The 'Veronica Mars' Mini-Series Gives Me Mixed Feelings As A Long Time Fan
Whenever any morsel of Veronica Mars news hits my feed I'm the first to bite into it, but this time around I'm having a hard time digesting. On Tuesday Rob Thomas announced in a Facebook Live Q&A that a six episode Veronica Mars mini-series could be slated for the future, provided Kristen Bell has the time. That should be a delicious update for any Marshmallow, but my feelings fall strongly in line with "conflicted." There are a lot of little reasons why I truly don't need more Veronica Mars mysteries, and a few huge reasons that maybe the world does.
Now look, Veronica Mars, as a series, had a very abbreviated lifetime. It should've, and definitely could've spanned for six or seven rich, well-thought-out, constantly exhilarating á la it's big sister show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It didn't, and I have no doubt that fans during the show's airing still feel bitter about it, still feel they're justified in more Veronica. Ask, and it was delivered.
When theVM fam kicked off the Kickstarter for a film in 2013 there was the sense that we were financing a very well done, fanservice-y resurrection. And we got that! It tied interestingly to elements and characters in the original show. The banter was a sharp as ever, it finally delivered LoVe as an endgame (and gave us Logan Echolls in a navy uniform) and overall restored Veronica to her P.I. roots. Overall, whether you're a fan or not, it was an objectively great film. So there isn't a question of quality or even a doubt that Thomas can't tell a effective follow-up. It lies mostly within the motives and unexplored territory... if there is any.
For the record, I've investigated many angles that the Veronica Mars mini-series could take. There are, for the record, a few stories that have never been properly resolved, mostly in the "Well, they never found a body" way. There's perhaps even one or two venues I'd be kind of interested in exploring (like not that I miss Duncan, but in a few years him and his daughter could resurface for one more interesting Kane caper). For the most part, though, Veronica tied up a lot of loose ends. So where does that leave us?
Are they going to put Veronica and Logan through another Chuck and Blair situation where they need to break up for some contrived reason, only to reinforce they're endgame? Are they going to pull a Gilmore Girls (or pull a any-show-with-a-female-protagonist-ever) and stick Veronica with an unexpected pregnancy? I have a whole Pandora's Box of weird emotions about that. Or honest to god, are we just going to rehash for six episodes that Neptune still has a seedy underbelly? I kinda got from the whole film, to be honest.
As a person, I am someone who is ethically against reboots and revivals, although I'm sure that doesn't come across in my garden variety of CW teen drama listicles. Even with my most beloved properties (I genuinely was pro-Gilmore Girls and still can argue the revival had incredibly strong moments) it puts a bad taste in my mouth, because so much of it is just capitalizing on my generation's love of nostalgia and not really caring if it's done well. And look, everything's people have to get fed, whatever. I'm just not big on cheap money-motivated moves like that.
So would I watch it? Yes. Do I think it's necessary? Absolutely not. That is, and this is very important, there's a bigger vision at work.
While I don't believe more Veronica Mars for the sake of Veronica Mars is necessary, I love the idea of the character becoming an icon with generation-crossing franchise potential. That requires Veronica Mars to become immortal in the same way as Sherlock Holmes or Dick Tracy or Philip Marlowe; the strong-yet-flawed female counterpart to the noir genre, someone to pave the way for others. I mean, there's Nancy Drew, but truth be told she always seemed like kind of a square. So yeah, if Veronica Mars the character, the [former] teen sleuth with the power of impeccable snark became folded into the fabric of pop culture with a sense of permanence, it would be a huge win for female representation in media.
And every element of making that a reality would have to be treated so, so delicately. You would expect Bell to carry on the title for a good while longer because she's so synonymous with Miss Mars, and then eventually you'd pass the torch to some girl equally brilliant who could breathe new life into the character. And then you'd have to eventually expect someone equally brilliant to Thomas to carry on that story.
Ok, so this mini-series is all still very much a "maybe" right now, and it's a lot to expect, it almost sounds impossible. But who knows? Veronica Mars was always shrugging off the impossible, so maybe going on a few more adventures with her would be a noble start to an important mission.