Veronica Mars

Discuss TV shows old and new.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Persona
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#101 Post by Persona » Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:44 pm

What a weird season.

If you take it scene by scene, the writing and characters still shine. But when you look at it big picture, man, the plot is a mess. So much is misdirection that doesn't really pay off because there isn't enough narrative or thematic follow-through on so many of the plot threads. Maybe I am supposed to be thinking, "Ah, yes, messy and ugly, just like real life" but I don't think Veronica Mars is a show that really operates on that level.

By the end of it I also felt like the heart of the show has grown a bit too cold and embittered. I get that that is part of the point, with Veronica becoming older and her foibles becoming more detrimental to her relationships and life, but yeah. I don't know. Kind of a tough season to watch, even though it was frequently entertaining and interesting.

Anyways, even with its merits I don't think I will watch this season again. And I say this as someone who has watched all the other seasons like 3 times. I don't think this is worse than Season 3, per se, but there is an unpleasantness to it that I don't particularly want to come back to when it coincides with a story that tries to condense the serial and episodic aspects of Veronica Mars too much into one thing that just doesn't work as a good overall story.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#102 Post by domino harvey » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:18 am

I finally saw the new season and thought it was fantastic. It sounds silly to say so, but this really is the long hoped for fourth season— which is to say, not a reunion or a grim skeleton reminding viewers that the show’s moment moved on but another helping of what this show has always done best. Hyperbolic complaints about the finale are absurd: this is exactly in line with the show this has always been
SpoilerShow
Which is to say, the Logan/Veronica shippers have always seemed to me to be watching a different series. So maybe I shouldn’t be surprised by their accusations at Rob Thomas not getting his own creation!
Still, I can’t believe that’s what I spent the whole season dreading as a potential show ruiner!

I enjoyed the return to the show’s class consciousness and critique roots that guided so much of the first two seasons, and loved how after it got the short shrift in the movie, this round does make room for some rather unexpected third season players to make an appearance. Some great character arcs here, too: of the new faces, Simmons is a perfect fit for the world of the show, and I loved the sincerity of his friendship with Colantoni; and I thought Capra’s Weevil got a small but satisfying arc— I really enjoyed his scenes here and I’ve long been a fan of the unlikely and uneasy friendship he and Bell share. I hope both play larger roles in the next season. And if there is no next season, this for once really does feel like something that could stand as a satisfying series finale. But now that we’ve seen everyone can keep bringing their A game like nothing changed in the interim, they better do it again!

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#103 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:29 am

I didn't have a problem with the end of the finale either, but rather the reveal of the killer and moreso how that all played out with maniacal sendoff and all. It felt in step with the series but still bothered me and this season felt mostly in the vein of its old self but with a slightly shifty attitude that for some reason left me expecting a more satisfying conclusion to it all. Loved it overall though, and any nitpicking I have it purely due to my own expectations, not the show's failures. The Simmons/Keith relationship was wonderful and only added to the complex space this show has always felt comfortable operating from in setting up ethical dilemmas between law, morals, and personal motivations and not pointing to any contrived conclusions in ease with these routes, celebrating the human condition first and foremost.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#104 Post by domino harvey » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:44 am

SpoilerShow
I kind of liked the playful back and forth about the killer, but I agree another ticking clock bomb thing is underwhelming in light of the shows’ other finales... but if one views the final bomb as the true finale, I think the puckishness of the “Is he or isn’t he?” pays off.

On the note of the more contentious plot element, I thought one of the virtues of season three was how exhaustively it documented that while she may be one of the most well-written and interesting characters around, you wouldn’t ever want to date Veronica Mars. Like, “shipping” seems even more absurd than it would otherwise with her and the impossibly patient Logan (I liked how the first half showed how expertly his military experience had prepared him for the needs of calm roll with it-ness required to put up with Veronica as a partner). I find it gobsmacking that those who would call themselves feminists would turn around and cry “Misogyny” for presenting such a complex female character, one who accurately shows the lasting and perhaps unshakable effects of severe emotional trauma. Is it fair that she finally made the turn towards openness and trust and had it snatched from her? No, but was Lily Kane’s murder fair? Was her rape? Was her mom abandoning them? And so on down the line of all the injustices she’s been party to, directly or indirectly. But Veronica is a survivor and moves forward, and that should be an inspiration to us all. Well, except for those of us who can no longer make color-filtered LiveJournal icons with the pair

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#105 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:58 am

SpoilerShow
Yeah, I honestly don't understand how it could be misconstrued as misogyny. It's a contradictory view toward her ability to not only cope but to exist outside of the pairing, which she's done for most of the show if we're keeping score.. it's a bit of a manipulative move, but as you say Veronica herself will be okay, it's the fans that feel assaulted. It's also worth noting that Veronica didn't exactly want to be married and was pretty conflicted about her relationship, which was full of trust and communication issues, and still presented like a two-dimensional fuckfest a decade in. I was never sold on it because Veronica was never sold on it. At least, that's my perspective.

I also love Thomas' interview where he defends the finale - basically he didn't want to tie her down and knew that they wouldn't have worked together if she continued as a detective, especially as he plans for more seasons. It was old, he never planned on them being "a thing" and in one more way he took control of his own show back. Good for him.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#106 Post by domino harvey » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:02 am

SpoilerShow
I love that, good for him! Those were my thoughts too, to be honest: “Yeah, these wounds are a little deep for me to buy the about-face”— there’s no doubt in my mind that she would be unhappy tied down. V is going to totally be Jessica Fletcher, the unattached spinster, only probably more standing up for the little guy while bilking the rich for her services than solving a murder mystery involving special guest Howard Keel

User avatar
tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Veronica Mars

#107 Post by tenia » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:23 am

I felt the ending was a bit lazily written.
SpoilerShow
I didn't mind the plot resolution with the killer, but after a new season with these very smart PIs, it felt a bit easy the killer was able to quietly sneak a freaking explosive backpack in the car ! It felt like a cheap way to get rid of Logan while creating a downbeat ending à la film noir, and while the season felt at times quite uneven, this probably was the worst part for me.

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#108 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:12 am

This is the article I was referring to (Spoilers for those who haven't seen the show)

My favorite part that totally discounts the misogyny claim:
SpoilerShow
Interviewer: It was really interesting to see that the emotional dynamic between Veronica and Logan has flipped from the original series. What drove that choice?

Thomas: I felt like those stories, about wondering when the time is to put away childish things, they almost always get told about male characters. It's almost its own genre — when will 30-something-year-old men grow up? And I was interested in Veronica having that choice in front of her, and not in such a dumb-shit guy way of, "I can't imagine never having strange sex again in my life."

We put Wallace [Percy Daggs III] in the show to show a friend who has done all the traditional things that seem to be goals for most people. He's married, he has a kid, he's got a nice house, he is living the American dream. Then Veronica makes friends with this woman, Nicole [Kirby Howell-Baptiste], in town who has absolute freedom, does her own thing, is her own boss, is sexually liberated, and we put these in front of her Veronica and tell her to choose.

But the thing with Veronica is here is a girl who spends most of her formative years taking pictures of people cheating on each other, whose parents got divorced, whose boyfriend's parents had a shitty marriage. I wanted to play someone who has no incentive or no great history of seeing that sort of stability work out struggle with those decisions. So I wanted to tell that story for Veronica rather than a dude for once.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#109 Post by domino harvey » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:20 pm

tenia wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:23 am
I felt the ending was a bit lazily written.
SpoilerShow
I didn't mind the plot resolution with the killer, but after a new season with these very smart PIs, it felt a bit easy the killer was able to quietly sneak a freaking explosive backpack in the car ! It felt like a cheap way to get rid of Logan while creating a downbeat ending à la film noir, and while the season felt at times quite uneven, this probably was the worst part for me.
SpoilerShow
If I understand the timeline here, the bomb scare happened right before her courthouse wedding and the bomb exploded an hour after that as they were packing to leave on their honeymoon. In that mad rush, I can see it getting overlooked— though if anything, I think it’s evidence that the show is dabbling in a bit of Fringe’s creative use of geographical spaces and the time it takes to get from point A to point B!

User avatar
jindianajonz
Jindiana Jonz Abrams
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:11 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#110 Post by jindianajonz » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:28 pm

tenia wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:23 am
I felt the ending was a bit lazily written.
SpoilerShow
I didn't mind the plot resolution with the killer, but after a new season with these very smart PIs, it felt a bit easy the killer was able to quietly sneak a freaking explosive backpack in the car ! It felt like a cheap way to get rid of Logan while creating a downbeat ending à la film noir, and while the season felt at times quite uneven, this probably was the worst part for me.
SpoilerShow
Fully agree. The bomber practically told her there was another bomb waiting somewhere, and she even figured it out while she was getting ready with Logan in the bathroom, only to conveniently forget about it a few moments later. I don't really care whether she ends up with Logan one way or another (especially the narrtively-compelling-but-charmless-in-show Logan we saw this entire season) but it felt was almost insulting that the the clever detective we've spent four seasons with couldn't pick up on these clues. I could see some folks arguing she subconsciously wanted that to happen to get out of the marriage, but come on- that's a pretty drastic reading that arguably does even more damage to her character.

Contrast this with Keith Mars breakup with Clyde, where he makes the rigidly moral decision not associate with somebody he has a close bond with that is very much in line with how he has conducted himself in the past, both professionally and romantically. There's clear line between the his suffering and the choices he has made. On the other hand, Veronica's painful ending just feels arbitrary- the universe (or rather, the writers) decided that she can't be happy, and nothing she can do will change it- and as such it makes the show feel very unexpectedly nihilistic.

User avatar
jindianajonz
Jindiana Jonz Abrams
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:11 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#111 Post by jindianajonz » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:29 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:20 pm
SpoilerShow
If I understand the timeline here, the bomb scare happened right before her courthouse wedding and the bomb exploded an hour after that as they were packing to leave on their honeymoon. In that mad rush, I can see it getting overlooked— though if anything, I think it’s evidence that the show is dabbling in a bit of Fringe’s creative use of geographical spaces and the time it takes to get from point A to point B!
SpoilerShow
That's another thing I took issue with- who decides to hold an impromtu wedding on the same morning they expect a bomb to go off?

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#112 Post by domino harvey » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:42 pm

SpoilerShow
If anything, it’s evidence that Veronica was acting hastily and wanted to just do it while she was in the zone to do it. I thought Leo’s comments to Veronica and later Parker’s to Logan lampshaded this a bit, though, so we’d recognize this speedy marriage isn’t a great idea no matter how much the shippers would love it (and how short lived that love would be!)

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#113 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:36 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:42 pm
SpoilerShow
If anything, it’s evidence that Veronica was acting hastily and wanted to just do it while she was in the zone to do it. I thought Leo’s comments to Veronica and later Parker’s to Logan lampshaded this a bit, though, so we’d recognize this speedy marriage isn’t a great idea no matter how much the shippers would love it (and how short lived that love would be!)
SpoilerShow
Not to mention how the wedding all went down, with Logan not picking up his phone and cluelessly wandering in while Veronica is getting revved up that this rush-job isn't happening fast enough, which only heightens their communication problems and her doubts. I think it's a fair reading that Veronica has trust issues and her resilience has in part been forward-moving defenses that leave the residual effects of her trauma buried, but her unwillingness to address these through any therapeutic process beyond sublimation in her job isn't a fault per se, it's her personality and where she's at right now, so forcefeeding an audience's wet dream of having her cake and eating it too not only invalidates the client-centered perspective of Veronica's deep wants and needs (maybe it's not her cake), but isn't accounting for the reality of her situation and the relationship's fragility bordering on facade.
jindianajonz wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:28 pm
SpoilerShow
The bomber practically told her there was another bomb waiting somewhere, and she even figured it out while she was getting ready with Logan in the bathroom, only to conveniently forget about it a few moments later. I don't really care whether she ends up with Logan one way or another (especially the narrtively-compelling-but-charmless-in-show Logan we saw this entire season) but it felt was almost insulting that the the clever detective we've spent four seasons with couldn't pick up on these clues. I could see some folks arguing she subconsciously wanted that to happen to get out of the marriage, but come on- that's a pretty drastic reading that arguably does even more damage to her character.

Contrast this with Keith Mars breakup with Clyde, where he makes the rigidly moral decision not associate with somebody he has a close bond with that is very much in line with how he has conducted himself in the past, both professionally and romantically. There's clear line between the his suffering and the choices he has made. On the other hand, Veronica's painful ending just feels arbitrary- the universe (or rather, the writers) decided that she can't be happy, and nothing she can do will change it- and as such it makes the show feel very unexpectedly nihilistic.
SpoilerShow
I know it's not real life, but for a show that tackles real life situations pretty intensely, I don't see how the random acts of this universe should treat Veronica along some metric of fairness, or direct connection between suffering and choices. Sometimes by taking away that agency it allows a character to suffer more authentically rather than playing a role in their suffering. How wonderful would life be if we had a hand in all of our pain, if life made sense alongside a cause and effect system of justice, and yet how horrible it would be to live with that. I think it's only nihilistic if we choose to look at it that way. Life throws insane circumstances at us constantly, most outside of our control, but what we can control is our attitude and sometimes we can't even do that. Veronica will get valuable information about herself from this situation, and she will come out okay. That isn't an argument that this will be "good" for her, but there are people who engage in self-pity and think the world owes them something and who might throw up their hands at nihilism after this, and there are people who cope while engaging in fair and necessary resentment, anger, depression, etc. and continue to find meaning in the world. I don't think one of these is better or stronger than the other, and there's undoubtedly a spectrum between the points, but one of these perspectives definitely makes for a better life and Veronica has the skills to get there. I think it's also easy to get caught up in how ridiculous the whole situation was, which makes it feel nihilistic because of its left-field absurdity rather than a demonstration of life on life's terms. I also liked how she didn't think of the bomb, because it shows that she's a fallible human being, and that oversight speaks more to her emotional parts taking the reigns, her difficulty managing them in switching between them and her more developed cognitive parts, rather than a judgment of her actual abilities. If Veronica was not going through an emotional whirlwind of existential crisis in tearing at her insides over this wedding step, she would probably have figured that out, but when we aren't at a baseline emotional state, well, we don't exactly have those tools readily available.

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#114 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:55 pm

I'm doing a full revisit of the first three seasons, and the show has more or less the same pleasures, though I'm finding myself liking season three more and (surprisingly) season two a bit less. My big issue with the third season likely boils down to Piz's Nice Guy unlikeability- though having just seen Promising Young Woman I'm just pretending that it's a commentary on his true self. I haven't reached his real arc into Veronica's story yet so we'll see how I feel about him by the season's end. I love Dick Casablanca's humanity peripherally explored especially at the beginning of the season, which feels like an earnest and empathetic look at self-destructiveness. As for season two, well, it's just a bit clunky- and Duncan, who I can't stand as a character or Teddy Dunn as a performer, really weighs down the first half as a frustrating anchor. The season is still great overall though, and I found myself honing in on one scene again that struck me the first time around too
Season 2 spoilersShow
when Veronica spies Woody and his wife coldly 'punishing' their son for spying on the slumber party. It's such an eerie and surreal scene, because it's silent and is full of ambiguous implications, and all the more unsettling because it's never explained. We don't really get to know Woody's wife, and the power dynamics within their household remain a mystery, but just leaving open the possibility that they're abusing/neglecting their son in some way in some collective communication adds another ominous shade to the life behind the curtains that all but Ritter appear to be participating in.

As for the Cassidy reveal- man it's even more tragic when you know what's coming. As ridiculously maniacal as his expert planning and bombing actions are in the end, it's a devastating example of 'hurt people hurt people', a boy broken without consent that's shaped his entire life outside of his control, resorting to harmful control to reclaim any semblance of agency. Watching him unable to engage in a healthy sexual relationship, or perform when the chance comes despite desperately wanting to (and significantly only agreeing to try after drinking a fair amount) allows us to hold that hand in hand with his unforgivable assault on Veronica. The final lines where he demands to be 'seen' as "Cassidy", still the butt of a joke even in the threatening spotlight, is almost as sad as when he asks "why" he shouldn't jump, and then does so only when Logan can't give him an answer. Broken beyond rehabilitation in the eyes of everyone. It's one of the most disturbing noir endings I've seen, a destiny that speaks to both the social rejection and the self-hatred.

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#115 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:02 pm

I know that it's often considered the highlight of season 3 even amongst haters, but Spit & Eggs may just be the best episode of the series. I realize that's blasphemy, and of course there are classic season 1 and 2 eps that are more broadly appealing to the many diverse strengths of the show, but I find Spit & Eggs more heart-racing, twisty, and brutal across a series of developments, than any of the big 'finales'. Working in its favor is just how lean it feels, building and sustaining a stable energy that neither of the first two season finales (or the fourth season's mystery-solving bottom half of the last ep, of which this resembles most) manage to do quite as well. Plus the equally-jarring no-fat Logan action that tops it off is executed without even the bare-minimum of audience handholding as to his emotion or motive on a subjective level, and all the more powerful and noirish for it.

Before venturing into the back half of season 3, I decided to finally watch Play It Again, Dick, and thought it was mostly hysterical. I love watching these actors play fictionalized versions of themselves, with Percy Daggs III, Enrico Colantoni, and Francis Capra all intentionally challenging expectations with exaggerated wit. The gags in general are pretty great, and the premise (if Ryan Hansen was actually Dick Casablancas, this would surely be the show he'd pitch) works far better than it could have. At the very least it's worth watching for the last long dance montage- few things are as pleasurable as seeing this cast let loose in such an intimate way, clearly having a blast together.

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#116 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:48 pm

Alright, Piz sucking confirmed. His reaction when Veronica gets her dream internship (“That’s in Virginia, right?”), without even a half-assed attempt to shield his sadsack narcissistic stance in body language, is exactly the pathetic Nice Guy entitlement that would translate easier for audiences in just a few years. The Logans of the world who are actually more complex and subvert expectations are far more interesting and ‘deserving’ characters of audience sympathies than the Pizes (Pizzes?) who are transparently toxic. He’s totally the kind of guy who would set up that camera, even if he didn't. What kind of guy, upon meeting a girl for the first time (the same girl who just helped him find all his possessions for free), shows obvious signs of disappointment that she has a boyfriend and communicates it to her as if she wronged him by entering his life already having one.. and then proceeds to ask her out anyways? The beating he gets is for the wrong reasons, but it's not exactly stemming from poor judgment.

Thankfully Piz is largely absent from the third season (I recalled him having a more prominent role) so it’s all-in-all a stellar season. I can understand why some people aren’t as enamored with the change of social context, but there are many new opportunities to create unfamiliar moving pieces fitting in the familiar structure, and they’re most welcome. Logan's exit is terrific, modeling the compulsive imperfections, eccentric expressions of devotion stemming from fatalistically-sewn ethical codes, and hyper-conscious self-destructive behaviors that both he and Veronica have deeply ingrained in their conditioned identities.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Veronica Mars

#117 Post by domino harvey » Sat Mar 06, 2021 12:56 am

Third season has a lot of charms, and the first mystery movement block of episodes about the campus rapes is fantastic, as is the finale. It's too bad we never got the Veronica vs the Russian Mob showdown the end of the third season set up for the next season that wouldn't come. Also Veronica Mars saying "Ratner" is one of my favorite running jokes

Post Reply