Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Gah! My eyes! My bleary eyes!
Okay, so thanks to the recommendations in my previous post, I decided to check out Veronica Mars. I was prepared to hate it at first sight. Let's see:
- Perky blond lead character: Check.
- Haves and have-nots school: Check. (Even with gratuitous reference to The Outsiders in the first episode!).
- Asshole gossipy rich kids: Check.
- Soap-opera emotional hysterics: Check.
But in the end, I couldn't hate it. I guess I'm just a sucker for the whole noir genre, with the hard-boiled private investigator with a marshmallow heart yada yada yada. Make that character a bright 17 year old tiny mite of a girl with a fierce and cynical outlook on life (thus the "Mars" last name -- god of war, remember?) who at one point is referred to by her own father as "my action hero daughter", toss in some of the tightest plotting I've ever seen on the small screen, and furthermore cast the talented Kristen Bell as the title character (I swear, the gal can say more with one little tilt of her head and raised eyebrow than a whole encyclopedia of books), and now you know why my eyes are bleary. You wouldn't believe just by reading a review that such a cute little mite of a girl could manage to terrorize an entire high school with her philosphy of "when the going gets tough, get tougher, and get even", but Kristen manages to put so much presence into her character in those scenes that she manages to pull it off. I mean, c'mon. She accidentally wanders into a junkyard full of *very* upset Hispanic workers who tower over her and are screaming at her, and yet rules the scene? Now *that* is presence! The writers even throw in enough instances where Veronica is wrong or makes serious mistakes to make it believable (I mean, c'mon, maybe she's smart, but she's supposedly 17, right?).
Not to say it's perfect. Teddy Dunn, playing her former boyfriend Duncan Kane, expresses exactly two emotions in the entire first season -- rage and zoned-out wood. Jason Dohring does a much better acting job as the complex but troubled abused child of a rich action hero actor. And some parts are just altogether too 90210-ish. Bleh. And frankly, her former best friend whose murder is the first season's ongoing mystery? As far as I can tell, the only redeeming characteristic said "best friend" had was that she was an equal-opportunity slut whose sole interests were boys and booze. You'd think that even pre-murder Veronica, while shallow and vacuous, would be more intelligent than to hang around with someone with that kind of vacancy upstairs.
And that half-assed "biker gang", apparently rounded up from whatever cast extras' bikes were running on any particular day (c'mon, no biker would get caught dead on a crotch rocket!) was just plain ludicrous.
But what the hell. It was enough to keep me up for far too many hours over the past couple of days. The plotting is tighter than pretty much anything else I've seen on this scale (22 episodes in the 1st season!), and it's rarely stupid, unlike the majority of TV today. So I'm going to bed.
- Badtux the Bleary-eyed Penguin
Posted by: BadTux / 3/15/2006 11:19:00 PM
It sounds like it was pretty interesting. I used to love those Nancy Drew mystery books. I guess this young chick is another Nancy Drew, only more current.
I bought the first and second season of McCloud. I watched the first episode this morning.
# posted by oldwhitelady : 18/3/06 3:22 PM
Maybe if Nancy Drew were written by Raymond Chandler...
# posted by BadTux : 18/3/06 10:46 PM
One of my favorite shows. I liked the original Backup, but the second seems to have a little more ferocity.
One of the better teenage shows out there. I have the hots for Jason Dohring and Frank Capra III.
# posted by Debra : 19/3/06 4:55 AM
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