Like anyone who used to be a reclusive TV obsessed teenager I’m very excited about the Veronica Mars movie becoming a reality. Too often, fans cry out for their cancelled-too-soon cult shows to get a movie, mostly as a last hurrah. It’s an understandable reaction: we grow a huge emotional attachment to TV characters, especially when they’re under threat of cancellation, and when they unceremoniously disappear we look for any medium to revisit our old friends. And too often when those movies get made they feel stale and unnecessary. But with Veronica Mars, I’m optimistic that this won’t be the case. The show’s plot and the melancholy ending both lend well to a cinematic continuation, and the depth of the show left a lot of rich material to examine. My hopes for the movie and thoughts on the trailer after the jump.
It’s unsurprising that the movie takes place during a Neptune High reunion, and I’m sure a few people may have rolled their eyes at that plotpoint in the trailer. While it may be an expected no-brainer move, it’s still the smartest one Rob Thomas could have made. The show dripped off in quality in the 3rd season, when the characters moved out of high school and into college. Veronica was no longer surrounded by the people who unfairly tormented her and reminded her of all that she’d lost, so her attitude felt much more out of place and tiresome. And the show suffered without the infrastructure of the high school highlighting the more mature storylines. Veronica stitching together a mystery by navigating through seemingly every character she’s come into contact with is reminiscent of what is maybe the finest episode from the show, season one’s Rashômon-esque “A Trip to the Dentist.” It’s a fine mold to follow.
I’m a bit more disappointed by the retread of the Veronica/Logan/Piz love triangle and its influence on the central mystery, though that too was a no-brainer for the movie. Logan’s one of the show’s more charismatic characters, and I don’t have the same ill will towards Piz as a lot of others do, so I’m not upset to see either of them individually. But with a story that’s nearly a decade after their season 3 love triangle, I’m worried about what this might mean towards the emotional maturity for all involved. Veronica’s love life melodrama was never the most interesting aspect of the show to me, but it still felt like an sincer and integral part of the plot, since it still revolved around a teenage girl. Now that Veronica’s in her late 20s, I’m not sure the same emotion will translate. Especially if she’s been dating Piz for something like 8 years, a return back to her high school sweetheart (let’s not pretend anyone believes it won’t end with Veronica and Logan back together) feels rather cold.
But more importantly, I’m a bit worried about the emotional implications, or lack-thereof, of the central mystery. As a lot of fans speculated, Veronica gets pulled back in (kudos for not making the Godfather reference, trailer!) when Logan’s girlfriend is murdered and he becomes the central suspect. These are obviously still high stakes for Veronica, as she loves Logan on at least some level and truly believes he’s innocent. But when I think of that flawless first season, my first thought is always of Veronica and Lilly floating in the pool, and Veronica crying as she finally has to let her best friend go.
It sounds morbid, granted, but I think I’ll miss the sadness and darkness of seeing a Veronica fueled by personal grief. It was the magic of the show in the first place for me: a young girl whose had to age so much, still carrying out an investigation out of pure love and loyalty for her murdered best friend, disgraced father, and broken family. Carrying an investigation out of loyalty to an ex? It’s personal enough, and there’s certainly potential there for more, but it doesn’t feel as emotionally vulnerable for me right off the bat. And certainly a bit more conventional. That being said, it’s just a trailer and I’ll bet there are some major developments that aren’t revealed in those 2 minutes. Weevil, for instance, isn’t really in the trailer even though Francis Capra returned for the filming of the movie. I’m hoping that means my favorite character plays a top-secret super important part, rather than a small one. And even with my slight reservations, I’m trusting the movie to be better than my already optimistic expectations.
Most importantly though?
Cliff is back! This movie is definitely going to rule.