Monday, October 31, 2005

Spend Some Time in the Wonderful World of Neptune! Plus, TV on DVD Monday!

The lack of new television last night provides the perfect opportunity for my final impressions and thoughts on the first season of Veronica Mars. I completed the remainder of the episodes in a mini-marathon this past weekend on a football road trip (gotta love laptops!). I would be remiss if I didn't comment on my final thoughts now that I have completed the season, so this will be my final edition dedicated to the first season of Veronica Mars. Just so you know, I'm going to try to keep my review spoiler free so that those of you who still haven't seen it can do so without knowing all the answers. If I do include a spoiler, I'll mark it. NOTE: Photos are all from UPN.com.



There are very few shows whose DVDs I collect. In fact, there are only two, but I will be collecting Veronica Mars. Season one of this show is one of the rare television events that you can literally watch over and over again because it's that good. I don't think I have seen a new show burst onto the scene this strong right out of the gate with an almost flawless freshman year. And from what I have been reading, it's having an even better sophomore season. The most recent issue of PEOPLE magazine gave it four out of four stars, an extremely impressive feat since PEOPLE's critics rarely give three stars, let alone four. So, does Veronica deserve such critical praise? Simply, yes. It easily weaves between a mystery caper show to a high school drama show and every where in between. I found myself as wrapped up in finding out who killed Lilly Kane and who rapped Veronica as I am with who was stealing all the 09er's dogs or whether the school election was rigged. That's the charm of this show - it manages to get you involved in all of its mysteries. I love the way it easily weaves through smart witty scenes like Veronica breaking into her father's safe to find he was one step ahead to more poignant ones like Veronica learning the truth about her rape at Shelly Pomroy's party. More than anything, this show has heart.

As much as I loved the mysteries of the week (some humorous, others more serious), I was completely wrapped up in the season-long intrigues. One of the advantages to watching the show on DVD was that I was able to flow from one episode to the other without long breaks, and I found myself constantly wanting to watch more episodes because of the well written and executed clues for each of the mysteries that carried over from episode to episode. Another intrigue show that I love is Lost, but I know that some complain that the writers don't give us enough answers surrounding the island's biggest mysteries, and there's a feeling of frustration. Unlike Lost, Veronica Mars wraps up the big mysteries at the end of season one, but manages to leave just enough to keep us coming back for season two. We learn everything through Veronica as she learns it, and every episode seems to hold another clue, even if it's just a small one.

The most famous mystery from this show is the Lilly Kane murder. Lilly was Veronica's best friend and the daughter of software billionaire Jake Kane and sister to Duncan Kane, Veronica's ex-boyfriend. She was found bludgeoned on her pool patio. Veronica's father, Keith Mars, was sheriff at the time and strongly believed that it was Lilly's father Jake who killed her. With no evidence to prove his case, Keith is run out of office and opens a private investigator business where Veronica works as a receptionist after school. Eventually, the new sheriff arrested and convicted someone else in the Lilly Kane murder, but Veronica and Keith believe the police have the wrong man, and thus, we are off and running on season one.



There are many more mysteries to Veronica Mars, and like intrigue show Medium, there is no point in trying to solve any of them. The writers will always surprise you with their clever and creative plots. This show has everything: strong writing, clever wit, creative mysteries, excellent acting and a charming, flawed and wonderful protagonist. I watched the first two episodes of season two that I had saved, and things are looking just as strong. **SPOILER ALERT (First 2 eps of Season 2)** I'm not sure how I feel about Veronica not working with her dad or her dad's run for sheriff, but the show is so good that it really isn't bothering me! **END ALERT** If you haven't had the pleasure of spending time in Neptune with Veronica and all the other wonderful characters, then run right out to your nearest video rental place and rent it. Or better yet, just go ahead and save yourself the rental fee, because after you watch it, you'll be running out to buy it!

Stand Out Episodes: All of them! If I have to narrow it down, I'd go with "Meet John Smith," "Silence of the Lamb," "Clash of the Tritons," "A Trip to the Dentist" and "Leave it to Beaver." The pilot will always hold a special place in my heart as well because it is one of the most brilliant pilots I have ever seen. It's rare to find a pilot that is actually a stand out episode for the series. OVERALL SEASON 1 GRADE: A+

STARTING NEXT WEEK... I'll be discussing Veronica along with Lost when they both return with new episodes. Yes, I will finally be caught up with the rest of America and ready to watch the episodes live! That's next week on Pass the Remote.

About Last Night... ABC won the first hour of the night with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, followed by a rerun of Cold Case on CBS and NBC's The West Wing. At 9, a rerun of ABC's Desperate Housewives won the hour, followed by Law & Order: Criminal Intent on NBC and CBS's movie of the week Vampire Bats. The final hour of the night went to ABC's Grey's Anatomy, followed by Crossing Jordan on NBC and Vampire Bats on CBS. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - Simon takes Sandy to the hospital after she thinks she's having labor pains and he learns the truth behind her betrayal on WB's 7th Heaven. NBC hosts a three-episode marathon of Medium (all episodes are repeats).

@9 p.m. - The escape plan gets put in jeopardy when Abruzzi finds himself demoted in the prison hierarchy and the inmates dig themselves into a hole on Fox's Prison Break. Over at the WB, freshman show Related moves to its new timeslot. Tonight, Rose stars in her first play, but she has to be nude.


QUICK CUTS

*It's a Dukes of Hazzard reunion on the WB's Smallville. Series regular John Schneider will be joined by former Dukes co-star Tom Wopat on the November 3rd episode. Wopat will play a senator who comes to town to enlist campaign help from his old friend (Schneider). For more on the appearance as well as the antics the pair pulled on the set together, visit Zap2it.

*And finally, it's TV on DVD Monday! Look for Sex and the City on store shelves tomorrow. The set includes the entire series' 94 episodes on 20 discs! Also hitting shelves tomorrow, The Brady Bunch (season 4), Fame (season 1) and 21 Jump Street (season 3). For more on tomorrow's releases, visit tvshowsondvd.com.


That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for all the latest television news, Primetime Pass and find out About Last Night! Happy Halloween everyone!

3 comments:

suekola44 said...

You sure make me want to watch Veronica Mars! I just don't know if i can take on anymore tv shows. I'm very torn about the whole thing. Any word on when Everwood season 2 is coming out on dvd?

TVFan said...

Trust me, it's well worth the investment in more TV time. TV Guide's Matt Roush recently named Veronica Mars and Lost the two best shows on television. It quickly became my new favorite show. I enjoy it more than Everwood! The final two episodes of the first season are mindblowing! It's really that good. I've watched more season two eps, and the show is just as excellent this season!

CJ said...

TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly and USA Today have all recently named the best shows on television and Lost and Veronica Mars were I think the only shows that made every list.

I enjoy Everwood, but it's sort of the anti-VM. Everwood moves at a nice slow steady pace and the characters talk everything out, and VM moves like a speeding bullet.