Remember Veronica Mars? This show was already a TV classic thanks to Kristen Bell's charismatic turn as the titular Veronica (did you want to be Veronica Mars? I definitely wanted to be Veronica Mars), the snappy dialogue, and a few mysteries that needed unravelling by a certain teenage private investigator. But what was really freaking amazing about the show was none of the above. It was the Veronica Mars theme song. So if you're going to put on your nostalgia goggles and try to think of the one theme song from the early '00s that doesn't get enough love, let me tell you that it is the Veronica Mars theme song, hands down.
Now, before we get bogged down in minutiae, yes, I'm well aware that there were two versions of the Dandy Warhols' song used, "We Used To Be Friends," and that the third season had a sort of noir-esque remix. But let's get back to basics. I'm talking about the original, non-remixed "We Used To Be Friends." The Dandy Warhols were so very in vogue at the time, not just because their most famous song, "Bohemian Like You" had been used as the backing for basically every advertisement ever the year prior to Veronica Mars' debut, but because they were the focus (along with the Brian Jonestown Massacre) of hit cult documentary Dig! the same year the show launched. This was a fantastic, nuanced exploration of what it meant to be an indie artist/pop artist in the aughties and about the temptation to sell out and if "selling out" is even a valid phrase to use.
But, whatever, I'm digressing. The point is, you've watched the video above, right? And, for a start, whether you're already a fan or not, aren't you just so sold on the show now? The Veronica Mars team were always pros at matching music to moments. Just as this opening makes absolutely nothing look cooler than being a teen sleuth in Neptune, California, there were countless other moments that had borderline magic music to accompany it — the obvious example being when Veronica tries to entrap a secret society at her high school by issuing a warning via a karaoke rendition of Blondie's "One Way Or Another" ("I'm gonna get ya, get ya, get ya").
In a lot of ways, the song is kind of "the best of" rendition of the actual single "We Used To Be Friends." Compare and contrast the two videos above, and you'll notice how they use the first and second verse of the song before skipping to the second chorus, speeds up, then skips again, then speeds up another later portion of the song. It's the delicious taster tapas for The Dandy Warhols newbies.
But the song wasn't just a brilliant fit, audio-wise. It also complemented the show's themes masterfully. After all, Veronica Mars' whole life does a 180 after the murder of her best friend, Lilly Kane. Up until then, Veronica's one of the popular crowd, hanging out with the richest kids at her school, but when a series of events forces her to choose between her father and them, she opts for family. Thus "We Used To Be Friends" is as bittersweet as Veronica's high school experience. Have I convinced you? Have I? This song was as good as the aughties got — and, let's face it, musically, that's so much better than you were remembering, right?
Images: Warner Bros. Television