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Becoming a Marshmallow

Becoming a Marshmallow

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.

3 Comments

  1. Erica Schaaf
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 14:07:58

    I’m a Marshmallow who was a convert back in 2010 so not from the start but not brand new. The one thing I can say for this fandom is that I have yet to meet a single fan who has made me feel less for not being there from the beginning. The only thing I’ve heard time and time again is “omg! Welcome to the fandom! Hold on tight and enjoy the ride!” So that’s what I’ll say to you: Welcome to the fandom! We’re so glad that you’re here (and converting other new marshmallows!)! Hold on tight, we don’t give up and we want more movies and pray for a new series…buckle up and enjoy the ride!

  2. Marshmallow
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 20:30:22

    As someone who was a Marshmallow from the start (though I never knew about the nickname until the movie buzz started) I would like to welcome you. In general we are a very inclusive fan base. We kind of have to be, because in order to get what we want (MORE VERONICA!!!) we need more people to discover just how great everything out there so far is. I have met Marshmallows online ranging in age from teens through people in their 70′s, and I think that goes to show just how special the whole thing is. So thank you for giving it a chance, thank you for telling your friends about it, and thank you for writing about it.

  3. Angel
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 21:30:55

    I had not watched Veronica Mars show when it was on, and heard about it through a friend. I wanted to find something to watch on Amazon so i thought i would start from season 1. i didn’t think i would like it, but i became instantly hooked. I could not stop watching it. I basically watched all three seasons and the movie in just under 2 weeks. I love the Veronica character and love all the others as well. I sincerely hope that the movie does spark either another show or another movie!! I will be one of the first to buy that ticket!