Series Spotlight is a monthly feature in which I talk about television shows or miniseries that has caught my attention and/or undying devotion. Have a suggestion for a TV show I should watch? Let me know in the comments!
The Premise: Veronica Mars is not your average teenager–she’s stubborn, insanely clever and dogged. But she wasn’t always like that. Veronica used to be a queen bee at Neptune High, dating prom king shoe-in Duncan Kane and running with the popular crowd. That is, until her best friend Lilly Kane is found murdered, and Veronica’s sheriff father accuses the Kane patriarch of killing his daughter.
The Draw: The series had finished its first two seasons by the time I discovered it, and it was only through a summer bingewatch that I managed to catch up. It’s hard not to love Veronica and her devil-may-care attitude, and it’s even harder to ignore just how messed up the social dynamics are in Neptune, California. It seeps into her life, it gives her a new perspective, and it also hands her the right weapons to start dismantling it. But Veronica also finds that no good deed goes unpunished.
Why You Should Stick Around: Mistakes. Veronica Mars is a show about mistakes made, mistakes covered up, mistakes that blow up in everyone’s faces, and mistakes that can never be fixed. Neptune is a city of secrets that can and do kill, and Veronica’s quest to find Lilly’s killer is one of the most compelling stories I’ve had the pleasure of following. The show does follow a standard episodic format–crime is discovered/question is posed to VM, VM conducts her investigation in some unusual ways, crime is solved. But every episode also adds to the bigger plot arcs in ways that will keep viewers guessing until the very last few minutes.
It’s a rewarding show, because of the details that are scattered in every episode. It holds up to repeat viewings. Kristen Bell’s portrayal of Veronica keeps her from being a caricature: she imbues Veronica with vulnerability and strength. Even as you want to warn Veronica from making some bad decisions, you know that she will find a way to survive and even thrive in the worst situations. Because even when the show is all about the mistakes that have bloodied Neptune, California, it’s also about a girl who manages to believe that there are things worth fighting for. Her integrity and loyalty (especially to her father) might get her into trouble, but it’s also what saves her life.
Next month on Series Spotlight: Who’s that girl?
Categories: Series Spotlight