Plus, watching Weevil and Veronica hatch schemes together is nothing but great TV.

I know I didn’t talk about the many “boyfriends” of Veronica Mars in this post because, while I love the constant Logan vs. Piz debate (let’s be real, Duncan never stood a chance…but then again, Leo was pretty awesome), the love-triangle dynamic is not what this show was about.  It was about a girl who overcame a lot of obstacles in her life to become the kick-ass person that she is.  She ain’t perfect, but in my eyes she is truly something special.  And, I can’t wait to see her on the big-screen.  Can’t you tell?

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Now if only I could decide which Veronica Mars shirt to wear…

-LJ

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ESSENTIAL VERONICA MARS

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Hey there marshmallows! Well, here we are, just a few days away from the wide release of the Veronica Mars Movie, and speaking for myself and my wife, we couldn’t be more excited. So excited, I’ll go out on a limb and say you might even be seeing some Veronica Mars content from her this week as well. As contributors to the Kickstarter campaign that started this Veronica Mars resurgence (although, I was limited on my donation, because at the point the Kickstarter began, LJ was not yet one of the initiated. Trust me, if she had been, we would have donate MUCH more to the Kickstarter), I thought this would be a good time to run down a list of what I think are some of the more essential Veronica Mars episodes. This list is not attempting to be an objective “best” list, or even necessarily my “favorite” episodes, because, I don’t think that’s a list I could create if I had a gun to my head. Alas, here are a few episodes I would recommend before heading to your local Cineplex (assuming you have a participating AMC nearby) this weekend.

6. An Echolls Family Christmas (Episode 110): This episode has it all…The first, of many, confrontations between Veronica and the Kane’s, a poker game heist, a stalker stabbing Aaron Echolls…Please, tell me what is not to love?! Veronica starts putting together some pieces about Lily’s murder in this episode, seeing that the Kane’s are hiding even more than she and Keith thought they were. The episode also includes a trope the show used maybe one too many times: Something winds up stolen, and Weevil gets blamed. And, as is often the case, Weevil is not the culprit. This may have been the first time that was used, so I think we have to just let that slide.

  • Quote: Veronica–You know…There are some people who think Christmas is about the birth of Christ, not baseball. Keith–Well, we are all entitled to our own religions, Veronica.

5. The Bitch is Back (Episode 320): Many fans were disappointed with the Veronica Mars finale. I’m not one of them. The show was never presented to us as something that would end with everyone happy, with the good guy winning and the bad guy admitting defeat. In fact, the show very often went out of its way to say this is simply not how the world worked. That’s what happened here. Keith does what he has to do to protect Veronica, just like he always has, and always will, but it does cost him what they fought for the entire series. For Keith to get back his rightful place as the sheriff. And, Veronica winds up right back where she started, as the outcast she has probably always deserved to be.

  • Quote: Mac–You’re like Kirk in Wrath of Khan. You refuse to believe in the no-win scenario. Veronica–You’re like one of the nerds in Revenge of the Nerds with your Star Trek references.

4. Like a Virgin (Episode 108): This episode makes my list because of the character(s) it introduces us to. First, though we may have previously been introduced to Meg, this is the first episode where we get to spend a significant amount of time with her. And, Meg obviously becomes increasingly important to the story of season 1 and season 2. But, we also are first introduced to Mac. Mac winds up being part of the Veronica Mars team, along with Wallace, acting as the computer expert for Veronica. Mac works with Veronica to solve the case of the purity test, and help out Meg in doing so. Meg’s place here is also important because she introduces Veronica to the idea that not all of the 09er’s have turned on her. There are still some good people left out there.

  • Quote: Veronica–Meg, you’re the last good person at this school. I’d believe cartoon birds braided your hair this morning.

3. Spit & Eggs (Episode 309): SO much happens in this episode. Veronica solves the rape mystery. The new mystery (Dean O’Dell’s murder) is presented. And most importantly, Logan and Veronica break up for the last time. Logan may have been introduced as the bad boy, but he grew to be so much more. And, he was also the one that, along with us, had to suffer through Veronica’s difficult attitude. As beautiful, charming, smart, and funny as Veronica is, she’s also cold and closed off to everyone around her. She pushes people away and refuses to let anyone close. Not that she doesn’t have her reasons. But it makes her hard to love sometimes. And, Logan was the one most often on the short end of that stick. He finally had enough…

  • Quote: Logan–And I think we have a choice. I think we can take a tough, but survivable amount of pain now…or stay together and deal with unbearable pain later. So I vote for the pain now. But I’m always here if you need anything. But you never need anything.

2. Not Pictured (Episode 222): The episode where everything changes. The gang graduates high school (save for Weevil, who is arrested literally at graduation), Veronica learns the truth about who raped her and how she got chlamydia, Mac comes to a scary realization about Beaver, a child molester is found out, Veronica thinks Keith has been murdered, and someone jumps off the Neptune Grand (see what I mean?!).

  • Quote: Veronica–So this is how it is. The innocent suffer, the guilty go free, and truth and fiction are pretty much interchangeable. There is neither a Santa Claus, nor an Easter Bunny, and there are no angels watching over us. Things just happen for no reason, and nothing makes any sense.
1. A Trip to the Dentist (Episode 121): One of the biggest reasons I’m putting this episode in the top spot is because Rob Thomas himself has said that he thinks this is the best episode of Veronica Mars they ever did. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me. One of the darkest episodes of the show’s run, Veronica finds out about Logan and Luke having a date rape drug the night of Shelly Pomroy’s party. Duncan finds out that Veronica is his sister (not really though). And, most importantly, the world finds out that Logan and Veronica are an item, whether they are ready for it or not, when Aaron throws a surprise birthday party for Logan. Oh, and there’s the whole thing about Veronica finding the cameras in Logan’s pool house.
  • Quote: Logan–You do not want to start with me today, Paco. Weevil–Are you sure? It was in my day planner under “Goals.”
  • Quote 2: Logan–You have a problem with Veronica, you leave. Actually, you have a problem with Veronica, you’re pretty much dead to me, so just, like, evaporate or something, I dunno. That’s pretty much a general invitation. If you don’t like my girlfriend, then start heading towards the big rectangle with the knob.

-CJ