• Out of This World: Veronica Mars

    Digs April 21, 2005

    It's the rare show that can make a character do something that really, genuinely surprises you -- and have you believe wholeheartedly that the character's actions make complete sense. Nowhere is this aspect of the show's considerable charms more evident than in the character of Logan Echolls [the excellent Jason Dohring], Lilly's volatile ex-boyfriend and Veronica's nemesis, who starts off seeming like your stereotypical cocky mean rich kid and gradually becomes one of the most fascinating, unsettlingly appealing characters on the show.

    The Buffy comparisons are, of course, impossible to ignore, but ultimately, it's the non-superhero-ness of Veronica Mars that makes this show especially great...But Veronica's certainly not chasing around after demons with a pointy stick or getting personal messages from God; she doesn't have super-strength or magical spells or a direct line of communication with the powers that be. As sharp and determined as she is, Veronica's mostly just a regular teenager, clinging to childish fantasies that her parents will still get back together, learning that people aren't always what you expect, and being reminded constantly that no matter how smart you are, there's still a lot you don't know. Veronica's strength comes from stuff that's pretty accessible to ordinary mortals -- she thinks deeply, follows things through, believes in herself. In the end, the thing I really love about Veronica is that she kicks ass in a way that any of us could aspire to.

    So forget about the dopeyness of the mere idea of a teen private eye; this is smart, addictive TV at its best, featuring a deliciously twisted brain-teaser of a mystery and characters you wish you could hang out with for longer than the 40-minutes they're on screen each week. Despite less-than-spectacular ratings, the show just got the go-ahead for season two. So what are you waiting for? Start tuning in now.

  • Getting a Second Chance at TV True Love

    SMRT TV: April 18, 2005

    Like any good procedural (Veronica's a busy bee when it comes to petty-crime-fighting) Mars delivers strong stand-alone stories; but like any good serialized mystery, there's always another twist waiting at the end of the episode.

    Having the chance to discover this show and really falling hard for the crispness of the writing, the steady quality of the acting and directing, and the deft interweaving of subplots and clues, is yet another reason Senor TiVo has such a fond place in my heart.

  • 6 Best Dramas on TV Now

    Time: April 4, 2005

    Veronica Mars (UPN, TUESDAYS, 9 P.M. E.T.) A high school girl detective (Kristen Bell) is trying to find the stranger who drugged and date-raped her, solve the murder of her best friend and unearth secrets of her own past in the process. It may sound like The O.C.S.I., but Mars is much better than its high-concept premise. Bell is a captivating star, with a girl scout's face and Philip Marlowe's jadedness. And like its godsister Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mars uses its pulp premise to dramatize a universal teen experience: that growing up means sleuthing out the mystery of who you really are.

  • Palm Beach Post

    Palm Beach Post: April 1, 2005

    Her character, a witty, jaded and vulnerable 17-year-old, has been through the 21st century high school social wringer, and she's done it on a show that offers more wit and style than the usual run of teen TV drama.


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