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04.21.2005

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tv talk:
o
ut of this world:
veronica mars 
by Yee-Fan Sun
|
  1 2

For a long time now, there's been a little hole in my TV-viewing heart, roughly Buffy-shaped in its outline. Sure, I've had my Buffy DVD box sets to keep me company since my favorite show went buy-bye for good; I've found solace in new shows to tune into week after week. But as much as I love all the other shows on my current must-see TV roster, from Deadwood to Lost, Arrested Development to Desperate Housewives, I have to say: none of those shows gets me obsessing the way that Buffy did in its prime.

Then I started hearing about a little show called Veronica Mars, featuring a sassy, strong, young heroine and an intriguingly dark storyline. The two-second description was that this was a show about a teenage private detective; never a Nancy Drew fan, I was less than enthused. But if there's one thing that Buffy taught me, it's that a silly-sounding concept can make for a brilliant show. A few weeks ago, after reading yet another rave review, the boy and I tracked down back episodes of Veronica Mars -- and promptly proceeded to get hooked.

Seventeen-year-old Veronica Mars [Kristen Bell] is a tiny blonde ball of sarcasm and suspicion. She walks the halls of Neptune High in her big black boots, and doesn't give a damn that all her peers either view her with fear, disdain, or some combination thereof. Veronica's a veritable pariah, and she sort of likes it that way. Frankly, she has too many real things to worry about to care whether the in-crowd likes her. Which, of course, they really don't.

It wasn't always this way. A long time ago -- well, in adolescent years anyway -- Veronica used to be the in-crowd, queen of the beautiful people, a regular teen princess. She had a shy sweet smile and Barbie-doll long blonde hair; she was a cheerleader. She dated Duncan Kane [Teddy Dunn], son of software mega-millionaire Jake Kane, brother of her fabulously outrageous best friend Lilly, and all-around Mr. Perfect. Sure, Veronica wasn't stinking rich like all the rest of her friends, but as the daughter of Neptune's town sheriff, Keith Mars [Enrico Colantoni], her family commanded a certain amount of respect, and her place at the top of the high school hierarchy was assured.

Then something terrible happened. Lilly Kane was found lying in a pool of her own blood in her family's palatial backyard, victim of a mysterious and brutal murder. Worse yet, Sheriff Mars became convinced Jake Kane was the killer. But as Keith Mars found out, you can't just go around accusing the richest, most powerful man in town of offing his daughter. When another man confessed to the crime, Keith lost both his job and the faith of Neptune's public (never mind that the confession was less than convincing, and the murder felt far from solved in the minds of those who knew Lilly best). Veronica, meanwhile, found herself on the outs with Duncan and all the rest of her friends as well. She tried to keep her chin up and crashed a big party -- only to wake up the next morning to find that she'd been drugged and raped. Oh yeah, and if all that weren't bad enough, her mom took off around this same time, with no word on where she was heading or why she had left.

amble this way for more

 

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