Friday, May 29, 2009

I'd Rather Be Watching Veronica Mars

I have been a fan of girl-detective-fiction since I first started to read. I devoured The Bobbsey Twins and Trixie Belden and (albeit less enthusiastically) vintage Nancy Drew (not the paperbacks with the romance-novel illustration on the front, but old-school hardcover ones that smelled faintly like mildew, pilfered from my Nana's den). I was all about the mystery-solving. I also liked books by Mary Downing Hahn, Willow Davis Roberts, and Lois Lowry. Even if their books weren't exact fits in the detective-fiction genre, there was always some kind of puzzle, some kind of mystery that a smart and perceptive girl between the ages of 12 and 18 would inevitably solve.

I always liked a strong female protagonist and far more memorable than the girls of the mystery novels were Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon, Sarah the Story Girl, Jo March, little Mary of The Secret Garden, the poor Little Princess, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and various other heroines of less note-worthy young adult novels. Hermione Granger would definitely have been my hero(ine) had Harry Potter been written a decade or two earlier.

My delight in (and of course, identification with) a smart and funny leading lady and a plot with unexpected twists is not necessarily limited to novels but, I find that it has rarely been satisfied on television. [Insert tirade on pop culture media, depictions of women on television, blah blah blah.] Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an obvious exception and one of my all-time favorites (not least because the fashion is as fun as the dialogue). I didn't think there was another show out there that could match Buffy... until I met Veronica.

Veronica Mars ran a tragically short three seasons, but they are three seasons of INTENSE VIEWING PLEASURE. I was addicted from episode one. I love that while all the episodes usually have self-contained plots that get resolved in an hour, but they also feed into a larger narrative that runs the entire season. Even episodes that aren't blatant cliff-hangers sort of are because the greater mystery is unsolved until the final scene. The characters are funny and witty and smart and flawed and accessible. It is unpredictable without be totally beyond the realm of belief and Veronica works things out on her own and often with a little help from her friends.* Suffice it to say that when I am not watching the show, I would like to be watching the show.

I am going to wrap up season three before too long and even though I want to watch all eight of the remaining episodes in one sitting (seriously -- it's that good), I find myself delaying the gratification, enjoying the anticipation, and not ready to be finished with show.

Which is so lame and yet it is so true.

Thankfully the shows that consume my life like this are few and far between. In fact, those are the only two shows that I have ever watched completely from beginning to end. Ever.

So if you are looking for something to fill those summer evenings when no new TV shows are on and you just don't want to read another novel or go to another free outdoor concert or watch another baseball game or be productive or do anything but sit in the air conditioned comfort of your living room and veg out, I wholeheartedly endorse Veronica Mars.

*In the interest of full disclosure: the gianormous crush I have on Logan Echolls is rivaled only by my equally gianormous crush on Spike. Oh, and the crush I still have on that guy I'm married to. Obviously.


  1. Brooke, can't believe you are as big a fan as I was! Buffy too. I guess age is no barrier to the enjoyment of either. I was hoppin' mad when Veronica wasn't renewed for a fourth season!! Yes, and I sent all the seasons to Jordan too who also became addicted. Daughter Beth and I were serious viewers of both Buffy and Veronica. Logan - so flawed yet so yummy!! Keep bloging I love it. Pam

  2. Oh I wish we grew up living closer together! I would have had someone to go to the movies with!

  3. I feel like I'm srsly missing out.