Some shows are just better when binge-watched. Whether it's the latest BBC comedy, a PBS miniseries from the '70s, or just that cultish show prematurely scrubbed from a network — we're hooked on the stream. So, we're unrolling Staying In(stant), a new feature highlighting the best of streaming content. Each week, we bring you a show we're obsessed with and think you should be, too.
This week? Veronica Mars — the gone-too-soon, cult-followed detective series, which took the ultimate underdog-to-popular kid title when its fans paid for a movie continuation of the show six years after we had all bid the show goodbye.
Where To Watch:
Amazon Prime, TheWB.com
How I Got Hooked:
I was home sick during my senior year of high school when I happened to catch a Veronica Mars marathon. Even in my cold-induced haze, I fell in love with both Kristen Bell and a show that managed to never preach while touching on tensions between economic classes, government politics, family dynamics, and because, well, they were in high school, high school drama. It took only five episodes, and I was sold. Sadly, the show had been canceled the previous year, Netflix streaming didn’t have near the current quantity of titles, and no one I knew had the DVDs. I waited two years before I found it on Netflix streaming (unfortunately, it has since been removed). And, naturally after the long buildup, I spent the better part of a week binge watching every episode. And, let me tell you, it was worth the wait.
Each episode involves Veronica (Bell) solving a mini-mystery, while also piecing together clues for a larger mystery that carries through the season. The overarching question of first season, who killed Veronica's best friend, Lilly Kane, provided many memorable episodes. But, hands down, the episode I have watched the most is “Weapons of Class Destruction" (sometimes I even start with this episode when I rewatch the series). I apologize to any Team Piz cardholders reading this; I don’t understand you. This first hint of romance between Logan and Veronica is when the show truly became an investment for me; it became more than something I found entertaining, but something I couldn’t help but #LoVe (and, yes, the creation of this hashtag because of the upcoming movie really warms my heart). But, beyond that scene there is a guest appearance by Jonathan Taylor Thomas, a kidnapping, a high school bomb threat, and JTT pulling a fast one over Veronica. Let’s be honest,
Why You’ll Love It:
The show's big story lines involve murders, kidnappings, rapes, bus crashes, and corruption — lots and lots of corruption. But, the joy of the show is that it never let these flashy plot points overtake the heart of the show. Veronica Mars doesn't box itself into just one style; it is at once a show about crime and a show about high school and finding yourself. The dialogue and takedowns feel like a dark episode of Gilmore Girls, with the relationship between Veronica and Keith serving as the same moral compass in Neptune as Lorelai and Rory provided in Stars Hollow. The world of Neptune is about the relationships that define us — our friends, our enemies, and our fathers. It did a great job showing not just how Veronica, but Beaver, Duncan, Lilly, Logan, and Wallace were shaped by their fathers, or lack thereof. And, even though the majority of the last season, and in particular the finale, didn’t do justice to the unique cast of characters we fell in love with, there is nothing like hearing the chorus of The Dandy Warhols “We Used To Be Friends” and knowing what is about to follow. And, here's hoping the come March 14 the movie provides us the ending that Veronica and we deserve.