I finished watching Veronica Mars recently, leaving a suitable gap of respect between watching the final episode and the movie. And it was brilliant.
I’ve mentioned before my belief that the Veronica Mars movie was a contributing factor for the Gilmore Girls revival. And it did a lot of things that the Gilmore Girls revival episodes would be wise to learn from.
For the uninitiated, Veronica Mars was a witty, smart-funny high-school detective show that rightly made a household name of sloth-lovin’ Kristen Bell. The show aired for three seasons then cancelled dramatically after a final episode that kicked off a bunch of new storylines. Flash to eight years later and the cast and crew revived the show in a triumphant 90-minute movie fan-funded through a record-breaking Kickstarter project.
From left to right that’s Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring), Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) and Charlie Stone (our Logan Huntzberger, Matt Czuchry). It’s a Logan-Veronica-Logan sandwich!
Here’s what the Veronica Mars movie did well:
It allowed for the passing of time
They pick up the story eight years later and the cliffhanger storylines are left noticeably unanswered – not even referred to. Which is actually great because time has passed and sure, those things resolved but now it’s eight years later and who remembers that stuff anyway. Yet it still allows for relationships to pick up exactly where they left off even though most of the cast have aged. It’s wonderfully done.
It respected the fans
Kickstarter meant the movie was funded by the fans and so an amount of fan service was to be expected. However – with the possible exception of Logan’s outfit – it’s so effortless, each reference feels like a warm hug from an old friend. Veronica Mars-creator Rob Thomas understood his fans and chose to tell a story that pushed the buttons he knew would make the fans tingle. Will Amy Sherman-Palladino know what we want? Heck, do we even know?
It respected the source material
The actors showed up. The old props came out of the old props chest (Burt the Toolbox, I’m looking at you). Everyone was on their A-game, visibly happy to be reunited and everyone pulling for the team. They didn’t over-do stuff just because they could – although personally I can always do with a little bit more Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars’ dad, Keith Mars). Will there be a noticeable Sookie-shaped hole?
It was more than an episode
Most of us know from experience that you can play regular 45-minute Gilmore Girls episodes back-to-back for hours – however the 90-minute revival episodes give the opportunity of something more, of exploring a little deeper. During its run there were two-part episodes of Veronica Mars but a 90-minute movie is a different beast. Although some of the action in the third act was a little weak, it plays and escalates like a movie should. Will each of the four Gilmore Girls revival episodes have its own dramatic arc? Or play out like two back-to-back episodes?
It doesn’t end properly
To his credit, Veronica Mars-creator Rob Thomas does not tie up all the loose ends. There is no beautifully crafted farewell. Conversely, you still feel like it hasn’t ended properly but it’s a far far better ending than the previous one because it’s like all the characters are still out there, getting on with their stuff and maybe they’ll bump into each other again in another eight years.
The Veronica Mars not only ticked all the boxes, it did so extraordinarily well. We should only be so lucky.
Who’d win in a fight, Veronica or Rory? Veronica or Lorelai? Logan or Logan?
Is this even a fair comparison, Veronica Mars vs Gilmore Girls?
Did you watch Veronica Mars? What do you feel the movie did well – or not so well?
How many Gilmore cameos can you name in Veronica Mars? I’ve got… four.
Do you think the Gilmore Girls revival episodes should end the story properly? Like a happy ever after?
Pic c/o TheCW
p.s. hello there I know I haven’t posted for a while but Arieanna’s been doing such a smashing job, I’ve been taking the chance to catch up on a little TV, like Veronica Mars… Downton Abbey, Rick and Morty, a season of Friends that I missed, The Fall and others… also I know this sounds nuts but I’m trying to avoid spoilers for the Gilmore Girls revival episodes. I’ll post about my inner turmoil another time.