“People might think of our town as glamorous, home to movie-stars and Captains of industry but when the class war comes …this place will be ground zero” – Narrator (Veronica Mars)
This is a quote from the opening speech and monologue to Veronica Mars (film). I really feel this not only highlights the main characters persona. She is able to read her environment and people well due to un-explainable social sixth sense. It also underlines the wider perhaps problems. Not only a clever snide comment to the Hollywood industry but modern western materialism in society in general.
Originally Veronica Mars was a television series created by Rob Thomas and starred Kristen Bell as main female protagonist of the same title name. Veronica Mars is a high school student who navigates her way through peer pressure, social anxiety and bullies. Whilst doing so she creates a part time job as private investigator solving minor mysterious of her classmates. One overall plot was the death and murder of her best friend which remained unsolved. Veronica Mars sits well in a very specific group of young adult female led literature, television and film. Nancy Drew, Buffy the Vampire slayer and much later and more recently i-Zombie. They differ in genre however depict young female heroism. Many would consider these shows and books feminist based story telling. The young girl is tough, sassy and able to read people quickly and solve problems and situations without relying on beauty and social status. These kind of characters are rare and influential to young female audiences.
In fact female detectives of any age, race or versatile background is still unusual in 2017. Veronica Mars remains innovative. Rather than a teen show which focused on the popular wealthy attractive high school students, it focused on Veronica the outsider who used to be in the ‘in crowd’. After her best friends murder she sees the true superficial nature of this high school and entire town. She knows someone is responsible and there is a cover up from high power. She befriends everyone but trusts no one, from the rich beautiful cheerleaders, to her smart male black best friend, to the lovable female tech genius to the angry but deep down kind Mexican gang member.
Veronica Mars the film was released in March 2014 to much anticipated fanfare. After the television show lost viewers ratings it was cancelled without a proper goodbye to this character and cast. All the actors moved on to different projects and grew older into late 20s. The interesting area about this particular film production is the power of the internet and modern social media. Due to so many fans world wide feeling disgruntled their teenage female icons story was not finished properly. A campaign was started to fund it without major studio set up help initially. Fans and other actors in Hollywood would donate amounts of money to an online donation fund, which grew so fast the team was able to make this final goodbye without the usual major financial backing needed. Many production and cast took half the fee they would to make this happen for fans. I think this shows that great story telling reaches further emotionally and nostalgia wise to others more than business complications.
It follows Veronica Mars as she returns to childhood town Neptune to investigate the murder of a former classmate. There has been an obvious time lapse into the future. These high school students are now future senators and pop-stars. Veronica Mars herself has finished her Law degree and is now interviewing at prestigious law firms in New York but is called back for her usual detective habit to solve things. The suspect is her long time on and off boyfriend Logan Echolls.
“America thinks he is guilty and that’s enough for me” – Young arrogant Sheriff from Police department.
The Neptune Police department have long been depicted as corrupt. Upon arrival she witnesses the police harassing a group of Hispanic teenagers about bikes they have and if they stole them. This is also an alluding to an obvious problem in America the film touched on briefly but did not want to dive deep due to this being a teen comical show originally after all.
Even Logan Echolls is portrayed by the town as the black sheep rich boy with a dark side enough to kill his pop star girlfriend. She is found in a bathtub with a hairdryer in it, however she left clues to another accidental death. This involved a boat party full of wealthy young people, a lot of drugs and a depressed girl on a comedown falling overboard. The weight of this secret from years earlier was too much for Echolls girlfriend that one of this group could see she was about to crack with this secret so killed her but who…?
While tongue in cheek, comical and sarcastic Veronica Mars has always made social comments on the hierarchy of ‘the haves and have nots’ of this small affluent town. How this affects the entire community in general. The lasting message is about Veronica come to realise that she is who she is, which is a brave no nonsense private investigator. She attempted to escape small upper class town hell to make it in New York but finally realised that old habits die hard and hers maybe actually help people in this socially unbalanced environment. It was a fantastic way to send off a dearly missed television character finally in the right manner with a legacy for real young sassy, independent women who don’t apologise for not fitting into socially demanded stereotypes.
Von Von Lamunu