The most badass investigator on the small screen reappeared in 2019, twelve years after the end of the original series. As this fourth season lands on Amazon Prime Video, here are three reasons to dive back into Veronica Mars.
“A long time ago, we used to be friends…” An iconic credits for all teenagers of the 2000s, an outstanding high school detective, a well-placed repartee and mysterious murders: Veronica Mars was one of the pillars of television, from 2004 to 2007. If it started the same year as series that have become cult like Lost, The 4400, Desperate Housewives Where Grey’s Anatomythis teen drama does not have to be ashamed of its little success, still intact. The enthusiasm was such with the fans, that a film (not very interesting), then a fourth and last season saw the light of day in 2014 and 2019.
As this revival finally hits Amazon Prime Video on September 15, you’re given three reasons to put on your Converse, grab your Eastpack satchel from the closet, and rediscover your blue flower teen soul to (re) discover Veronica Mars. Promise you won’t regret it.
Veronica Mars, a fearless heroine
A badass and cynical high school student, Veronica tries to survive in the Californian jungle of her high school, Neptune High, among rich kids. Her favorite pastime: secretly helping out her father, a private detective, and her classmates, while pursuing the murderer of her best friend, Lily. Armed with her huge camera, her notebook and her trusty shoulder bag, the brilliant outsideralso a member of the high school newspaper, probably inspired hundreds of young women (including the author of these lines).
Far from the stereotypical female characters that flourished in the teen series of the 2000s, gossip girl at Newport Beach passing through the Scott Brothers, Veronica Mars represented on the contrary a worthy heiress of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Rather solitary, the teenager was not afraid of anything and spent his evenings solving mysteries rather than organizing make-up parties in his pajamas with his girlfriends. And at the time, it felt amazing to be able to identify with this daring girl with tasty punchlines, played by the brilliant Kristen Bell (The Good Place), or her rebellious friend, I named Mac, the queen of hackers. For the 2019 revival, Veronica Mars has not changed and still retains this impertinent flame which clashes prodigiously in the television landscape.
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The narrative arcs of the series have always been in the image of its heroine: innovative and without language of wood. While many teen drama seemed to be limited to the love stories of their protagonists, Veronica Mars has always stood out as the dark side of the force. Its dark atmosphere has made it possible to address many social issues hitherto almost unheard of in programs of the genre: rape, slut shamingthe class struggle, school bullying… The series has never hesitated to denounce serious themes that are still very present in 2022.
The third season thus tackles in a rather crude way the serial rapes that took place on American campuses in the early 2000s, while the main red thread is mainly based on the sexual violence suffered by Veronica herself. Clearly, the series is far from showing a rosy teenage daily life, even if it keeps a welcome cynical humor to defuse each situation. Obviously, we still remain in the genre of teen drama : the amorous intrigues (sometimes toxic) are legion and the high school remains the major place of the series. But caught between the luxurious parts of town she frequented and her more working-class origins, Veronica Mars constantly reminds us that the intimate, even adolescent, is political.
A satisfying (but painful) conclusion
The third season of the series ended with a denouement leaving dozens of questions unanswered about the future love or professional life of Veronica Mars. Thanks to the 2019 revival, the confirmed detective was able to return to service, in a rather satisfactory fourth and final season.
Without being the centerpiece of the series, this last burst of episodes still brings its share of surprises while filling our nostalgic fiber with the return of endearing characters, generally still embodied by the same cast. Veronica Mars reinvents itself in multiple forms in this final season, while handling the art of fan-service brilliantly: what more could you ask for?
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