a new start for Veronica Mars
A few months ago, if you told me that the premise of Veronica Mars was Nancy Drew in space, chances are I would have believed you. Back then, my only impressions of the show were vague associations with a younger Kristen Bell and The Dandy Warhols’ “We Used to Be Friends.” The news of a Veronica Mars movie quickly changed that, as the show went back to being a part of popular culture almost instantly.
Financed entirely by fans through a Kickstarter campaign, the movie project raised over $5.7 million in just a few months. My curiosity prevailed: There must be a reason fans were willing to pay to resurrect a show seven years after its cancellation. After all, it was exactly the story’s excessive prolongation that had cost the show its ratings in its final season. Fans, it seems, were willing to take the risk producers weren’t, and it paid off. Anticipating the film’s release, I decided to see what the craze was all about. And that’s how I got totally hooked on Veronica Mars, almost a decade after it first aired.
What I thought would be a cheesy, character-driven high school drama turned out to be so much more. Featuring the perfect mixture of mystery, action, romance, and humor, Veronica Mars does not shy away from difficult topics including rape, bullying, drug addiction, and social inequality. There are few other shows whose female lead is the total badass that Veronica is, and I can’t help but wish that Veronica Mars went to my high school. Despite her tough shell, what makes the main character so grounded and relatable is her vulnerability. She can threaten a gang of bikers in one scene and struggle to deal with her mother’s alcoholism in another, all while helping her dad run his private investigations agency. Instead of being a high school girl by day and private investigator by night, Veronica Mars is both, all the time; her insightfulness and wit allow her to solve both homicide investigations and her own relationship problems. Even though everything about the show screamed early 2000s, I instantly felt a part of it all. Well…almost all.
Being fashionably late doesn’t really work for TV. Watching a show usually involves ten percent viewing, and ninety percent waiting for the next episode. Copping out of the seven-year wait most fans had to endure thus had me slightly hesitant to call myself a Marshmallow (the nickname Veronica Mars’s fan base gave itself). With the third season ending on a huge cliffhanger, disappointment with the way the story ended was part of the definitive Marshmallow experience. The creation of a movie thus meant so much more to fans who had grudgingly accepted the fact they might never see the happy end the characters deserve. I, on the other hand, watched all three season in just a few weeks, with only days to spare until the movie premiere. As much as I longed to spread the word and tell others what they were missing, it didn’t really feel right. If the first rule of being a true fan is being a fan right from the start, did I, a recent convert, have the right to convert others?
The movie’s premiere brought me the answer, as it signaled an entirely new start for Veronica Mars. The rebirth of the series is evident: New books are being written, the creator, Rob Thomas, is slipping hints about a sequel, and the Internet is overflowing with nostalgia about the show. Veronica Mars is back to being relevant, and bringing up the show with friends is becoming more and more acceptable: While before, they would stare at me in total confusion, they are now inclined to give it a chance. The way I see it, we, the Marshmallows, can only multiply. While I may never feel like one of the show‘s oldest fans, I can now say that I’ve been there from the start—of the Veronica Mars movie franchise, that is.