Friday, September 01, 2006

Review: Veronica Mars Season 2

Oh Veronica...if you don't want to do things with the pole, you don't have to!

Veronica Mars is a show dear to my heart. Season one was a remarkable union of brilliant dialogue, masterful storytelling, and just plain-good acting. Season Two maintains the dialogue and acting, but attempts to expand on the storyline. A daunting task, to be sure, especially since last season's mystery was simply stellar. Season two provides a good sequel, but overall is not as well-presented and at times can be just be darn confusing.

Surprisingly, I have fallen deeper in love with the show. This is mostly because I adore Kristen Bell. She has one of those smiles that just makes you want to smile too. Her portrayal of a smart, sassy, just-a-tad angry and all-around human teenage detective is flawless. It's rare to find a character that you can relate to throughout the emotional spectrum. And then there's the overly protective yet playful Keith Mars. Wallace Fennel is Veronica Mars' best friend, but manages to stand out on his own; his world doesn't always revolve around Veronica. Logan is the one you love to hate...and yet can't help rooting for sometimes.

Where Season Two pales in comparison to its predecessor starts with the additions to the cast, however. Jackie was little more than a doomed romantic prospect for Wallace. And Cassidy Casablancas' significance to the storyline wasn't clear until the end of the season. For the life of me, I can't figure out why Dick Casablancas was even in the cast, much less in the opening credits! All he did was act the jackass for an entire season. For some reason I think he's going to end up gay. Maybe because the only scene where he wasn't being an asshole to his fellow classmates was the one where he found out the hot chick he was hitting on was actually a man.

So uh...what exactly was the point of your character again?

And that's just the main characters. There's a whole slew of recurring guest-stars, each of whom play varying degrees of importance into the season's storyline(s), Naming them here would probably only confuse anybody reading this...not to mention me. Suffice it to say, all the characters were a little over the top. Even people you thought you would never see again - Leo, the cop from season 1, for example - make cameo appearances.

Season Two's storyline was also somewhat disappointing...but only because it was at times so complex and so full of red-herrings that it was difficult to follow what exactly was going on. This wasn't helped by the fact there were TWO major storylines this time around. Trying to keep up with both the murder of yet another of Veronica's classmates, plus the mysterious bus crash...let's just say the it would take all of Veronica Mars' detective skills. And unfortunately, I'm not her.

So why am I still in love with Veronica? Maybe because despite its shortcomings, at its core it's still a very character-based drama. The storylines only serve to allow the characters shine. And as long as the characters continue to grow, I'll keep watching. Hopefully Season Three will further develop some of the less significant players. And feature more guest stars that I like (Trina Echolls aka Alyson Hannigan. I heart her as much if not more than Kristen! There's so much choice, it's hard to pick just one sometimes...)

Final Score: 4.5/5

You gotta love Willow! Lesbian witches unite!

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