Monday, March 24, 2014

We Used to be Friends

After years of waiting and waiting (and waiting)...the Veronica Mars movie is finally here! There was no doubt this was a movie made for the fans, both literally and figuratively, since most of us ponied up the money through Kickstarter to get the thing made.

But was it worth the wait? In this post, TV Sluts past, present (and future?) comment on the film and discuss whether it met our expectations.

Oh, and it probably goes without saying...but spoilers ahead!

First up: Clovis!
The good – I love these characters and loved seeing them again. I loved the ending. Even though we knew from the first moment we started watching that there was no way in hell that Veronica was ever going to go back to New York and be a lawyer, it was still gratifying to see her (spoiler alert) taking over that Mars Investigations chair in the last shot. Also? More Mac. Always more Mac. I would watch a tech-heavy Mac spin off where she fights cyber-crime.

The bad – I wanted the movie to look as noir-y as the show did and it never quite managed it. All the saturated color and shadows of the show kind of got sunshine’d out in the movie. Also, the limitations that the movie was working off did have an impact – scenes that should have been rewritten clearly couldn’t be because there wasn’t time to do it; characters had to written flatly in case an actor couldn’t make the shooting schedule. (Though the fact that Rob Thomas and Co. pulled off everything they did that quickly is pretty amazing.) 
My big beef though was that never once did I ever believe Logan may have actually killed Carrie. In the show, Logan is written to be ambiguous about his actions – we believe that he can be underhanded or murderous. I would have liked there to be a bit more doubt about Logan’s guilt or innocence, and as such there’s no good tension there at all between Logan and Veronica. 
That said, I did enjoy the movie a lot although watching Veronica Mars was similar to watching Serenity in that they’re both total nostalgia bait and reminders that you’re never going to get back what you once had.

The only thing that I really didn’t like was the obscene number of “we used to be friends” lead-ins that all the media articles on the movie used. Come on, feature writers – think fresh.
Next: Sri!
My favorite Veronica Mars character is Eli "Weevil" Navarro, the leader of the local bike club (PCHers). The only thing we knew about his characters from the previews was that he had "gone straight" and gotten married. By the end of the movie, Weevil has survived a gunshot wound and had reclaimed his role as head of the PCHers. Someone commented to me about how depressing it was that he ended up back where he started. But what is a noble villain without the villainy? He's just a noble dude, and god knows Life kicks noble dudes in the teeth. Also, without Weevil, Veronica lacks the necessary underworld contacts/street cred to be a successful PI. Also... leather jacket. Enough said.
...and then, Priya!

The VM movie was like saying hello to an old friend. A two hour treatment of what made the show so great...a girl with an identity crisis unknowingly longing to return to who she was before and realizing that freedom comes from stopping that fight and taking up the mantle of crusader against the powerful. She is an imperfect heroine that doesn't always do the right thing but along with a rich diverse broader cast of characters finds a way to at least try.

Weighing in from Texas, here's Cheryl:
I adored it. It felt like a long episode, albeit a much darker one. Not that Neptune was ever sunshine and roses, but this was a whole new level of messed up. I get the feeling that it was probably the show Rob Thomas wanted to make but, you know, Standards and Practices. The only real complaints I have are how out of the blue Logan joining the Navy felt (not that I object, especially not to that uniform, I just would like to know what led up to that decision) and the path Wallace's life took. Why is he not an engineer? What happened that made him give up on the dream that was so important to him he stepped down from the basketball team? I think a lot of the movie was set up for the book series though, so maybe we'll get the answers there.
And finally, what did I think?
It's so rare for something to meet your expectations. And maybe it's just the excitement and a bit of rose-colored glasses...but honestly? I loved it. I have no complaints. I have no quibbles. I didn't go into the movie "wanting" anything specific to happen, I just walked in and let in unfold. It was Rob Thomas' story and I was beyond happy and content to just be along for the ride. It felt like hanging out with an old friend, where no matter how long you have been away from each other, you just pick up right where you left off. Of course, in this case the old friends happen to be some of the most supremely messed up people ever with major trust issues who wouldn't know a healthy relationship if it walked into the room and dropped its drawers...but still. My opinion might change upon further viewings, but for now? Nothing but love and gratitude that I got to revisit the world of Veronica.  
And let's be real. Vinnie Van Lowe, Cliff, Deputy/Detective Leo, Principal Van Clemmons...and OMG CELESTE KANE?? How could I ask for more? 
Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments below!

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