XIPHOS ORBITS NEPTUNE WITH VERONICA MARS
On Saturday 15 March 2014, I decided to plop myself down on the couch and watch the Veronica Mars movie on VOD. This was the proper way to watch the movie since the couch/hospital bed was how I got sucked into the wonderfully realized world of Veronica Mars in the first place so it was only right that I watch the movie that way. It was a good thing I did since the movie was essentially an extended episode of the series and believe you me that isn’t a bad thing.
I am all over this web site, and the internet for that matter, as a big proponent of the series. To me this was one of the best shows of the the last 15 years in terms of quality, structure, acting, the issues it tackled and basically in every way. Veronica Mars was better than most of the highly lauded crap out there like LOST, BSG, Games of Nerd Wankery and Boredom and, wait for it, this will make many a geeks head explode… Breaking Bad. OH NO HE D’INT! Oh I most certainly did. To be fair, while BB is much, much better than the other shows I listed, it still isn’t as good as the lowly UPN/CW teen detective show Veronica Mars. Countdown to nerd rage in 3…2…1…
Keep the above paragraph in mind as you read the next sentence. I was never one clamoring for more VM. I thought the show ended on the right dark depressing down note of Veronica walking off, alone, into the rare rainy SoCal weather leaving behind the strewn wreckage of her personal life and the lives of her friends and family. This last part has a direct bearing on the movie.
The Veronica Mars movie starts out with a voiceover to bring all the non VM fans up to date on the story. Interestingly, it acknowledges the sheer stupidity of the concept, a teen detective, and moves on to the first of many fanservice moments and references. I am mostly okay with the vast amount of fanservice that goes on in the movie since it was mostly financed by the fans although with the large number of blatant plugs for the Samsung Galaxy line of phones and tablets I bet they threw in more than a few drachmas towards production costs.
From there we move onto Ronnie interviewing at some big deal white shoe corporate law firm in Manhattan where we learn over the previous nine years Ronnie went to Hearst college, then transferred to Stanford (Go CARDINAL!) where she graduated at the top of her class and got a BS in Psychology then onto Columbia Law School, top of her class again. However the one thing she stopped doing was being a shamus for hire. She went cold turkey on investigations due to all the damage she inflicted on herself, her friends and family. During this scene is the first of the many references to sobriety and addiction peppered throughout the movie but more on that insight a bit later.
After that we unfortunately find out that Ronnie hooked up with again, about a year before, with that ultimate douche canoe beta male Piz, who I guess has to be in the flick so he can be a foil to Logan Echolls, Ronnie’s true mate for life. Piz has the most beta male job somebody as weak as that can have, he works for some fruity show on National Public Radio where only beta males and shrill feminists congregate. Apparently Nancy boy Piz works for a real NPR show called This American Life which I’ve neither heard off before nor ever listened to but since its on NPR it can’t be good and would get crushed into powder in the harsh crucible of real life ratings. That is if it had to compete for them and not get nursed at the bosom of the Federal government. But hey, competition is bad isn’t that true elitist-east coast-lefty/communist/Barry loving-NPR stooges? Good thing you losers can gravy boat on my taxes so you don’t ever have to worry about being, you know, good at your jobs to survive. Anyway while visiting beta boy to tell him about the interview Ronnie see a news report saying her former boyfriend, Logan Echolls who she has not seen or spoken to in nine years, was charged with the murder of his singer girlfriend Bonnie DeVille who was also a former classmate of Veronica’s and Logan’s named Carrie Bishop. The murder happened to coincide with the 10th reunion of Veronica and Logan’s graduation which was a genius way to shoehorn in just about every minor and mid level character from the show, except Jake and Duncan Kane, into the movie. So that’s the set up but what if any is the payoff?
Self, I say, I am glad you asked that question because there was a truck load of payoff and set up for a potential sequel if that ever comes to pass. It will involve Weevil, who got sucked back into the bad side of life after going legit, getting married and having a kid, and Celeste Kane who shot Weevil. Veronica and Logan’s relationship is settled and so is that clown shoe asshat Piz. We learn that Ronnie’s formerly self conscious nerdy computer friend Mac is now a self confident kick ass highly paid computer chick working at Kane Software. Wallace is working at Neptune High and is the JV basketball coach. Logan has settled down and got on track and is a Naval Aviator flying F18 Hornets over The Stan. I do need to give Jason Dohring credit. That guy can still play the duel light/dark nature of Logan Echolls perfectly. Dick Casablancas is still awesome sauce squared. Man I love that dude. Don’t EVER change Dick!
The most important thing we learn though is that the relationship between Veronica and her father Keith is still rock solid. In the years since the show went off the air Kristen Bell (Veronica) and Enrico Colantoni (Keith Mars) have not forgotten how to act out the best father daughter relationship in TV history. If Bell and Colantoni couldn’t replicate the evolved more mature version of their TV show dynamic, then the movie would have been a complete failure since that was the true bedrock of the show. Those two went all in together and no matter what they were an unshakable team. It was, is and will always be Keith and Ronnie versus the world.
As far as the mystery goes, it’s not that hard to figure out. It’s merely the catalyst to get to the deeper complex issues in Veronica’s head. Remember before how I mentioned that the movie was really about addiction? Well this part explains what I meant. As the movie started we see a calmer less headstrong more sedate, more trusting, less one track minded justice seeking Ronnie. Yet as the mystery presents itself and she is drawn back into the pull of a harder darker Neptune, the one she left Ronnie can’t help but go back to her old familiar ways, like a Junkie going back on the smack. Throughout the movie references are made to 12 step sayings, allusions to sobriety chips, addiction, recovery and the like. Ronnie’s addictions are Logan Echolls and rolling around in the mud. Veronica is happiest when things are at their darkest and most compelling. She has the need to solve the tough mysteries of life. Corporate law and punk ass weak beta male Piz aren’t for her and she says as much at the end voice over with her feet up in the classic PI pose while sitting at Keith’s desk at Mars Investigations. Veronica is home, working in the shadows and rolling around in the mud.