Veronica Mars explained!

Joe isn’t sure what Veronica Mars is about, which needs to be corrected ASAP! Since season 2 isn’t over yet, I will talk mostly about season 1.
A quick description: Twin Peaks/noir/Buffy (without the monsters)/Alias (the spying, gadgets, and get-ups; not the physical ass-kicking).
The show has a major season-long mystery: who killed Veronica’s best friend. The weekly cases are interesting enough, but it is the frequent clues to the main mystery and the character interactions which brings viewers back for more.
Excellent things about the show:
Jason Dohring and Harry Hamlin‘s performances. They both deserved Emmys! (In my not-so-humble opinion). Also, the actors who play: Lamb, as the assy sheriff; Wallace, the platonic best-friend (that is just so refreshing!); Dick, the dumb-ass lackey; Cliff, the sleazy lawyer; and Weevil, the local thug, are excellent! Great all-around cast chemistry!
The snarkage! The bittersweet! The genuinely tender moments!
The soundtrack! The creator, Rob Thomas, just won an Esquire magazine award for the soundtrack: We’re not pointing fingers, but it is entirely possible that Veronica Mars has hacked into our iPod. Calla. Spoon. The Pixies. [snip] The musician-turned-show creator writes with tunes in mind and seamlessly fuses each scene’s emotional tenor with just the right song, making it the only show on television that features Korn, Longwave, and Fountains of Wayne in a single episode.
Writing that rewards smart viewers. Examples (from this season): in an attempt to coverup an affair, a woman quickly starts to paint her toenails (to mask the, uh, odors from her previous activities). Veronica plays loud music all night long to cover up noises from the apartment next door. Neither of these things are explicitly mentioned. A casual observer could take both things at face-value and enjoy the show just as much.
The lines that get by Standards and Practices: You got a trophy for a rim-job?
The mysteries are solved by the end of the season.
The writers know their characters, even from the pilot. The audience may be learning more about them, but the writers are not making this up as they go along (yes, Lost, I am looking at you! And Twin Peaks, which sucked after the initial greatness.)
The extras and set-designers do an awesome job! One episode will have auditions for a musical and in a later episode, the hallway will contain posters advertising the musical. Yay for smartness!
The lightning and camera-work are really cool. Excellent people working behind-the-scenes.
The continuity: The gym teacher shows up again! Mrs Murphy! Kaz! Loretta Cancun! Sabrina’s mom! Meg is still the news anchor! Miss Dent’s disappearance is explained. It’s like the writers actually know that the less visible characters have their own lives and keep tabs on them.
Veronica Mars is on most tv critics’ top 5 list.
Granted, the show isn’t perfect. Like, where was the household staff when the best-friend was killed? Wouldn’t they have seen something? Shelly Pomroy was played by three different actresses. And Paris Hilton guest-starred. Ewww. Simply ewwww. But even she didn’t ruin that episode.
So, give it a chance. This year’s mystery is just starting to heat up, so it’s not too late to start watching! It airs on Wednesday at 9pm EST on UPN and again on Sat or Sun (check your local listings) and is re-aired on Tuesday ay 8pm, I think.

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