Originally I planned to write a review of each season of Veronica Mars to answer a question for KP in the hopes that I could convince her to watch the show that I love so dearly. Well, my mission was accomplished with the review of Season One, which begs the existential question; do we pursue a course of action when the goal is already accomplished? I am a big fan of futile activities and Pyrrhic victories, so here is what I think of Season Two; two disclaimers and three reasons why to watch.
First Disclaimer: The Main Crime
Season Two is not as good as Season One. The truth is that Season One is so good, there is no possible way the show could live up to itself. This is an unfortunate consequence for many shows that have excellent first seasons (Heroes and Prison Break for examples). This is not to say that Season Two is bad; Veronica Mars, in its entirety, is one of the best shows that ever aired. That said, the emotional connection between Veronica and the case in Season One cannot be repeated. The major case in Season Two is interesting, and as a viewer you really want to know who is responsible, but it is a sense of general outrage that drives Veronica, not the personal attachment that propelled her to hunt down Lily’s murderer. Veronica is the (main) central intelligence, and when she doesn’t care as much, it makes it harder for the viewer to care as much. I will say that I was, and still am, immensely affected by the outcome, but I know that few who have seen it share my point of view. The reveal scene in the season finale is so well done I think it makes the season worth watching, even if you disagree with the choice of antagonist.
Second Disclaimer: The Popularity (or Lack Thereof)
In Season Two, the show creators tried to reach a larger audience (to avoid getting canceled and their plan never worked) so they attempted to open the show through more generally familiar plots. There is one storyline in Season Two that adopts a basic cliché of TV, and even though it’s rendered well, I still don’t like it. It deals with two characters I don’t particularly like, and it ends up being a way of disposing of a character that had been eclipsed by another. Watching the first airings of the episodes I got caught up in it all, but when I watch them again I find this particular plot draining on the show. I know that the cast and crew are better than this plot. It is the only storyline that really uses the teenage-show conventions, so I forgive just how forgettable it is.
First Joy: Logan
Luke will cringe as I make this analogy, but Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) is the Veronica Mar’s Falstaff; as a character he became more than his creators envisioned, he took on a life of his own. Logan transformed from a douche-bag extraordinaire to an empathetic, very human, character. Logan is one of those characters who is immensely flawed but fundamentally good. Logan grows as the show goes on; he never looses certain aspects of his personality, ingrained in him from upbringing and circumstance, so as he becomes more comfortable demonstrating his virtues it never feels like a false change. Nor is personal growth ever portrayed as an accomplished act. Logan takes steps forward and steps back, learning one thing requires learning another, and there is always a struggle. It is his flaws that make him the man who can handle Veronica. Her strident personality is unmatched by any of her male romantic counterparts; she either steamrolls right over them, or extinguishes herself in order to be on their level. Logan takes her on her own terms and is strong enough to both love her and challenge her. Knowing the perfection that is LoVe everything else seems cheep in comparison.
Second Joy: The Guest Stars
Guest stars are usually either a sign of pretension or desperation. In Season Two there are some notable guests, not Oscar winners, but known names nonetheless. These guests are either genuine fans of the show; Kevin Smith and Joss Whedon, or are a matter of inspired casting; trampalicious Charisma Carpenter’s showdown with sluttacular Alyson Hannigan (these adjectives are for their VM characters only) is a thing of beauty for us die-hard Buffy fans. There is one major misfire guest: Kristin Cavillari. This girl cannot act, and it isn’t even campy fun to watch her woodenly deliver her lines while mugging for the camera. Other than this Laguna Beach alum, it is like ice cream on (Ned baked) pie to see these familiar faces spar with Miss Bell for a few moments. Plus Steve Guttenberg, need I say more?
Third Joy: The Consistency
The problems with Season Two are basically overextension; trying to do too much. The majority of what is wonderful about Season One (the characters, the acting, the witty and intelligent writing, the engaging episodic mysteries, the relationships) remains at the highest level. The characters develop, but their foundation remains firm; you never feel that the creators forget who their characters are. The show, on both the creative or technical level, never appears to suffer from laziness. Season Two cannot have everything from Season One, but you will not sit there trying to remember why you fell in love with the show in the first place.
The TV Girl
Making the world a better place, one show at a time.
- The TV Girl
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- I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.