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Veronica Mars: Sassy Teen Detective

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  • I just finished the season, was unspoiled and I HAVE SOME FEELINGS.

    First of all, this season had some interesting points. I liked the idea of Logan and Veronica dealing with the traumas they've endured, but it also had some VERY weird things in it, not least of which was that INSANE ending.

    Tonally, this was a very odd season for me. I get wanting to be edgy but the plot is VERY convoluted. There's NO mystery of the week, just this very top-heavy plot about the bombings. And, as ophy stated above, this is a mystery show that lacks compelling mysteries so having to hang in tight with this 8-episode mystery that is downright confusing by the time they "solve" it was A LOT.

    They sorta red herring it up with Daddy Mars for so much and so long that you know he's gonna be fine? Like, they telegraph his peril so early and so often that it doesn't work.

    The most satisfying thing about this season are Veronica's self-centeredness and bitchery (she's TRULY an asshole for most of the season, mostly to Logan but also to everyone else at one point or another). I thought it would result in growth and I guess it did but they pulled a weird old school Comic Book move: Kill the girlfriend to promote personal growth in the super hero. YIKES.

    Weevil has the best subplot by far and when he "redeems" himself in Veronica's eyes, I felt it. His subplot was frustrating at first but had the best emotional payoff. She was an asshole throughout that subplot. Again, I didn't mind it because I thought it was leading somewhere.

    The least satisfying thing about the season is the treatment of Logan and others from V's circle all around (why is Wallace even there?). They gave Logan not much to do and then killed him off and it was also telegraphed in a very heavy-handed teen TV show of the 1990s way. Very dumb.

    Veronica is weirdly NOT into Logan all season despite him disappearing out of her life for long stretches due to his mysterious job that has no development. Veronica actually spends more time on screen with Leo for a chunk of it and has a super dirty dream about Leo. It was hot but super weird. And it's a way more explicit sex scene than the one she gets with Logan. Which is also... weird. It's all supposed to be structured (I'm guessing) and pivoting on the Big! Surprise! Fuck! You! Fans! ending -- because she "realizes" Logan is The One (again, for the millionth time). And that was just one of eleven ways that ending was telegraphed pretty loudly and poorly and so when it happens, it's pretty flat. I was mostly just disgusted. And I say that as someone who LOVES Leo and thinks he and V have amazing chemistry, and I could totally buy Veronica and Logan breaking up and being dramatic and her dating Leo. Honestly, they could have written Logan off the show and I would have been a good deal less disgusted by this silly edge lord ending.

    MUCH of the season felt like a fuck you specifically to Jason Dohring? I think RT and maybe even KBell don't like Dohring that much? And resent how into his character the fans are. This is speculation on my part but Veronica is pretty mean to Logan for most of the season. And the plots seem to poke at Jason, too. As an example, he's a Scientologist and his entire plot is about him going to therapy and wanting Veronica to buy into going with him. Scientologists hate therapy. So... that was a nice dig at Jason. I don't like scientology, but I also wouldn't force a person in a cult one to play act therapy for me for kicks.

    I kept thinking that this show had a really anti-fan service feel, and that was ok with me for most of it. I get bored by fan service (unless it's like the fan movie where it was a love letter to the fans who ALSO PAID FOR IT). I didn't want or need fan service. But this edgy ending wasn't earned. It wasn't even well done. It was mean-spirited, poorly executed, and just kind of a fuck you to the fans (and one actor in particular).

    As for the big death: they don't show anything, so I could see how some fans are interpreting it as vague. The explosion happens off-camera and then they flash-forward a full year and NEVER actually say Logan is dead (but he left a voice message about why he wants to marry Veronica on his therapist's phone and the therapist shares it with Veronica to try to turn screws but it doesn't work because the person he describes doesn't seem like Veronica in this season at all). It's honestly just a further dig to fans of the couple to not even get to see her mourn.

    I really am NOT clear where a season 5 would go. Mysteries of the week with no support structure from which to pull? Why? What about that is interesting? The RELATIONSHIPS are what this show is about. I think RT and KB have lost sight of that. At one point, Logan says that it's hard because he and Veronica are loners in a relationship and I actually shook my head and said: NO, you're not. Veronica is a bit of a loner who spends all her time relying on other people to get information and leveraging that information to make headway on cases. So... how does that work with a VMars traveling the globe solving mysteries? What? And Logan is NEVER a loner. He always hung with a bunch of douchebags because HE HATES TO BE ALONE. He's an abused child, FFS.

    That's the other thing that made me sad. It was like they decided that since Logan was trying to learn to control his anger issues (and Veronica is AWFUL to him, even rolling her eyes and calling him Therapy Logan) and was growing and changing and maybe becoming healthier, his character journey was done. Which is... a weird message. Like, if you're not fucked up, the interesting part of your life is over so you may as well die! Logan gets so fucked over in this show, it's NUTS. Like from being an physically abused child to having his dad MURDER his girlfriend and then finally overcoming a lot of that to just be blown up by a murderino bomber? YIKES.

    Oh, and that reminds me: Patton Oswalt is a bad actor. But, more than that, it's kinda insulting of him to play a sociopathic version of his dead wife? Don't get me started on how he bugs me but to have been married to an amateur sleuth that had a big hand in bringing publicity to a case and getting it solved to then agree to play a psycho murder-fan who kills a beloved character? OOOOKKKK.

    Oh, and this did ruin re-watching for me. It's just too sad now. So, thanks, Rob Thomas.

    AND THE TITLE OF THE LAST EPISODE IS A FUCK YOU TO FANS, TOO! It's called: "Years, Continents, Bloodshed" and the SECOND I saw it, I knew what was gonna happen.

    I'm way more open to dark stories and characters than ophy, and even I thought this was insane!

    Last edited by isadora; 07-21-2019, 12:53 AM.
    It’s just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.


    • I haven't even seen it yet (no air date in UK) but now wondering if I can. The amount of Twitter/Tumblr rage I've seen about this is insane. Feel very sad if this is going to retrospectively ruin the series, in the same way the HIMYM finale did.


      • Feel very sad if this is going to retrospectively ruin the series, in the same way the HIMYM finale did.

        Well . . . honestly, it kinda did for me. It was just so painfully dumb that it's hard to look back at the former eps with the same kind of affection.

        But! If the UK doesn't even have a date yet, I think your chances of staying unspoiled for this are pretty much nil, to be honest! You might want to just find the spoilers and then decide if it's something you'd rather leave unwatched.

        What is the etiquette on full season streaming shows as far as spoiler tags go, guys? They are hella hard to read through. Should we give it another couple of days and then assume people have either watched or been spoiled or will realize there will be plenty of danger of them in here?

        I've been all over twitter/tumblr checking out the reax, and it's probably 80% absolute RAGE and 5% "It's not true, it was just a dream/fake-out/coma ending and RT will make it right we can trust him" and 15% of "you guys just don't GET IT because you don't understand NOIR so y'all need to shut up it's UNFAIR to make RT and the cast feel bad about this MASTERPIECE or we won't get an S5".

        What is SUPER FUN now is that some are trying to imply that if you didn't like S4, you are a 'fake fan' who only liked the show because of JDoh's abs. So the 'true fans' are rolling their eyes and accusing the people who were unhappy about it of 'whining about your ship' because to be a 'true fan' you must be in it for TEH NOIR and not care at all about stupid girly things like relationships and emotions and joy. And when I look at who those 'true fans' are, the majority of the time they are dudes that came to the show post-kickstarter press, so . . . yeah, that's great.

        Ships and Happy Endings and keeping this show as a happy place where fans could feel safe aside, it was a dumb move to kick away one of the main pillars of the show for narrative reasons. I think Rob and KB both have a fundamental misunderstanding of what made the show special. . . they are going to think people are mad because they fangirl over JDoh and have all kinds of nostalgia love for Logan Echolls but that's honestly not the full reason. As isdaora said, VM was never about a lone Veronica Mars taking on the world alone-ly, and it was not about the torture porn of watching her get beat down again and again, and it was certainly not about random guest stars needing a PI for whatever random reason.

        It's absolutely astounding to me that anyone who has watched a full season of this show ever could honestly be in it for the mysteries/cases. I mean c'mon, RT and company ARE NOT GOOD at plotting that, and never have been. If people honestly thought they could do that kind of thing awesomely, iZombie would be a smash hit. Which it is not. If they had been any good at it, a CRUCIAL PIECE OF FUCKING EVIDENCE would not have been left in Veronica's car so it could EXPLODE MY HAPPINESS TO FUCKING BITS.


        But even if they were the World's Greatest Mystery writers, I'm not sure they could have earned any ending that killed off a main character for shock value on their WEDDING DAY. It was just insulting!

        The Noir Fanboys can keep S5, I don't need it.


        • Does anybody here care about spoilers?


          • I say we stop tagging! Because you are right, people probably don't care at this point.

            This, by the way, is a hella condescending way to frame the discussion:


            Do better, KB!


            • But! If the UK doesn't even have a date yet, I think your chances of staying unspoiled for this are pretty much nil, to be honest! You might want to just find the spoilers and then decide if it's something you'd rather leave unwatched.
              Yeah, I read the spoiler (no self-control). And there are enough gifs of the good bits on Tumblr to make me think I don't need to watch the whole season.

              And yeah, there is ALWAYS a huge internet contingent that despises shippers or declares that heroines should be happy alone or that the female friendship is the real romance (which of course it can be!). But I will always always defend romance, especially one constructed over years to bring together two fucked-up kids with screwball banter into a real adult relationship.


              • And there are enough gifs of the good bits on Tumblr to make me think I don't need to watch the whole season.
                If they wanted to know what fans actually cared about, they could have just checked tumblr to see what folks are giffing. Ain't nobody giffing scenes where Veronica finds somebody's lost dog ten years later, but I could find you a gajillion gif sets of Logan telling the kids at his party to just evaporate or whatever and then swing hopping Veronica off to the pool house. But noooooooo, RT didn't want anybody to accuse him of being fanservice-y, so you know. Vmars is all artsy now, bitches.

                The gross sneering at sad shippers is well underway on twitter, btw. Just makes me so damn tired.

                2019 is fucking determined to make sure we can't have nice things anymore.

                Some non ending related things. . . . . 1) what the hell was that hand waving nonsense that negated all of the Keith medical dramz away? That whole storyline was pointless! Although obvs, Keith being sick would have stood in the way of the ultimate goal of Loner Veronica striking off on her own across America so that obstacle had to be removed as quickly as they removed the other obstacle (Veronica's loving husband).

                2) The show seem very off color-wise/look-wise? The original show was so distinctive in use of color and angle, etc, but this felt kind of flat and ordinary. Could have been watching any generic show. I mean it was fine, but I actually think the original did a better job looking noir-ish (since being noir is the most important thing, apparently).

                3) Leo and Logan have met before, geniuses.

                . . . and Leo once arrested Logan . . . and Leo is also the one that stole and then sold the Aaron and Lilly sex tapes to Logan, so . . . they weren't likely to forget each other.

                Anyhoo, some people want their kickstarter money back:

                That was inevitable. And this film major is all like, um . . . this wasn't even a noir death so wtf?

                I do think people are using 'nobody gets to be happy' to signify 'noir' when it honestly just doesn't. In context, Logan's death is cheap schlock, not well thought out noir. So they even failed at achieving the thing they thought this was worth doing it all for.

                They must have thought this was a super important and crucial thing to do, though, if they were willing to squander so much fan goodwill and basically risk their continuation completely. Doing a decent season 4 and ending with a live Logan basically meant they were FOR SURE gonna get an S5, but I don't think that's a sure thing anymore. Seeing a whole lot of folks decide not to bother streaming this at all after being spoiled for it. But RT and co HAD TO KNOW it was going to be this polarizing, right? I mean, they had to have known, so they must think it will be worth it somehow, BUT HOW.

                If I could say one thing to tv writers out there, it would be CHOOSE JOY. Write to make people happy! That doesn't mean only write happy things, obviously, but like . . . OVERALL make people happy and not sad/mad because there's no real reason to do that in this terrible terrible world.

                Kinda wondering if isadora is right and all the happy family stuff behind the scenes is just masking an antipathy toward JDoh by Rob and KB. Although . . . Rob didn't have to hire him for two seasons of iZombie if he didn't want to work with him, so I dunno what is going on. Could it be that KB is the one who wanted JDoh gone, maybe?

                If so, they are all doing a good job of hiding it this week at SDCC!

                ETA when Enrico Colatoni does a tell-all of this someday, we'e gonna find out that Dax was the one who insisted they kill off Logan b/c Dohrbell reasons, just you wait.
                Last edited by ophy; 07-21-2019, 03:32 PM.


                • Yeah. I am not watching. I don't need this RT whatever you may think. After a really shitty and angsty year I really don't want to watch my favourite characters die.


                  • ETA when Enrico Colatoni does a tell-all of this someday, we'e gonna find out that Dax was the one who insisted they kill off Logan b/c Dohrbell reasons, just you wait.
                    Plane sects!!

                    I rewatched the pilot instead of dwelling on the present. So good. It's all there.


                    • Swear to beek, if I see one more asshole telling upset fans to suck it up because 'this is noir and not a Nicholas Sparks movie', Imma lose it.

                      This Slate review from an OG viewer (from the UPN days) totally nails it:


                      We Used to Be Friends

                      The bombshell ending to Veronica Mars’ fourth season might be the point where I say goodbye.
                      Now, Veronica is propelled out into the world, to take another shot at being an adult in some non-Neptune context. What does that look like? What does Veronica look like when she’s not running from who she is (as she did in New York), but she’s also not anchored by her dad and Logan?

                      I can see that this is a way to shake up the series. And yet, I still hate it. (So much for acceptance!) As Veronica has matured, the most interesting question—one the show has always been asking—is what living with trauma and preternatural knowledge of everyone’s awfulness does to a person. Yes, Veronica is savvy and righteous and fearless, but she’s warped. By continuously honing her mistrust and skepticism and anger, other, gentler parts of herself have atrophied. Her skills are defense mechanisms that have also made it impossible for her to live anything like a happily undefended life.

                      This season, you could see the way in which Veronica’s terrible knowledge continues to exist inside of her, curdling—and you could also see the way the way it was in high tension with the possibility of a kinder future, a different life experience that she almost wouldn’t or couldn’t let herself have. Killing Logan basically erases that tension. Veronica’s not living with trauma, not in tension with anything else; she’s Job, a woman whose self-protective instincts turn out to be completely necessary. This is how you get to the last lines of the season, a voicemail Logan left for his therapist right before he dies, where he explains that he wants to marry Veronica because he respects her so much, because she’s the toughest person he knows, sending us off with the knowledge that Veronica will survive.

                      To this voicemail I say: No shit, Sherlock. Who doesn’t know Veronica is tougher than archeologically excavated jerky? But Veronica’s toughness is not the stuff of hagiography. It’s the stuff of tragedy. No one should have to be that tough, and with Logan’s death the show pushes her further and further away from any other option, and does so as if it were the most noble, interesting direction in which to take her.

                      When it premiered, Veronica Mars was doing surprisingly incisive and acerbic things about class, sex, and pain from inside the relatively frothy confection known as the teen drama, not doing surprisingly hilarious things from inside a dark drama about a traumatized truth hunter: If these two descriptions amount to almost the same thing, they’re not quite. You put the emphasis on a different syllable. As Veronica heads into middle age and future seasons, how much pain is so much that the show can still be the first thing—actually fun and dark— instead of the second—pretty fun for being so dark?

                      One of the things that lightened the show even as it gave it depth was Logan and Veronica’s kicky, passionate relationship, and now that’s gone, too. As Veronica soldiers on to solve crimes in parts unknown, I’m reminded, as ever, that she’s tougher than me: I think I might just give up on the whole thing.

                      ​​​​​​​I mean, yes . . . you can kinda see where RT and KB want to take the character next and whatever, that's their prerogative . . . but that doesn't mean you have to want to go along as well. It creates a new show that isn't the old show, but like in a totally non-fun and much less interesting way. Now that we know that they want to do this brand new non-fun show instead of the former much loved very fun show, we have the choice to opt out.

                      I just wish they had sold S4 to us more accurately instead of leaning so hard on Logan and Veronica together as the main sales point. There was literally nothing in the marketing to suggest it wasn't going to be trustworthy in that way. I feel particularly bad for people that went into this without any spoiler warnings at all.

                      Other reviews that seem to get why this is a bad narrative choice and not necessarily the 'brave noir twist' RT wants us to see it as . . .


                      How ‘Veronica Mars’ Season 4 Fails The Show’s Most Interesting Relationship Dynamic To Date

                      And then the whole fight evaporates into thin air. Although Logan underlines just how uncomfortable the whole thing made him the next morning as Veronica grins, the show quickly loses sight of this conflict in favor of chasing every twist and turn the serial bombing mystery has to offer — which is such a shame (and not just because the mystery is the season’s least compelling aspect by a mile). Caught up in a million other things, Veronica never fully has to grapple with the implication of her wanting the rougher-edged Logan who punches holes in the wall. Neither ever even addresses this fight again, let alone tries to resolve it.

                      and TV Guide:


                      Veronica is still in her wedding dress when Logan is killed. Every element of his senseless death feels engineered to be as devastating as possible. Thematically, the twist hammers home a common element of Veronica Mars: the chaotic, unfair brutality of the world, which hits some people over and over while seemingly leaving others, sometimes the worst people, unscathed. But it leaves an aftertaste more bitter than I think the show intended. It sends the message that Veronica is right to be so cynical; she doesn't actually have any control over the hand she's dealt in life. If the end of the revival had doubled down on hard-bitten noir cynicism, the series might have been able to sell the cruel twist, plunging Veronica further into darkness. Instead, the final minutes of Season 4 try to spin Logan's death into a vehicle for positive change: Veronica, just once, visits Logan's therapist.

                      . . .

                      But Logan offers Veronica a chance at happiness, and blowing up that chance leaves the show feeling bleak in a way it never has before. The show seems not to realize, or at least refuses to face, how dark this twist really is for its heroine. Veronica Mars can't even bring itself to sit with her grief, fast-forwarding through the first year after Logan's death. This kind of denial is, really, not true to the spirit of self-reflection Logan wanted to encourage in Veronica. The finale ends by insisting that she's going to be fine, that in fact her ability to always be fine is what makes her a superhero without a cape, even though the rest of the revival did such good work bringing her down to earth and questioning how well Veronica is really handling a lifetime of anger and grief. In its last few minutes, the revival does a disservice to Logan, who grew into someone capable of challenging Veronica to be better, and it does a disservice to Veronica by forgetting what makes her such a complex character. Veronica Mars has more to offer than her toughness.

                      The fact that the revival is doing so many other things right helps, in some ways, to soften the blow of a frustrating, upsetting ending. But it also makes the decision to (literally) blow up the show's core romance more difficult to swallow. Veronica Mars already had a great thing going: The premise, which often sent Logan away for his job, was loose enough not to smother Veronica but tight enough to force her to face her own flaws. The show didn't need to hit a reset button to bring Veronica into the next phase of her life. Logan was already pulling her there.

                      So yeah. Rob got hit by the critics for making an overly happy ending movie, and now he gets hit for making an overly cruel ending season. Maybe it's time to go back to doing Party Down episodes, I don't know. Those were kinda fun with much lower stakes, no epic romances to trip him up, and no dumb mystery plots to hack together with duct tape.

                      Last edited by ophy; 07-21-2019, 10:41 PM.


                      • Thanks for saving me time, ladies. My eyes will never stop rolling.


                        • The things that these reviews hit on so well is that the MOST compelling aspect of these episodes is that Logan is changing and Veronica is PISSED about it. It's VERY provocative and interesting and worth watching. And then they shit it away for some schlocky nonsense. I completely expected them to break up in a way that pushed her to grow up (next season!) and maybe just run into him once or twice while she did her thing. I'm not someone looking for a happy ending or seeing Veronica in a norm-core relationship. I just think this choice was NUTS.
                          It’s just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.


                          • OH, and I was SO CONFUSED about how Leo and Logan seemed to not know each other AT ALL? WTF. There were only THREE SEASONS to keep track of FFS.
                            It’s just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.


                            • I completely expected them to break up in a way that pushed her to grow up (next season!) and maybe just run into him once or twice while she did her thing. I'm not someone looking for a happy ending or seeing Veronica in a norm-core relationship. I just think this choice was NUTS.

                              I mean, if you know you aren't interested in writing Happy Couples then lean in to that, that's fine. You don't have to kill all hope, though!

                              Seriously, they didn't have to get married! I wasn't expecting them to, tbh. I was expecting a break-up and kind of wanting one, really? To set up just the scenario you have described for S5. I would have very much enjoyed some deliciousness like ultra charged pining and maybe some angsty ex-sex when they just can't help it. I would have even enjoyed a little Leo/Veronica fling to create jealousy and tension and oh my. Snarky exes sniping at each other, circling each other like wary cats? Forced together by random case related circumstances just enough times to know that it's probably not a coincidence but that one of them is making it happen because they just can't stay away?

                              It would have added just enough spice to whatever silly mystery thing they also decided to throw in there plot-wise.

                              So . . . why the fuck aren't we gonna get that. Whyyyyyy.

                              Word on the street is that 1) Rob is saying he never would have ended S4 like that if he didn't have S5 already mapped out. Which is . . . okay. Not reassuring. and 2) Francis Capra says Jason told him that there will be interviews released in the next two days where he will answer questions about the ending which is also okay? but he's not really the person who should have to defend it, really and 3) apparently? (this is more of a rumor I can't trace back) Jason didn't know that he was going to be killed off until half way through filming, which if true is . . . yikes.


                              Poor JDoh is getting hammered in his insta comments. None of this is his fault, dummies! Although the caption is, perhaps, not in the best of taste.
                              Last edited by ophy; 07-21-2019, 10:47 PM.


                              • Okay, wow. So they really are doubling down on the detective angle and that was why Logan had to die, yikes.

                                They honestly think they can discard the only core components of the show that people actually liked and rely entirely on their brand of detective-ry to keep this thing going. Um . . .

                                Well . . . all I can say is that they might want to rejigger their entire writing team, then?

                                ETA I STILL HAVE THOUGHTS.

                                When Rob rejects 'nostalgia' what I hear is:
                                "We are intentionally shaking off the most passionate of our fans because they are holding us back creatively -- it wasn't Logan who got blown up, it was all those dumb shippers who are still posting gif sets of 'I thought our story was epic' ten years later. They are stupid people and we are happy to leave them behind."

                                and when he dismisses Veronica's personal life as 'soap opera' what I hear is:
                                "Yes, we know we had to make a show for girls to get picked up by UPN/The CW, and yes we had to make a movie for girls because it was girls who paid for the whole thing via kickstarter, and yes we had to make the S4 trailers for girls so Hulu would agree to stream us, but now that we have wrung all that we can from those dumb girls and everyone is all grown up, we are FINALLY FREEEEE to make a show for big boys who don't like all that icky kissing and talking about feelings, gross."

                                I mean, is there ANY way to read that interview without seeing the misogyny behind it all?

                                Apparently. more interviews with Rob are coming out today, so I'm basically just going to be trapped in all this rage until I die. WHICH IS WHAT ROB WANTS ME TO DO.
                                Last edited by ophy; 07-22-2019, 09:30 AM.