• Kristen Bell's star quality is no mystery on 'Veronica Mars'

    San Francisco Chronicle: November 18, 2004

    ...[Kristen Bell's] pixyish but bold style has helped earn the show -- along with Bell's pitch-perfect performance -- rave reviews.

  • Caught Between Mars and a No Place

    Intrepid Media: November 15, 2004

    [Kristen] Bell was previously in the little-seen David Mamet flick Spartan, and also had a short stint on HBO's phenomenal Deadwood, in which she played a diabolical trickster using her girlish looks to manipulate and swindle people far more diabolical and tricky than she. She is a fascinating actress, flinty-eyed and cute, fierce and fragile, and she sparkles with sass and smarts; FYI, this all adds up to HOT.

    The show itself is a clever mix of Buffy, The O.C. and something far more cynical that I can't come up with. It's Bell's performance, along with the tone and the writing...that carries it off. I hope UPN knows what they've got on their hands (apparently they do, as it's just been given a full season order); it's a hell of a lot more interesting than Taye Diggs and a baby.

  • Smooth operators: Veronica Mars and House hit the mark

    The Boston Phoenix: November 12, 2004

    Veronica Mars has some perceptive things to say about female identity, especially in Veronica's haunting attachment to Lilly a lovely episode about the girls' homecoming-dance night, the reason for Veronica's fascination with Lilly became clear. Lighting up the room in her outrageously daring dress, mugging for the video camera, Lilly was sexy, brave, uninhibited, irresistible. If Lianne is the missing piece of Veronica's heart, Lilly is the secret self hidden in Veronica's soul.

    Veronica Mars is a character study masquerading as a high-school drama...

  • Eyes of Veronica Mars

    LA Weekly: November 5, 2004 this smart, engaging series about a former popular girl turned crime-solving high school outcast, the hard-boiled dialogue comes from its teen protagonist's mouth in a way that stabs any potential cutesiness in the heart with an ice pick.

    "Want to know how I lost my virginity?" asks Veronica in the pilot episode. "So do I."

    The line is so cruelly witty yet crushingly sad that its sting is felt long after the flashback scene that follows, showing the party and the spiked drink and the waking up to panties on the floor and the horrible, tearful realization.

    In a recent episode, Veronica helped a squeaky-voiced kid who swore his dad was alive somewhere even though his mother claims he'd died...Veronica tracks the guy down in San Diego, only to find that John Smith is now Julia Smith. But she is also a re-energized parent eager to play a role again in a son's life. On probably any other show - especially on a perpetual also-ran network like UPN - transsexuality so early in a series' existence might have seemed like just another sensational ratings ploy, but here it was not only a truly surprising ending but a surprisingly touching ending, for it spoke straight to...the grand motif of a show about secrets and people who aren't who they say they are.

    Joan of Arcadia asks: What's a smart girl to do when confronted with the Almighty? Veronica Mars asks: What's a smart girl to do when confronted with the possibility that the Almighty doesn't exist?


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