Veronica MarsEntertainment Geekly: September 30, 2004
There are definitely faint aftershocks of that seminal Lynch/Frost series in Veronica Mars, with a tangled web of murder and lust woven around the most powerful figures in town. It's the kind of thing that's designed to take seasons to reveal, with just enough clues sprinkled out to keep viewers coming back for more.
It's a clever storytelling twist, TV in the first person, something often attempted but rarely done well. Veronica Mars does it well, because the character is smart and funny, and because the actress portraying her (Kristen Bell) is exceptionally talented.
It'll be a crime to miss sleuthing 'Veronica Mars'Seattle Post-Intelligencer: September 28, 2004
...the show's a critical darling, appearing on a number of fall television "best" lists. It's also the drama a large segment of people will refuse to get; the ads only show us a teenage girl solving crimes.
It's possible viewers will look for new television addictions on channels that previously wouldn't have entered their thoughts. How else to explain the popularity of a little show such as [America's Next] Top Model?
If that can make it, so can Veronica Mars...
Martian ChroniclesNew York Magazine: September 27, 2004
She hates her outcast status, but has too much respect for herself to compromise or curry favor. As conceived by executive producer Rob Thomas (Cupid), she is an odd and affecting amalgam of Holden Caulfield, Philip Marlowe, Miss Marple, and Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. Here is where I make the obligatory reference to Freaks and Geeks and shed the obligatory tear.
UPN's new teen detective is no Nancy DrewSun Herald: September 23, 2004
"Each of the cast members - there's no two alike - we all come from totally different backgrounds, and we kind of clash beautifully," says the 22-year-old actor [Jason Dohring], who, like Bell, looks young enough to pass for a high school student.
"The wild card is our cast," agrees the heavily tattooed [Francis] Capra, 21. "It's the biggest thing that separates us from everybody else."
Mission to MarsPop Culture Junkies: September 23, 2004
Like a Twin Peaks for the post-Buffy...set (without all the lynchian imagery but tons of harsh teenage reality), Veronica Mars is immediately engaging, constantly surprising, and fresh with dialogue that slides ably between smartass wit and dumbass young confusion. And finally I have a reason to turn to UPN again.
Appealing 'Mars' is worth viewingBoston Globe: September 22, 2004
...it's an extraordinarily appealing series, one that's so much more than its easy label as a teen private-eye series.
UPN takes up where Nancy Drew left offDetroit Free Press: September 22, 2004
Tough cookie, cool show.
Veronica Mars takes the nifty notion of doing a contemporary makeover on Nancy Drew, girl detective, and gives it a beguiling, sassily intelligent pop noir spin in one of the freshest new series of the fall season.
It's a stylish whodunit, a witty teen drama and a breakout performance for young star Kristen Bell.
Little mystery to why 'Mars' is so engagingChicago Tribune: September 22, 2004
UPN has made an intelligent, compelling hour-long drama. Yes, it's true.
The best shorthand description of Veronica Mars is "high school student moonlights as private detective," which evokes unfortunate Nancy Drew-meets-Beverly Hills 90210 implications. But the show isn't as silly as that description sounds. In fact, not only is Veronica Mars not silly, it's one of the best new shows of the fall season.
'Veronica Mars': Intelligent lifeUSA Today: September 21, 2004
Think Buffy. Or better yet, imagine one of those hard-boiled detective movies with Lauren Bacall doing the sleuthing instead of Humphrey Bogart.
A Junior Detective at Hard-Boiled HighNew York Times: September 20, 2004
[Veronica Mars is] a coming-of-age drama about a high school loser turned amateur private eye: Pretty in Pink as film noir.
Veronica Mars blends the prosaic details of high school pecking orders with a solitary detective's quest for justice and revenge. Whether doing her math homework while on surveillance duty outside a cheap motel or facing down thugs, Veronica (Kristen Bell) is an amateur sleuth who is closer in spirit to Philip Marlowe than to Nancy Drew.
The writers do a good job of layering surprises and plot twists. It may not be Raymond Chandler, but "Veronica Mars" is nevertheless quite hard-boiled.
Denver PostDenver Post: September 1, 2004
Veronica Mars, 8 p.m. Tuesday on UPN (KTVD-Channel 20), starring the luminous Kristen Bell as the smart, sassy teen detective in the seaside town of Neptune, dares to discover dark corners in the young woman's personality.
TV's Fall Harvest: Prime-Time's Best ShowsMSN Entertainment: September 1, 2004
Veronica Mars gives us a heroine whose new sideline as a detective is fueled by a central mystery, the death of her best friend, and the social free-fall that followed that tragedy, which cost Veronica's father his job and his reputation as sheriff, and Veronica her standing in the high school pecking order. It's as if Nancy Drew were motivated by grief and revenge instead of civic duty and feminine curiosity.