Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"What goes on in that pretty little head of yours..."
Last night (Tuesday, October 3rd), was the launch of my new book, Finding Lost, and the launch had a great turnout, a panel discussion on the show, and was a ton of fun. I was on a national entertainment show that aired in the evening, and had articles about the book appearing in newspapers across North America.

But for me, the real event of the day was the return of Veronica Mars to my television set. Oh, Veronica. How I have missed you... The season premiere did NOT disappoint. Veronica was funny, charming, and adorable every moment she was on the screen. There were tons of little pop culture references, as usual (she goes to an RA at the college to tell him a student's worldly possessions had been stolen and the guy stands there for a minute, then says, "Frak," which had me in stitches. Later in the episode, Veronica ends up using the term, too). She shows up a teaching assistant in her first 15 minutes in a classroom (and seems to garner the respect and admiration of the very cute prof) and she's still with Logan. Le sigh.

Meanwhile, Daddy Mars (my favourite character) is off doing something very mysterious that wasn't immediately clear to me, and it built up to the end of the episode, which was fast-paced, suspenseful, and downright frightening. Keith, PLEASE tell me you have a back-up weapon somewhere. The very end of the episode set up this season's mystery (which will probably be a smaller five-episode mystery, as the writers have said the mysteries this season will not last the entire season) when Mac's roommate is raped by a mysterious on-campus serial rapist (one whom Veronica may have seen, since she sneaked into the room when the roommate was doing the deed), whose m.o. is shaving his victims' heads after he's done with them. I hope Veronica hurts the guy. Badly.

There was some concern over what would happen to the show after Veronica left high school and went to university. When it happened on Buffy, the fourth season seriously lagged. Xander couldn't get in to college, so he was no longer part of the daily group. Willow joined the Wiccans, Cordy left the show for Angel, Oz left altogether, and Buffy began feeling alone, and the season devolved into a weird government conspiracy show. But things feel different over in Neptune. Logan, like Xander, isn't in the school, but that doesn't mean he can't still be relationship boy.

Dick (what a perfect name for this guy) has become an alcoholic, and I think the writers have actually handled him surprisingly well. His brother committed suicide at the end of the previous season, after having done some terrible things, and they could have just made Dick and even bigger illustration of his name, but instead, while at first he seemed to be the old, sexist, idiotic Dick, deep inside he's a bit of a smoldering volcano, about to go off. By the end of the episode we find out just how broken he really is.

Veronica still lives at home, and of course adores her father (who adores her even more) but there's a separation now. Yet the separation didn't feel like the one on Buffy; instead it was more like something the writers had been slowly building to, and they still connect via cellphone or at the end of the day in front of V's computer. It's going to be an interesting season, watching them do things separately, yet stay together emotionally.

The Logan/Veronica relationship has the potential to become problematic (as it always does) but in a way that will entertain the audience, not bore us. She's already thinking of him as that high school romance she carried to university, and if he finds out that's what she's thinking, what will that do to him? I love watching these two, and as much as I delight in seeing them together, they're almost more exciting apart, wanting to be together (think Buffy and Angel vs. Buffy and Angelus...).

Wallace was getting seriously tired last season, but with the new addition of his roommate, Piz (who looks like a slightly older Zac Efron...for a moment I thought, Oh god, please don't let these two break into "Getcha Head in the Game"), his character has seriously come to life again. And his obvious crush on Veronica could make for some great sparks this season. Mac is back (YAY!) and is as funny as ever. She's having a bit of a Buffy experience over in her dorm with her super perky roommate who has a tendency to go braless and constantly change tops in front of her, which adds a squirminess that is hilarious.

Charisma is back... but for how long? The end of the episode made it look like she was being offed, but it's never clear if that's the case (and the fact that she was off-screen leads me to believe it's all an act). Why was Keith helping her? What is going on? Will Vinnie come to Keith's aid? (Vinnie? Being HELPFUL? Could happen...)

And I can't sign off without mentioning the lack of Duncan. Thank Christ. This guy was duller than wood, and having him GONE is one of the best ideas the writers have come up with (he should have been gone at the end of season 2).

Finally, the new theme song! It wasn't clear if the Dandy Warhols went back and re-recorded the song, or if it was just a remix. Apparently the producers believed if Veronica was "all growed up" and no longer in high school, she needed a more mature song. Unlike the changes to the Buffy song that happened partway through, I didn't dislike this change. The opening was super-slick, and I really liked it. I HATE change, but I liked this.

So I urge you to watch Veronica Mars. The CW has only ordered 13 episodes, and whether it gets picked up for a full season will depend entirely on numbers and viewership. Watch it. For the love of all that is good on television, watch it. You won't be disappointed.


Anonymous said...

Oh v.mars, so good to have ya back. and Nikki, so glad you think Cordy's still alive and kickin'. Your launch was awesome last night -- great panel and turnout. Congratulations! And post the link to your eTalk appearance once it's online... -CB

Anonymous said...

I love how Keith ran back in the house, ostensibly to save Cordy, I mean Kendall. He really is the greatest.


Nikki Stafford said...

I agree with both comments. Keith is the new Giles. If anything happened to him... I don't know what I'd do. While on Buffy, I LOVED the pain Joss Whedon would dish out to us, something tells me if I had to watch an episode of Veronica having to deal with the death of her father, I'd have to turn off the TV, I'd be so heartbroken.

The Chapati Kid said...

I came home from your launch just in time for the VM season premiere. Loved it, but just didn't get the Keith storyline. I don't know if it was the audio on my TV or what, but it was so part-part. I love Ronnie's new hair, and I hope she and bad boi NEVER break up, especially for Piz. And I found out last night that my prof. at U of T is addicted to Veronica Mars. But when she thought VM was better than Buffy, I had to give her a rap on the knuckles. Figuratively, of course.