• As a Stern Teenager, She's Not Such a Stretch

    The New York Times: September 28, 2005

    A high school can be like a battlefield, with weapons checked by metal detectors, and no place suggests this more than the set of "Veronica Mars." A few minutes west of downtown, jets from Miramar Air Force Base streak overhead, and the landlord who rents a soundstage to "Mars," a scrappy UPN drama now in its second year, leases out the adjacent property for military maneuvers on arid terrain. Blank rounds pop in the distance.

    Kristen Bell, a 25-year-old Detroit native who plays the title role, is also spitting out rapid-fire bits of dialogue. Once a professed "pigtailed girl next door," she is now Veronica, a combustible teenager in an era when the schoolyard stakes are much higher than Ms. Bell ever knew.

  • Cathode Ray Fray: Pay Cable TV Lock Down (Locking In), My Pretties September 15, 2005

    Back on the non-payin'-for nets, our girl Veronica Mars wrapped up its summer blast of reruns in preparation for the Season Two premiere (Sept. 21, UPN, according the records the Ray provided to me). It's unclear whether or not Veronica is the "New Buffy," but all I know is that I'm at the mercy of its Neptune-centered vortex.

    Logan and Weevil and Jake and Wallace, what's a girl to do? Spend most of her time wending her way through murder and mayhem and date rape and cover ups, is what. This show has a magical touch, not unlike both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Harry Potter series (all the books, and tack on the third film for kicks), an ability to mix crafty dialogue, innocent and youthful lead characters, and antics on the surface that give way to truly creepy yet intriguing depth.


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