Have I ever mentioned that I’m a Marshmallow? (Fanatical Veronica Mars fan for all you non-Marshmallow types). I didn’t give it a chance for a long time because even though I had heard good things about it, I thought, “a show about a tiny, blonde, teenage detective—really??” Nope, totally not sold on the concept.
Buffy—tiny blonde hero type
Come to think of it, that was almost exactly the train of thought to deter me when Buffy the Vampire Slayer made its appearance on television—except instead of a tiny, blonde, teenage girl detective fighting crime and stuff, it was a tiny, blonde, teenage girl slayer fighting evil and stuff. (Well…that, and the frighteningly terrible, but now kind-of-entertaining-in-a-nostalgic-the-way-we-were-kinda-way movie, starring Kristy Swanson). What do I have against tiny blonde hero types anyway? Lesson learned fictional universes. Lesson learned.
Kickstarter—Power to the Fans
The Veronica Mars TV series aired 2004-2007 and apparently had some underwhelming ratings—but a solid cult following—when it was cancelled after only three seasons. Fast forward to 2013, this hilarious Kickstarter campaign video was released. (It’s especially funny if you already know the characters).
The campaign was a huge success, with 91,535 fans raising a whopping $5,702,153.00—well above the $2 million Kickstarter goal.
How I Became a Marshmallow
When I heard about the fanatical fans who funded a whole damn movie through Kickstarter, I got curious. So I went on a mad search to find all three seasons, in the hopes that I could get all caught up and catch the movie while it was in theatres (which was March of this year). And I became hopelessly ADDICTED.
Veronica Mars vs Buffy Summers
Veronica Mars is my hero. Okay, now I feel like I’m betraying Buffy when I say that. But Veronica Mars is like, Buffy’s “real world” parallel, so really, they’re the same person, right? Incidentally, it happens that Joss Whedon is a big fan of the show and even made a cameo appearance. And it was adorable.
Veronica Mars TV Series—What’s it All About?
The creator is author, producer and screenwriter Rob Thomas, who once said that Veronica Mars’ superpower is that she just doesn’t care what people think. Veronica, once a popular girl with an awesome sheriff dad, became the town pariah after her best friend Lily was murdered.
Her father, more interested in the truth than saving face, was ostracized by the town and stripped of his title when he accused Lily’s rich, influential father of being the killer. Veronica, being the brave, truth-seeking-stand-up-loyal-type, stood by her father in the midst of pitchforks and torches. And so begins the story of Veronica Mars, junior PI to her dad’s Mar’s Investigations.
Role Models, Inner Conflict and Story
The world needs more role models like Veronica Mars and Buffy Summers. They’re not perfect characters, but if they were, they wouldn’t be believable, and there wouldn’t be a way for them to learn and grow. Without character flaws there’s no inner conflict, without inner conflict there’s no story. And without story, it’s just a mish-mash of stuff that happens to unrealistic people who then react to said stuff.
Veronica Mars—the Movie
But as much as I love Veronica Mars and as happy as I am that the movie was made, I think it could have been better. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, and immediately after watching it I went out and bought the follow-up novel, “The Thousand Dollar Tan Line“, written by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham (which I have yet to read).
But it felt a little too much like an homage to the fantastic TV series, missing out on further exploring some important themes, namely the tension between the haves and the have-nots in the fictional town of Neptune, California. I’m not doing my own review here, but I think my feelings about it were summed up pretty well by this review on The Week: Girls on Film: Veronica Mars Told the Wrong Story, by Monika Bartyzel.
“To fight so long to bring her back, and not give her the fight she’s been prepping for over the course of the series, is a missed opportunity.”
Veronica Mars is now available on Netflix Canada. Which makes me giddy because we all know there’s another Veronica Mars marathon in my future.
Side note: Veronica in action on the TV series reminded me a lot of my main character Malaya, who is also an ostracized, witty misfit with a fondness for tasers. This was a pleasant surprise. 🙂