Veronica Mars, Eyes.

Whoever pointed this out to me a while ago. Seriously, thanks.

She's like a smaller sassier version of Sydney Bristow hellbent on the best revenge possible.

I'm 5 episodes into Season 1 and I'm just not sure what's going to happen next. For those of you skipping it because the ads made it out to be a teeny drama, do yourself a favour and rent/download a few episodes to check it out.

To add something new here. Have any of you seen Eyes? It's the short-lived TV show (13 episodes, now why does *that* sound familiar?) starring Tim Daly as Harland Judd, the owner of a barely-treading-the-water risk management firm. It's no longer on the air and it's not out on DVD yet, but the resourceful folk can still find all 13 episodes. They only showed the first 5 in NA I think, the rest were picked up by the Kiwis and shown over there.

Season 1 of Veronica Mars was pretty much Twin Peaks updated for 21st century. In other words, one of the best shows in existence.

I didn't point out VM, but I did offer an emphatic affirmation to its greatness. The first two seasons are solid.

Season 1 of Veronica Mars was pretty much Twin Peaks updated for 21st century. In other words, one of the best shows in existence.

No. Way.

Really? I might have to watch that. Does it have a Bob?

buzzvang wrote:
Season 1 of Veronica Mars was pretty much Twin Peaks updated for 21st century. In other words, one of the best shows in existence.

No. Way.

Really? I might have to watch that. Does it have a Bob?

Or a dwarf speaking in reverse?

The dwarf resides happily in the now-canceled HBO series "Carnivale".

Veronica Mars, however, takes place in a town full of colorful people with dark and exciting secrets, her mission - investigating a wrong that can be never righted again, while being haunted by mysterious flashbacks to how things were before...

The first season is a complete story in itself, with a beginning, a middle, and an ever-explosive conclusion.
Second season was less coherent IMO.

I think the comparison to Twin Peaks will set up some expectations that won't be fulfilled.

It might very well be I that introduced you to VM. I've certainly mentioned it enough times that I hope it's sinking into some of your subconsciousnesses. That may not be a word, I'm not entirely sure.

Good news about VM is that it's pretty consistent, which means you won't be wondering why you're watching it by the end of Season 1, or 2 for that matter. Looking forward to the new season, myself.

Ah, Yes you mentioned it in one of the "new this week" posts a while back.
It's been very strong so far, with a good progression of storyline. I almost started at season 2 when a friend came over with it a few days ago, now I am really glad I didn't.

I was a huge fan of Alias up to and including season 3 but when the season ended with more questions than answers JJ seemed to jump ship and start up his new baby Lost.

I was a huge fan of Alias up to and including season 3 but when the season ended with more questions than answers JJ seemed to jump ship and start up his new baby Lost.

I don't watch JJ shows for that reason, Alias and to a much larger degree Lost. I can't stand when seasons end and _nothing_ is resolved. Eventually it gets exhausting and you end up with, well, the X-Files which crumbled under the ponderous weight of its own mythology. I'm fine with some cliffhangers here and there, but I want the arc I've been following to reach some kind of conclusion from time to time. That's one of the things I always like about Joss Whedon shows. They have a beginning, middle, and most importantly end to a season that resolves important points.

I don't want to say how this discussion relates to VM, but I promise they don't pull a JJ.

Elysium wrote:

I don't want to say how this discussion relates to VM, but I promise they don't pull a JJ.

I'll add this to Elysium's spoiler-free comment - Joss Whedon says this about Veronica Mars:
"Best. Show. Ever. Seriously, I've never gotten more wrapped up in a show I wasn't making, and maybe even more than those. Crazy crisp dialogue. Incredibly tight plotting. Big emotion, I mean BIG, and charsimatic actors and I was just DYING from the mystery and the relationships ... laugh all you want, I had to share this. These guys know what they're doing on a level that intimidates me."

Joss liked it so much, he bought the company!

Well, no, not really, but he does appear in one episode as a clerk.

I don't want to seem like a downer because I seriously love VM (due entirely to my interest being piqued by the GWJ column "Watching Mars"), but season 2 seemed a little stale to me. I think season 1 worked so well because the overarching mystery was so ingrained with the introduction of the character of Veronica Mars. The overarching mystery in season 2 seemed more like a generic mystery that could have been ported to any number of shows.

I still enjoyed it a lot, I just hope the writers find a way to create that sense of emotional investment again...

I haven't ever watched an episode of this show... mostly because it seems like the next princess of the geek prom-- i.e., once, Buffy ruled, so all the geeks loved Buffy. Firefly, being next in the bloodline, becomes the next obsessive way to prove your geek cred. The almighty Joss then bestows his mighty blessing on Veroninca Mars, and the geeks again migrate.

That's a totally ridiculous and silly way to view a simple TV show, but there you go.

I think I am going to try to overcome my snobbishness by purchasing season one on DVD... Best Buy is selling it for only $19.99 this week (ends sunday sept. 2).

shihonage wrote:

The dwarf resides happily in the now-canceled HBO series "Carnivale".

Veronica Mars, however, takes place in a town full of colorful people with dark and exciting secrets, her mission - investigating a wrong that can be never righted again, while being haunted by mysterious flashbacks to how things were before...

The first season is a complete story in itself, with a beginning, a middle, and an ever-explosive conclusion.
Second season was less coherent IMO.

QUASISPOILER
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I agree about the second season, though it might've seemed more coherent if the ending wasn't so... off-the-wall? The last episode really just seemed like they'd written themselves into a corner and had to pull something implausible to really tie up the loose ends.

And some episodes had nothing to do with the overall plot. The whole baby-kidnapping thing? Completely unnecessary. Made things slog a lot more.

Not that I didn't enjoy it, I most certainly did. I just think it had its sophomore slump, and hoping they'll learn from it.

///QUASISPOILER

And Eyes? Oh, man, it was a show after my heart. Every bit as smooth as Ocean's Eleven, but without the Hollywood preening. It was, in my opinion, a great show that made the fatal mistake of doing something wild with the end of the pilot episode in order to get picked up, and then lost the audience when they had to do a "just kidding" to keep the actor involved.

It was the perfect cable show that had the rotten luck of being put on network TV. If it'd been taken up by FX, USA or TNT? It'd still be around. Could even be a great HBO/Showtime series. Then again, I think every good TV show should be on HBO or Showtime, so there you have it.

I'm with ya Sommer. It does make me a gigantic snob, but in my experience, i've found that a lot of shows like this end up dissapointing me, or worse, pissing me off. Battlestar Galactica worked, a lot of other stuff (See: My Longstanding Grudge Against Overlord Whedon) hasn't. I'll give this another shot, I think if I can find an episode or two here and there, but I'm finally getting to watch The Wire on my own time and that is a truly sh*t-hot show.

I thought Veronica Mars was/is a pretty great show. My wife got hooked, so I got hooked. It doesn't hurt that Kristen Bell is easy on the eyes either.

Prederick wrote:

I'm with ya Sommer. It does make me a gigantic snob, but in my experience, i've found that a lot of shows like this end up dissapointing me, or worse, pissing me off. Battlestar Galactica worked, a lot of other stuff (See: My Longstanding Grudge Against Overlord Whedon) hasn't. I'll give this another shot, I think if I can find an episode or two here and there, but I'm finally getting to watch The Wire on my own time and that is a truly sh*t-hot show.

Ive heard lots of good things about THE WIRE, but I haven't caught any episodes yet... maybe I'll keep an eye out for the DVD sets on the cheap.

Funny you mention BSG, too... thats another show I just haven't bothered to check out despite hearing so many people raving about it.

Shows like Veronica Mars are very much a matter of taste. Like Buffy the concept sounds like it should be faintly ridiculous. Yes, it is another show of twenty-somethings playing high school students. Yes, it does appear to be the geek flavor of the month, but there is a reason for that. I think the writing is among the best on TV at the moment. But I like tightly wound stories, so your milage may vary.

If you like well plotted mysteries, or enjoy films like The Maltese Falcon or The Big Sleep, give the first season of V. Mars a chance. If you like plot heavy shows that require regular watching like Lost, the new Battlestar, Babylon 5, the mid to late seasons of Deep Space 9, and early Alias, give V. Mars a chance. If a show about a flawed but loving family going to ends of the earth for each other appeals to you, give V. Mars a chance.

But be warned, if you don't like a really dark story, Veronica won't be for you. The new Battlestar is dark, but Veronica Mars makes Battlestar seem like a happy place without any real paranoia. The comparison between the characters of Veronica and Buffy is inevitable, but Veronica makes Buffy look soft. Veronica has no mercy and right or wrong means less her than justice.

Now, the real reason those of us who love the show are pushing it have to do with ratings. It gets none. Thus it's in constant danger of being cancelled. We need ya'll to join the cult so we can keep getting new stories. So if you enjoy making geeks happy, give Veronica a watch...

Again, it's a taste thing. My favorite American sci-fi is The Twilight Zone and I enjoy the film noir, so I obviously have a tolerance for that sort of thing.

Others have mentioned that the second season was not as tight, and I agree with them. There were too many threads to keep track of on a week by week basis with mid-season breaks. It might work better on DVD, but I don't know. It was still quite good though. And the third season promises much shorter mystery arcs. Of course that also means that there probably won't be a season like season 1 again.

SommerMatt wrote:

Ive heard lots of good things about THE WIRE, but I haven't caught any episodes yet... maybe I'll keep an eye out for the DVD sets on the cheap.

Without any hyperbole, I believe the Wire is the best show ever produced for television. Unfortunately, it is too smart and authentic for Emmy voters.

The upcoming season should be a doozy -- it focuses on the problems in inner-city public education, and it starts next weekend!!

I haven't ever watched an episode of this show... mostly because it seems like the next princess of the geek prom-- i.e., once, Buffy ruled, so all the geeks loved Buffy. Firefly, being next in the bloodline, becomes the next obsessive way to prove your geek cred. The almighty Joss then bestows his mighty blessing on Veroninca Mars, and the geeks again migrate.

I'm not even sure what this means. Maybe it's just the kind of thing that's said when one wants to seem superior.

I've never watched a show in my life to establish some kind of "cred", but here's my pretty good philosophy. Watch the show. If you like it, keep watching. If you don't, stop watching. I'm not sure you can get whatever kind of non-geek, better-than-it-all cred you seem to be after, so your mileage may vary.

Elysium wrote:
I haven't ever watched an episode of this show... mostly because it seems like the next princess of the geek prom-- i.e., once, Buffy ruled, so all the geeks loved Buffy. Firefly, being next in the bloodline, becomes the next obsessive way to prove your geek cred. The almighty Joss then bestows his mighty blessing on Veroninca Mars, and the geeks again migrate.

I'm not even sure what this means. Maybe it's just the kind of thing that's said when one wants to seem superior.

No, it has nothing to do with that. It has to do with the fact that there seems to be one show at any given time that is lauded with huge amounts of praise and slavish devotion from geek circles. I am not saying that I don't watch it because I feel I am "superior" to those who do... but for some reason I just simply find myself turned off from a show once it becomes surrounded by so much "hyperbole." If I wasn't there from the beginning, the longer it goes on and the more praise it receives, the less likely I am to start watching it... lots of times I have bought into the hype and then been disappointed. Maybe it's just a TV defense mechanism!

I'm not saying it's rational, but that's how it goes in my mind.

I refused to watch Buffy for the first two seasons for similar reasons-- too much hype, too much praise, too many crazily devoted fans... and then I watched the 3rd season premiere (because nothing else was on) and I became one of those crazily devoted fans. It only lasted until season 5, but it was there... I think I was too "whedoned" out by the time Firefly debuted, yet again I was turned off by people calling themselves "browncoats" and going to the Serenity screenings and singing songs and all that... not because I felt superior... but just because it seemed so odd.

I've never watched a show in my life to establish some kind of "cred".

Never said YOU did... said it "seemed like" it to me. And I fully admitted it was a nutty thing to do.

Prederick wrote:

I'm with ya Sommer. It does make me a gigantic snob, but in my experience, i've found that a lot of shows like this end up dissapointing me, or worse, pissing me off. Battlestar Galactica worked, a lot of other stuff (See: My Longstanding Grudge Against Overlord Whedon) hasn't.

What's your LGAOW? I'd love to hear about it!

consciousness wrote:

Shows like Veronica Mars are very much a matter of taste. Like Buffy the concept sounds like it should be faintly ridiculous. Yes, it is another show of twenty-somethings playing high school students. Yes, it does appear to be the geek flavor of the month, but there is a reason for that. I think the writing is among the best on TV at the moment. But I like tightly wound stories, so your milage may vary.

If you like well plotted mysteries, or enjoy films like The Maltese Falcon or The Big Sleep, give the first season of V. Mars a chance.

I *do* love film noir and detective stories. And what's gotten me to rethink watching VM is the fact that it has sort of been cross promoted with a movie I really love-- BRICK-- which has a similar premise of "The Maltese Falcon" in high school. Have you seen BRICK? Do you think someone who liked the film would like the TV series?

I will probably head to BEST BUY tonight and pick it up anyway, but I'm just curious.

Don't sweat it Elysium. I think The Offspring said it best: It's cool to hate.

hubbinsd wrote:
SommerMatt wrote:

Ive heard lots of good things about THE WIRE, but I haven't caught any episodes yet... maybe I'll keep an eye out for the DVD sets on the cheap.

Without any hyperbole, I believe the Wire is the best show ever produced for television. Unfortunately, it is too smart and authentic for Emmy voters.

While I have neard nothing but good things about the show, and while I know fans want their favorite programs to receive wider recognition, that article linked to above is pretty bogus... the emmy voters never said that the show is "too smart for them." What they said was that the show is very hard for new viewers to jump on board. I feel the same way now about watching LOST... I haven't seen it, and at this point dont think I can jump on board without having seen the first two seasons. Does that mean I'm dumb? I don't think so...

The upcoming season should be a doozy -- it focuses on the problems in inner-city public education, and it starts next weekend!!

as a public school employee, I'm not sure what I feel about that! I think I'll have to try and track down someone who has the first seasons on DVD and give it a shot.

Stylez wrote:

Don't sweat it Elysium. I think The Offspring said it best: It's cool to hate.

is it just as cool to jump to conclusions? Who said I "hated" anything?

True, I did jump to a conclusion, I probably got defensive due to your tag But not wanting to see something just because of universal praise is certainly an odd perspective. Firefly I would have completely missed had it not been for the browncoats/Penny Arcade praise, and it is still my alltime favourite series. If you are a film noir fan though, you really do owe it to yourself to check VM out. Eyes as well, if you can find it

SommerMatt wrote:

I refused to watch Buffy for the first two seasons for similar reasons-- too much hype, too much praise, too many crazily devoted fans... and then I watched the 3rd season premiere (because nothing else was on) and I became one of those crazily devoted fans.

I'm amused by the fact that you've managed to avoid both the worst season (season 1) and the best season (season 2) of the series.

shihonage wrote:
SommerMatt wrote:

I refused to watch Buffy for the first two seasons for similar reasons-- too much hype, too much praise, too many crazily devoted fans... and then I watched the 3rd season premiere (because nothing else was on) and I became one of those crazily devoted fans.

I'm amused by the fact that you've managed to avoid both the worst season (season 1) and the best season (season 2) of the series.

well, you realize of course that once I became a fan in season 3, I went back and got seasons one and two on the piece-meal US VHS release, and then complete on DVD. I was such a big fan that I even shelled out $20 for a bootleg copy of the "Earshot" school-shooting episode that was banned from US TV in the wake of Columbine & posted a TRANSCRIPT of it online.

So obviously this whole VM thing isn't about me feeling superior to anyone.

"I refused to watch Buffy for the first two seasons for similar reasons-- too much hype, too much praise, too many crazily devoted fans... and then I watched the 3rd season premiere (because nothing else was on) and I became one of those crazily devoted fans. It only lasted until season 5, but it was there... I think I was too "whedoned" out by the time Firefly debuted, yet again I was turned off by people calling themselves "browncoats" and going to the Serenity screenings and singing songs and all that... not because I felt superior... but just because it seemed so odd. "

Actually I take issue with you here. I believe that you did feel superior.

But, that's OK. Because you probably were.

SommerMatt wrote:
hubbinsd wrote:
SommerMatt wrote:

Ive heard lots of good things about THE WIRE, but I haven't caught any episodes yet... maybe I'll keep an eye out for the DVD sets on the cheap.

Without any hyperbole, I believe the Wire is the best show ever produced for television. Unfortunately, it is too smart and authentic for Emmy voters.

While I have neard nothing but good things about the show, and while I know fans want their favorite programs to receive wider recognition, that article linked to above is pretty bogus... the emmy voters never said that the show is "too smart for them." What they said was that the show is very hard for new viewers to jump on board. I feel the same way now about watching LOST... I haven't seen it, and at this point dont think I can jump on board without having seen the first two seasons. Does that mean I'm dumb? I don't think so...

You say potato, I say potahto. I was hooked on the Wire after catching the second to last episode of the first season. I didn't realize that the criteria for being recognized by the Emmy's was that the plot be simple and the characters be painted in broad strokes only. When you couple the first comment with the second one,

The plot takes place in the drug-infested streets of west Baltimore, and with the vast majority of Emmy voters based in Southern California, there's little connection. The grim surroundings and coarse language also might turn some people off.

This tells me that Emmy voters have become so lazy and their tastes so hackneyed that a show being shot on location is just too challenging for them. To wit:

With the series being shot on location, the actors aren't in Los Angeles or New York, being seen around town and helping build publicity for the show. Out of sight, out of mind.

Well, I went to Best Buy tonight and snagged a copy of VERONICA MARS season One for $19.99. I'll try and catch an episode or two tomorrow.

BTW, anyone who missed the sale, Wal-Mart seems to be matching those prices... not sure how long it will last, but you can give it a shot.

shihonage wrote:

I'm amused by the fact that you've managed to avoid both the worst season (season 1) and the best season (season 2) of the series.

Whoa, whoa. Season 1, the worst? Did you even see Season 4?