★★★★★/★★★★★ Review: Veronica Mars, film and series, both produced by Rob Thomas.
In this review I will speak of the series and film as one entity, because it is inconceivable to speak of one without the other.
Veronica: “Tragedy blows through your life like a tornado, uprooting everything, creating chaos. You wait for the dust to settle, and then you choose. You can live in the wreckage and pretend it’s still the mansion you remember. Or you can crawl from the rubble and slowly rebuild. Because after disaster strikes, the important thing is that you move on. But if you’re like me, you just keep chasing the storm. (pause) The problem with chasing the storm is that it wears you down, breaks your spirit. Even the experts agree, a girl needs closure.”
This neo-noir series is one of the greatest thing to have ever happened to television and film in a long time. Maybe, or obviously, I am saying this because of my huge love for the franchise, but I do believe it. The franchise does have issues,but the points it brings forth, the characters, and plot, encompass much more than many other series that have gotten renewed time and time again ever accomplished.
It follows Veronica Mars, a teen-aged girl trying to survive her extremely wealthy school when she is not wealthy herself and life after being sexually assaulted, while trying to solve the murder of her best friend a few months prior, while also helping her now, ex-sheriff father solve cases as a bounty hunter when he lost his job by going against the richest family in town after inconsistencies in their daughter’s murder case (who was Veronica’s BFF). Her old friends have deserted her, her mother has abandoned her, all she has is her father. Her new best friend is also a poor fellow that does not start in the good side of the main gang in school. She then also proceeds to befriend said gang’s leader, and she is still in love with her ex-boyfriend, who broke it off without so much as a “we’re done”. Then she also has to worry about her ex’s mother being evil and doing some things on the side, it is very clear she will fall for the bad boy and vice versa. Then the movie is nine years after the final episode, and there is another murder case. Basically, she is incredible, clever and brilliant, and a bunch of other adjectives.
Veronica: Can you do me a weird favor without asking any questions?
Wallace: Isn’t that the bedrock upon which our friendship was founded?
There are three main things I wish to talk about, I hope that afterwards, everyone decides to see the series:
1-This magnificent series deals with racism, homophobia and coming out, rape and its consequences, slut shaming, gender roles, drug and alcohol addiction, the rich and poor divide, bullying, gang culture and stalking. Yes, three series and a film encompassing all this and more. I will however only tackle a few of the issues, I am not that great of a reviewer to tackle them all.
- Racism and the rich and poor divide: It is often times that certain slight cases of racism in media are presented, other times, full blown-up racism. In Veronica Mars, we explore racism, and how it affects certain individuals rather than just brushing it off or beating the racist person up (although it does happen). The most obvious cases are not between black and white students, but between white and Latino students, mostly it is between whites and non-white Latinos (yes, white Latinos are actually quite common). As minorities the students suffer systematic discrimination, from the students they go to school with, all the way to the staff and the police. The are not only treated as inferiors and stupid, but they must also worry about being imprisoned unjustly,being racially profiled, getting punished unfairly while the white students get a pat on the back, and having their families evicted from their homes. Social class is also very important, and it will work out great for white students, those rich and non-white, although treated with more respect than their poor counterparts, still get discriminated against. In one of the episodes a black character, form a rich family is still called offensive terms by a teacher, simply because of her race. Another episode speaks of a poor kid and a rich girl, and how the are both in the run for valedictorian, it, of course, does not end well for the poor fellow.
- Homophobia and coming out(even one case of transexuality): The major episode dealing with this has to do with someone forcing the kids to either pay up for their silence, or they are getting out of the closet by force. But it is not only about coming out, there is understanding sexuality and seeing who one truly is. It showed people comfortable with their sexuality and those that had to hide it from others, and for the time it aired, when there was so much anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiment, it felt like a breath of fresh air.
- Rape and what comes after: The main story-line of the first and second series, is that Veronica Mars was raped. A while back I did a discussion about rape culture as shown on the series Marvel’s Jessica Jones. In it, I reference how very little few shows, if any, put sexual assault at the forefront of the series in a way that it does not evolve the character solely on it, I forgot to mention this is one of those. Veronica was drugged, and raped wile under the influence, as such she has no memory of the events, and she had to deal with its effects and trying to find who did it to her. She has a few flashbacks, and has a cleaning obsession whenever she starts coming back to those memories, as her coping mechanism. One of the most accurate things following this event, was how the police reacted to her saying she had been raped. Due to what happened with her father, the new sheriff mocks her and accuses her of lying, making her suffer through all that is happening even more than she would normally do so, even making her feel like she was at fault. Her case was the first one I saw on television about such a serious issue being brushed under the rug when it should not have been by an authority figure, and it lead to me wanting to know more and to support victims of sexual assault.
- Bullying and gang culture: Veronica endures bullying throughout the entire series, and even in the film. She is constantly called names, accused of being a “slut,” or others simply ignored her. A stupid few wanted to physically hurt her, that did not end up well for them. There is also mental bullying and cyber bullying, directed to Veronica and other students, while someone that we might not believe is being hurt, is getting beatings at home, and no one that knows does anything about it. The gang culture had a stronger role in the second season, when members die, and no one truly knows who hurt them, as well as how dealing can lead a school gang into being destroyed by drugs. The power struggle is shown as well, when a leader might have lost the power held, all due to money. It might not seem the most comprehensive now when a lot of films and series have targeted it, but back when this first came out, it was the first I knew of it, and it was so intriguing.
2-The title of episodes is geek paradise. Here are some titles: “The Wrath of Con”, “Like a Virgin”,”Silence of the Lamb”,”Clash of the Tritons”,”Weapons of Class Destruction”,”Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang” , “Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner”, “Ain’t No Magic Mountain High Enough”, “My Big Fat Greek Rush Week”, “Of Vice and Men”,”Lord of the Pi’s”, “Show Me the Monkey”, and “I Know What You’ll Do Next Summer”.
3-The love in this story is one of my favourite OTPs:
Logan: So I guess we broke up, huh?
Veronica: What do you want me to say, Logan?
Logan: “Logan, I’m gonna go home and put my head in the oven because I can’t go on living knowing what a heartless bitch I am!” Something like that.
Veronica: So you’re saying you want me dead?
Veronica: One word from me and Backup goes for your throat.
Logan: Is that what you’d do, boy? You’d tear out my throat? Who’s a man killer, huh? Who’s a man killer?[Backup kisses Logan]
Their story is epic, in all proportions. It is not often obvious to people how slow their buildup truly was, at least on Logan’s side. He is often seen in the first season staring at her and looking as if he cares for her. Veronica’s side of the relationship has always been more distant, she is not adamant to be with him as much because of her relationship with her ex-boyfriend. But I ship them so extremely hard that I cannot even control myself.
Look how they look at each other, how she comes back and he looks at her, they are bloody perfect, now and forever until the end of time.
The rest of this review is character appreciation, you are welcome: