Sunday, May 21, 2006

Annoy, tiny blonde one. Annoy like the wind!

You seem to care a bit what I think
Hey, watch me!

So, have I raved at you yet about how great Veronica Mars is? I have? Well, here I go again:

Veronica Mars is great, you really should watch it. I only stumbled across it by accident - the first season was screened here on Friday nights. As a person with a small child, I am generally home on Friday nights, and on those occasions when I can still see through the veil of tears created by crying for my lost youth, I look for crap TV to watch.

There've been many memorable loads of crap that I've hurried home from the pub to watch. A couple of years ago, it was LAX, starring Heather Locklear as the bizarrely-named Harley Random, and the bizarrely-named Blair Underpants (OK, that's not his name) in what was presumably meant to be a comeback role, one billion years after LA Law.

Predictably enough, it wasn't renewed for a second season. I think Veronica Mars may have replaced it, or was possibly screened in the timeslot immediately before it.

I wasn't interested at first - I mean, a pretty blonde teenage amateur private investigator? Just doesn't sound that interesting. However, I'd made that mistake with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The intelligent few who watched it tried to convince me, but I wasn't swayed until the last couple of seasons. I kicked myself then, for having judged the book by its cover.

So I only missed about the first three episodes before taking the advice of various reputable internet sources and watching it. Since then, I've been hooked.

Veronica (the character and and the show itself) is a worthy successor to Buffy. Like the older programme, Veronica Mars make itself watchable largely because of the dialogue. It differs a little from Buffy in that the world Veronica inhabits is a little more believable, although due to the phenomenal wealth of some of the characters, it does sometimes take on a fantasy quality.

There are some pretty good plotlines too. The show uses the now standard device of a major, overarching plot, with shorter stories contained within each episode. I don't know where this mechanism was first used, but I first noticed it in the good old X Files (also another show enlivened by great wisecracking dialogue). Whoever did it first, I still find it a winning formula and am not sick of it just yet.

The actors are all spectacular too. Kristen Bell, as the title character, strikes just the right sarcastic tone, as well as providing the cliched-yet-useful detective voiceovers. She's a bit of an overachiever by the sounds, starring in both the stage and film-musical modern versions of the 1930s insanity that is Reefer Madness. Can't wait to see it.

Jason Dohring is another one to watch (and looking around the web, many many girls are watching him!) - if anything, he has better lines than Veronica does. I also note with interest that he's a Scientologist, so I'm sure we'll see more and more of him. At least until he jumps the couch . . .

There's a great supporting cast, including more bizarre names, like Percy Daggs III and Francis Capra. Best of all, though, is Enrico "you may remember me from such shows as Just Shoot Me and, er, Whoopi" Colantoni as Keith Mars, Veronica's PI and sometime town sherriff dad.

Anyway, they haven't screened the second series in NZ yet, so the old bittorrent has been doing sterling service.

There aren't many women on TV that I'd be happy to have as a role model for my daughter, but Veronica Mars definitely makes the grade.


afraid said...

A pretty blonde teenage amateur private investigator... without 'investigator', you've pretty much got a bona fide porn site. Sounds pretty interesting to me, by the way.

I will give it a look. In the meantime, see Deadwood to have the image of Kristen Bell as a role model wholly subverted.

Tok Cheese said...

Dirty old man - but so am I, I'm much more of a fan of the later Frinight TV - Mile High absolute bollocks, but lots of tits & arse ;)