In the wealthy, seaside community of Neptune, California, the rich and powerful make the rules. Unfortunately for them, there's Veronica Mars, a smart, fearless 17-year-old apprentice private investigator dedicated to solv... more »ing the town's toughest mysteries. Veronica used to be one of the popular girls, but it all came crumbling down around her after her best friend, Lilly, was murdered, and her then-sheriff father, Keith, was removed from office for naming Lilly's rich father as the lead suspect. During the day, Veronica must negotiate high school like any average teenage girl. But at night, she helps with her father's struggling, new private investigator business--and what she finds may tear the town of Neptune apart at the seams. DVD Features:
Megan Lynn R. from HAMPDEN, ME Reviewed on 3/16/2010...
Great DVD season. Good for anyone 13 and up. Can't wait to see the other seasons.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jennifer W. (racingtweety) Reviewed on 3/14/2010...
I was very reluctant to get this show and now I'm glad I did. It's funny, sad, and very easy to get hooked. I am looking forward to the next season. Highly recommend you check it out!
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Alice H. (singlegalkansas) from TOPEKA, KS Reviewed on 7/28/2009...
Awesome damn show! I am an adult but so in lust with Logan.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Meagan M. (meags) from PEARLAND, TX Reviewed on 11/20/2007...
This was the best show on television. Witty, intriguing, and captivating - why oh why was it canceled! I encourage everyone to check this out.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
UPN gives us one of the best new shows of the year
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 05/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
The 2004-2005 will hopefully go down as one of the most important seasons in recent television history, not because there was such a plethora of great new series-there weren't-but because it was the beginning of the end of the dominance of reality programming and the rebirth of the scripted television show. The two shows that are getting most of the credit for the sudden demise of the reality show are the two mega-hits on ABC, LOST and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, but I hope that UPN's lovely VERONICA MARS will get at least some credit. If LOST and VERONICA MARS are the face of things to come, rather than WIFE SWAP or THE SWAN, then the future for TV could be very bright indeed.
Of all the series that were developed in the wake of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, VERONICA MARS hues most closely to the original (especially in Buffy's high school years) and is one of the best. [October 2005 addition: VERONICA MARS in its second season is highlighting the ties to BUFFY not merely by bringing BUFFY regular Alyson Hannigan back for a brief appearance, but having Charisma Carpenter as a semi-regular and BUFFY creator Joss Whedon as a guest star in one episode in November. Salon.com did its part by awarding this years Buffy Award, for the best show on TV neglected by the Emmys--and named for the Best Show ever ignored by the Emmys--to VERONICA MARS.] If we were to describe the original recipe for the show, it is about 50% BUFFY, 20% NANCY DREW, 15% BEVERLY HILLS 90210, and 15% TWIN PEAKS. In other words, the show is about a super cable blonde high school student who takes on do-badders and tilts the scales of justice, who is an amateur female sleuth, whose escapades all take play in her upper class high school with a contingent of working class students, and who in her spare time investigates the mystery of the death of her best friend Laura Palmer . . . er, ah, I mean Lily Kane.
At the start of the series, Veronica can look back at a very bad year. Her best friend died; her father, the former sheriff, was fired because of disapproval of his handling of the investigation; her boyfriend, Duncan Kane, and the brother of the deceased Lily, has broken up with her; because of her father's firing and the snubbing of her by Duncan and his friends, the formerly popular Veronica finds herself ostracized by her fellow students, especially after her drugging and rape at a party provide her with the label of being a party girl (all expressed by the superb theme song "We Used to Be Friends" by The Dandy Warhols); and in the aftermath of her father's firing, her mother mysteriously disappeared and hasn't been seen or heard from in months. But Veronica is nothing if not resilient, and she is not one to passively take the misfortunes that life heaps upon one. In other words, she has spunk, as well as a quick and inventive wit and lifetime supply of street smarts. Upon being made ex-sheriff, her father sets up as a private detective, and Lily serves both as his receptionist and aide, and ends up having a bit of a practice at school once her reputation as one who can resolve awkward situations begins to spread. By the end of the season one might find Veronica struggling with three mysteries at once, the ongoing one of Lily's death, as well as whatever her father is working on, and some friend at school.
All in all, I found the first season to be thoroughly fascinating and persistently entertaining. The structure of the narrative is a bit of a blend of the long-story-arc episode and the stand-alone episode. Each episode will move the core story for that episode forward, while also taking up any of a number of the ongoing mysteries. And there are a host of mysteries. For instance, we wonder about who are the biological parents of who, whether the have been inadvertent incestuous relationships, and characters who run away to escape the difficulties. Through it all it the utterly unflappable Veronica, utterly determined to get at the truth of things. By the end of the season the big arc for that season-who killed Lily Kane-is solved, thanks to Veronica.
Veronica Mars is a great character who is more than aptly handled by the extraordinarily cute Kristen Bell, who is perfect for the role except for the fact that she is a bit too old to be playing a high school junior. She is so otherwise perfect for the role it is easy to overlook the age gaffe. Although Veronica is a transparent girl-power heroine in the tradition of BUFFY, she stands apart from other such heroines such as Max Guevara and Sydney Bristow in not having especial super powers or abilities, and has no special mystical destiny. What is Veronica's special power? Her quick wit. That's it! She just thinks faster than others. She emerges as both a great strategic and tactical thinker, always two or three steps ahead of everyone else, always anticipating what someone else's response is going to be. Very rarely is she surprised by someone, or unable to response instantly to a variation.
The rest of the characters form a nice and believable group of characters. They largely fall into the competent and outstanding categories. In fact, the only three I would not place merely into the competent category are Enrico Colantoni, who is superb as Veronica's dad Keith. Though they sometimes disagree on things, throughout the show they are obviously the greatest of friends, and when they need to be, great colleagues. Keith tries to protect his daughter, but he also knows that she is someone of rather prodigious abilities, so he doesn't always try to stand in her way. He has a great kid, and he knows it. The only other cast member I think deserves especial notice is Jason Dohring as the mercurial Logan Echolls, who at various times in the course of the season is sadistic, vulnerable, angry, magnanimous, courageous, cruel, tender, grateful, selfish, and romantic. If you don't like him one week, wait a couple of episodes and reevaluate. One bit of casting irony should be noted. Francisco Capra plays Weevil, the head of the local motorcycle gang. In fact, he is a member of one of the most thoroughly connected families in the history of Hollywood, his great grandfather being the great director Frank Capra, his grandfather one of the great power brokers in Hollywood, and he father nearly as active in a host of tinsel town activities. So much for his outsider cred. Nonetheless, Capra, despite being the ultimate Hollywood insider, does a good job as one of the school's bad boys.
All in all, this was a great first season, with a great series of storylines, one of the best season-long mysteries to be unraveled in ages, and a group of characters we come to care for. The show ended with most of the loose ends tied up, probably in part an instance of defensive writing on the part of the production team. With a bevy of rather shocking cancellations in recent years, a lot of writers decide to end a season as if they were ending the season. WONDERFALLS is a great example of this. We are sure to see more. Thankfully, UPN renewed VERONICA MARS, so we'll get to see the spunky, resourceful, irrepressible high school sleuth back in action for a least one more season, and hopefully for more. And maybe, just maybe the powers-that-be in Hollywood will realize that this kind of quality scripted television with long story arcs, and not forgettable, cheap, unrehearsed reality shows are what viewers really want."
One of the best new shows this year!
Maggie | MD, USA | 05/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I got hooked on Veronica Mars during the pilot, which I tuned to on a whim. I thought it was one of the best written hours of television I'd ever seen. While some of the "mystery of the week" episodes were stronger than others, I was impressed that the threads of the over-arching story were kept going throughout the season. The last 4 episodes of the season, where everything started to come together were gripping. I really loved this show and was so glad to see it renewed. I hope it comes out on DVD!"
Most definitely not Nancy Drew!
Sertorius | Boston, MA | 09/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After I stumbled upon Veronica Mars and discovered that it was actually amazingly good, my big challenge was to try to get my friends to watch it. For some reason everyone who had heard of it at all thought that it was a 'Nancy Drew type show'. No critcism of Nancy implied, but Veronica Mars (both the character and the series) has a very mature, dark and cynical outlook that defies most simplistic expectations. Veronica isn't always the nicest person; she is cynical, bitter and (highly) vengeful. She enjoys manipulating people, she can be frighteningly cavalier with the truth (and law... and basic human rights), and she wants to be feared by people that she doesn't like. But ultimately she is a champion for those who don't have other options. The greatest evil in Veronica's home town of Neptune, is not a serial killer or even the murderer of Veronica's best friend; it is the caste driven system which disenfranchizes many of Veronica's peers, while elevating others. Veronica Mars is not all social message or politically posturing though, and it brings to the table a number of strengths that make it standout (head and shoulders) among the current crop of teen dramas (the best since Buffy).
-Great writing; particularly in the witty repartee and in Veronica's often wickedly cynical expository voice over. -Kristen Bell's extraordinary range and dead on delievery. Unlike many actor's trying to play smart, she actually seems very smart, and very competent. -A strong story arc that threads through each episode, driving Veronica's actions. -A great supporting cast (both regular and recurring) playing complex characters that have their own agendas and who grow and change throughout the season.
There are many dynamics that go on in a show this complex, some of which work better than others. From the central murder mystery of Lily Kane, to Veronica's search forher mother, and her complex relationships with her father, Kieth Mars; Logan Echolls; and Duncan Kane; we are given both great drama and a real mystery. Saying more runs the risk of giving away too much for those who haven't seen it. Let it suffice to say I rank Veronica Mars with Lost, as one of the two best, new dramas from last season... And I for one cannot wait for the next mystery to unfold. "
The Best Show to Come Out of Network TV in a Long, LONG time
G-Funk | 10/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Forget the high school set up, this is the smartest, most mature and complex show to come out of network TV since the glory days of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer", the early seasons of the "X-Files", "My So-Called Life" and the first season of "Twin Peaks". And sorry "Lost", you know I love you, but the Most Compelling Mystery On TV award goes to the cute-as-a-button petite blond with the smart mouth and the attitude. This is one of the few shows that are able to combine style and substance, drama and comedy and thrills, chills and character-driven stories successfully and intelligently.
Most every single episode is tightly packed with engaging storylines, crisp dialogue, fun mini-mysteries with outcomes that are hard to guess and tantalizing little clues that keep the viewer on the edge of their seat and intrigued by the season-long whodunit. There is no fat, there are no fillers and there so much going on that even the awesome songs carefully selected for each scene serve a clear purpose.
And every single episode reveals so much about the characters that you can't help but become emotionally attached. The writers and actors take great pains to make you care about all of the main people involved in Lilly's death and, in what may be one of the most brilliant moments in TV ever, in Lilly herself. Not one of them is your average, clichéd teen show character and you may even find yourself loving AND hating some of these folks. This is, after all, a gritty show that pushes the limit and never sugarcoats growing up, talks down to its viewers or romanticizes high school. The characters are real and flawed and their actions and motivations are not always noble or righteous. There's plenty of moral ambiguity, tough lessons and realism to go around.
Likewise, the main character isn't some unrealistic, unattainable fembot or a flawless, impervious superhero. She is, we are often reminded, a hurt, lonely, vulnerable, scrawny 17-year-old who's only strengths are her unflinching determination, resilience and smarts. Bell is outstanding and subtly yet effectively conveys all the conflicting emotions with an endearing mixture of vulnerability, panache, wit and bravado that are all of her own. She is never a victim and she never screams for attention, yet she can always command it. By the third episode, you don't just like Veronica, you love and understand her.
The relationship between Veronica and her dad is just beautiful and the chemistry between both actors undeniable. Jason Dohring is explosive as Logan Echolls and is another actor with great chemistry with Bell. Kudos are also in order to Francis Capra and the actress playing Lilly, who manages to steal every one of the few scenes she is in.
Veronica Mars isn't your average TV mystery. There's so much more there than meets the eye. You can watch and re-watch the first season and always enjoy it and discover something new. Further more, it is fun and exciting TV, the kind we hardly ever get anymore outside of Cable. I'll take this over moguls looking for apprentices and desperate 40-year-olds acting like crazed teenagers any day of the week. "
Why aren't you watching?
N. Brown | 07/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This show is not only the best new show on television but I would rank it in the top 5 shows on television period. All the check boxes are ticked. Great Cast. Check. Great Writing. Check. Great Direction. Check. Even a great soundtrack. This show has no faults except for being on the wrong network (UPN). Veronica Mars (played brilliantly by Kristen Bell) is a teenage girl who has had to grow up overnight following the death of her best friend, her father (played by Enrico Colantoni) being fired and publicly falling from grace, her mother seemingly abandoning them and her ex-communication from the in-crowd. While trying to solve the mysteries of her best friend's death and her mother's disappearance, Veronica maintains a heavy class load while being a sleuth-in-training in her Dad's private investigation firm. In each episode of the first season we follow Veronica as she unearths clues for the major mysteries in her life as well as the Mysteries of the Week. In several episodes Veronica is seen juggling several cases at once and the audience is left breathless on the edge of their seats. It's a great show and should not be missed."