If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that Veronica Mars (2004) fans are some of the most loyal and patient people on the planet. After three stellar seasons, spanning 2004 to 2006, Marshmallows were forced to not only wait an excruciating eight years before the next snippet of their snarky protagonist landed on screens (via the Veronica Mars (2014) movie), but they even ended up having to fund it themselves. Then, just as it looked like everyone's favourite P.I. might hang up her long-lens for good, there came news that Hulu was looking to bring her back for a fourth season. Cheers erupted, fists were punched into the air and all finally seemed right with the world. That was, until the rebooted *edgier* episodes dropped this weekend and sent everyone spinning. Not because we'd received such a glorious gift a week earlier than expected. But because the more episodes you watched, the harder it was to deny that we'd been given a trash-fire, soul-sucking season, constructed with the sole purpose of destroying the sophisticated, stylish, smart and stereotype-bending show we had all come to know and love. And if you have any doubts about that statement, simply check out the supporting receipts below.
Part of what made the original run of Veronica Mars (2004) so damn good, was the whip-smart dialogue and perfectly planned cases our titular teen hero found herself embroiled in. I mean, that bomb-on-the-bus storyline that tied heartbreakingly into Veronica's own rape was a work of pure genius. The twists and turns were as well-crafted as they were impossible to spot. And the running jokes of the father-daughter relationship were honestly the heart of the series. But come 2019, while there were still plenty of the series' classic sarcasm-induced spiels, just as many quips seemed to fall particularly flat (point-in-case the whole 'cussing' gag, which would've been great had there been a pay-off where swearing actually happened). Similarly, there were many, many points where the writers just seemed to forget major plot elements from the show's past. Like Logan and Leo knowing one another. The latter sold the original Lily Kane tapes to the former back in series two and was also the person to arrest him following his brawl on the bridge earlier that very same season. So why do they act like they were just meeting for the first time at V's apartment? Then there's the fact that Veronica has like zero friends this time around. Weevil is in the bad books for taking some sort of a deal we never get the full picture on, Wallace is off being married and appears for like two seconds, Mac is mentioned once (she's in Istanbul for some vague reason), and the only person Veronica seems to have any sort of gal-pal relationship with, Nicole, is brought in almost exclusively to end up disappearing into the night (I mean, did we ever get a real answer as to why she sold her company to Big Dick just days after saying she hated the NUTT's?) And what about the slow, emotional build of Keith forgetting things, only for that to PSYCH be the medication he was on. So many let downs. So few episodes to fuck it up in. And yet, here we are.
Speaking of great writing, whatever happened to those pay-offs of old? The ones where you never saw the killer coming until the final act and there was a jaw-dropping moment where all the clues and motives just fell into place? Well, I for one don't know, because it sure as shit wasn't present here. The villain was... the Pizza guy? The one who turned out to be a copy-cat bomber, who just hated spring break after a bunch of kids once tried to drown him? So why exactly did it take him three years to exact his revenge then? And when he did, why was it on a whole bunch of randoms rather than the original perpetrators? Or was it because he wanted the notoriety that came from the many media appearances and memoirs he would publish, which is a concept that is about as original as peanut butter on bread. Even stranger is the contingencies for his contingencies he made such a big deal about. Because aside from the bomb left in Veronica's car absolutely nothing more was said on the fact. A bomb that was clearly alluded to multiple times throughout the episode, and led the writers to play down Veronica's smarts just so they could kill Logan off. So yes, I will never not be over how stupid this storyline was.
Speaking of stupid, I am calling it right now. #JusticeForLogan. There's a lot to complain about with this season, but above all is the fact that after having his father sleep with - and then murder - his girlfriend, being put on trial twice for killings he didn't commit, healthily working out his anger and trust issues, joining the navy and becoming a decorated intelligence officer and FINALLY finding happiness with his true love, Logan Echolls was just callously killed off. Like WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. We get this is the real world and everything isn't always rainbows and unicorns. But that man deserved better than the tacky, half-arsed, rushed attempt at drama the creators wanted to imbue from him being literally ripped away from Veronica. And while there is the potential that this wasn't a true death (the old no body = no death rule), bringing him back after this would be just as underwhelming. Veronica has clearly moved on, is sans wedding ring, and is now more damaged than ever. It's no wonder really that Jason Dohring looked relatively disinterested throughout this season. I would too if I'd read the finale and realised they did my character dirty like that.
We get it, Veronica has to go through a lot of shit to make her a great detective. We've seen it a million times in the 'are they / aren't they' relationship of her and Logan, the constant desire she has to return to a job that clearly damages her psyche, and her blatant trust issues. But this season makes it very hard to agree with actress Kristen Bell, when she claims she returned to the show to provide a strong, female character for her kids to look up to. While past seasons have shown Veronica going through hell only to emerge victorious (For example: Veronica deciding she should embrace becoming a P.I. because that's what she wants for herself, rather than sticking with everyone else's opinions on what she should be doing with her life), this time around there is very little growth to be seen. Veronica drinks excessively, does drugs, rails on her boyfriend for trying to become a better person, and almost cheats. How exactly is it 'empowering' for women to basically claim that they can't be strong if they are in a healthy relationship?
Basically, as the theme song goes: "A long time ago, we used to be friends. But I haven't thought of you lately at all". Only time will tell whether this latest run will be the proverbial nail in the coffin for the show, or whether fans are eager enough to see Hulu renew a new Logan-less series. My money is on the former, judging by the variable shitstorm that is Twitter at the moment. Boy am I glad I am not Rob Thomas right about now.
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