PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on television spoiler-free ... good luck with that.

REVIEW ARCHIVES

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

She's a Marshmallow

Episode 1.1: Pilot. Original Airdate 9.22.04


"Meet Veronica Mars. Your typical high school student and private eye. A year ago, Veronica's best friend Lilly was murdered. Her father, Keith, then the town sheriff, accused Lilly's billionaire father of the murder. When another man confessed, Keith was booted from office. All of Veronica's friends stopped talking to her, and her mother left town. But as Veronica starts her junior year of high school, it becomes clear that nothing about her life is what it seems."

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • OMG! I’m so excited to start this!
  • I love that Veronica narrates this.  She’s so good.  It’s very film noir.
  • This will be a bit different than recapping Buffy since we're not as obsessed with this show, we don't know it inside and out.
  • Kristen Bell is so young!
  • Hey, it’s Weevil! 
  • Ooh, they’re doing a "20 hours earlier" thing.
  • Kristen Bell’s hair is so short. It looks cute.
  • BTW, if you want the true brilliance of Kristen Bell, check out The Good Place.  Start with season one.  It’s seriously good. [I second this recommendation. - Z]
  • Aww, Wallace.  He’s like the Xander of this show. (But much more likable)
  • I love how smart Veronica is. 
  • She’s like book smart AND street smart!
  • I know it’s the 2000s but, man the fashions are so 90s grunge
  • I used to own ALL OF those flannels.
  • Hey Veronica is making a friend: Wallace!
  • Did Lamb just smell Wallace? He did.
  • There’s a lot of flashbacks in this episode. Actually, I guess most episodes this season.
  • They’re taking more time with this pilot than I remember.  I like that.  It’s something that iZombie, Rob Thomas’ newest,  didn’t do as well.
  • Darran Norris, as Cliff is in iZombie as a lecherous news anchor
  • I love Veronica’s patter with her dad.  It’s one of my favorite things about the show.
  • I mean, all the patter is pretty good.  Great writing.
  • Lilly Kane!  Our first dead human.

  • This is the first moment where we see Logan’s depth.  From the loss of Lilly.  Of course he’s a dick for blaming Veronica and Keith.
  • Veronica can take care of herself. I love Back-up & the taser
  • Weevil: “And your little dog, too.”  That’s the 2nd Wizard of Oz reference this episode.
  •  Kristen Bell does a lot of comedy now and she’s so damn good at it.  But she’s really good at drama too.  I’d love to see her in some more serious movies.  She’s a really talented actor.
  • I wonder whose football team would win The Pirates vs. the Razorbacks.
  • Aww, Wallace is s a good guy.  I wish they explored his character more than they did.
  • I’m kinda impressed that a lot of the recurring characters came from the pilot – though Z and I are having trouble tracking them all and remembering their names.  Good thing we have the interwebs.
  • Tonight we eat like the lower-middle class to which we aspire.”
  • Clue: Keith recognizes the license plate of the woman Jake Kane was visiting.  Ooh.
  • I love Veronica’s intricate plans.
  • And this is why we hate Sheriff Lamb.  His incompetence is one thing, but even more horrible is his vile, inhumane lack of compassion.  The way he acts when Veronica is raped is beyond reprehensible.
  • Third Wizard of Oz reference.
  • Aww, Wallace calls Veronica a Marshmallow.  And the fan name is born!
  • OMG, Logan’s surfer necklace.  These were so popular with guys back then.  I had one….well my then-boyfriend had one that I used to wear.
All The Cool Kids in 2004 Wore These

  • Z and I had our fights about who Buffy should be with – but we won’t be having any here.  There’s one person for Veronica: Logan Freaking Echolls.
  • As much of an asshole  as he is now…
  • “I rented the South Park movie.” “My favorite”  Heh.
  • But also, remember rental stores?

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • you guys I'm so excited to start a new show!
  • hmmm apparently the only option we have is the extended version of the pilot, which includes a different opening (Veronica on stakeout with a flashback frame vs. starting in the school with Wallace taped up)
  • "I'm never getting married." Me neither, Veronica. Well, probably not.
  • I kinda forgot how noir this show is
  • Veronica's taking calculus as a Junior! She's just like me! I wonder if present Veronica remembers any calculus but I super don't.
  • aw man I'm getting nostalgia for a motorcycle gang because WEEVIL
  • hi Weevil
  • "If you go here, your parents are either millionaires or your parents work for millionaires." I think this was kind of the situation at the school I went to for the two years I lived in LA, but I was too young to really clock it. You were either rich or your parents worked at UCLA (I was the second one)
  • aw Veronica. bitter, party of one
  • "Random locker searches ... I know when they're gonna happen before Vice Principal Clemmons does." haha I love her
  • omg when she shushes Buster, the drug search dog
  • haha and then her locker is completely empty except for a picture of VP Clemmons in the shape of a heart
  • man, I wonder how different the trajectory of this show would have been if they'd hired an interesting actor to play Duncan
  • and the fact that they weren't intending to give Logan the growth that the actor ended up kind of earning
  • VM is already doing better than Buffy on diversity, with Weevil and Wallace among its regular cast
  • aw, even Wallace gets his voiceover flashbacks. It's not just for our protagonist!
  • Wallace is so cute with his remote control plane. Be his friend, Veronica!
  • Cliff McCormack! yesssssssssssss I love this guy! and I like his character here way more than his character on iZombie
  • KEITH MARS HI KEITH MARS
  • this post will consist entirely of me flailing excitedly to see all our players
  • "When you go after Jake Kane" - I love that Keith knows that even though he told Veronica to not touch the Kane case, and she agreed, they both know she will anyway
  • and we get the beginnings of the Lilly Kane mystery
innocent flashback Veronica hair: so long, so not-yet-bitter

  • Jason Dohring already acting circles around Duncan 
  • "And your little dog, too!" did someone tell Weevil that this is the episode where Don Lamb tells everyone to go see the wizard?
  • man, poor Veronica. to wake up not knowing what happened, but that something happened
  • "I'm no longer that girl."
  • "Well, I figure I've got a choice. I can either go hang out with the punks who laughed at me, took pictures of me while I was taped to that flagpole, or I can hang out with the chick who cut me down." yay the beginning of Wallace/Veronica friendship!
  • I have to give major props to the society-building going on. Nearly every character who has a line in the pilot is a recurring character - it's a massive network of people the show is putting in place for the series, and it makes things seem realer. We've got deputies and classmates from different social castes, various authority figures, and our flashback gang.
  • "Tonight we eat like the lower middle class to which we aspire!" man, I love Enrico Colantoni. He is a pure hammy delight
  • weird, a song I recognize! Don't fear the reaper, Marses!
  • man, I love Veronica's convoluted fix - frame Logan with a bong, set said bong off in evidence holding, arrange a video switch, and get Weevil's gang off Wallace's back
  • oof, I hate when the Marses aren't honest with each other. You can see how much it hurts both of them.
  • fuck you, Don Lamb. not even going to order a rape kit for the girl who was raped. Just mock her and refuse to go after anyone at the party because they're all rich.
  • hey guys remember videotapes?
  • "But underneath that angry young woman shell, there's a slightly less angry young woman who's just dying to bake me something. You're a marshmallow, Veronica Mars. A twinkie."
  • hey Logan, FUCK YOU. smashing up the lights on a car when you know she probably can't afford to fix it
  • Weevil to the rescue! I love that now that she saved two of Weevil's boys, he's here to help defend her against Logan and his goons. Aw man, he's even going to make sure her car gets fixed.
  • THIS IS SUCH A GOOD PILOT
  • I do love that neither Keith nor Veronica have given up on the Lilly Kane murder. They both know it's not as simple as the Kanes paid to make it look.

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "Tonight we eat like the lower middle class to which we aspire! - Keith Mars
Zelda: "You're a marshmallow, Veronica Mars." - Wallace


Arc/Continuity:

  • Neptune Roll Call: Weevil, Wallace, Logan, Duncan
  • First appearance: Vice Principal Clemmons, Deputy Jerry Sacks, Felix Toombs, Hector, Sheriff Don Lamb, Lianne Mars, Cliff McCormack, Celeste Kane, Lilly Kane, Jake Kane, Abel Koontz, Corny, Inga the receptionist
  • Veronica's Alias: Inga the receptionist


Stats:

Dead Humans - 1
Backup Sighting - 1
Veronica Breaks In - 1
Veronica Tases Someone - 1
Mack Hacks - 0
Who's Your Daddy? - 2
Wallace Does Veronica a Favor - 0
Logan Punches Someone - 0
Dick's Single Entendres - 0
Shenanigans Called - 0
VERONICA WAS RIGHT - 0
VERONICA WAS WRONG - 0

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Now Leaving Sunnydale



Series Stats:
Dead Humans - 186
Dead Undeads - 361
Dead Potentials - 11
Dead Flashbacks - 24
Giles Unconscious - 17
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 29
Buffy Breaks a Door - 30
Evil Reveal - 54
Unevil Reveal - 21
Shenanigans Called - 146
Apocalypse Called - 10


Season Seven Stats (including comparison to previous season):
Dead Humans - 31 (+22)
Dead Undeads - 80 (+20)
Dead Potentials - 11 (new stat)
Dead Flashbacks - 15 (+15)
Giles Unconscious - 0 (-3)
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 1 (-5)
Buffy Breaks a Door - 3 (-2)
Evil Reveal - 8 (+4)
Unevil Reveal - 3 (+2)
Shenanigans Called - 17 (+7)
Apocalypse Called - 2 (+1)

Top Season Stats:
Dead Humans - Season Five: 45
Dead Undeads - Season Seven: 80
Dead Potentials - Season Seven: 11
Dead Flashbacks - Season Seven: 15
Giles Unconscious - Tie: Seasons One, Two, and Three: 4 each
Giles Cleans His Glasses - Tie: Seasons Five and Six: 6 each
Buffy Breaks a Door - Season One: 6
Evil Reveal - Season Two: 17
Unevil Reveal - Tie: Seasons Two and Three: 5 each
Shenanigans Called - Season Two: 26
Apocalypse Called - Tie: Seasons One, Two, and Seven: 2 each


Season Seven certainly upped our body count, taking top place in Dead Undeads, Potentials (fine fine, a contest of one), and Flashbacks, while failing miserably at Giles statistics, since he abandoned us and moved back to pip pip land. We are pleased to see a return to our bitter skepticism, with an uptick in Shenanigans Called. And I think we can all agree that we've ended in triumph if our Dead Undeads count is nearly double that of Dead Humans. Take THAT, First Evil!

Zelda's Thoughts:

I don't know how much I have to say about Season Seven that I haven't already said, honestly. A lot of it reminds me of Season Four, in terms of being set up for one kind of conflict, then meandering around with distractions through the middle of the season, before arriving at a strong enough finish. I wish the Potentials had been either better written in order to justify their distraction from our core Scoobies, or that they, you know, hadn't been A DISTRACTION FROM OUR CORE SCOOBIES. I love that Anya got her own "Fool For Love" origin episode, and hate how much she disappeared into unimportance afterward. I hate how the show made me hate Giles (and hate the writers themselves with the fakeout about his being the First). I hate "Empty Places." I don't much care for Kennedy, though I do like seeing how much healthier Willow's gotten post-dark-and-veiny. I like that Xander actually seems to be approaching functional adulthood even if he's still a bag of tools sometimes. I love Dawn's growth???? This rewatch made me realize I've stopped hating her by the end of Season Seven. I hate Buffy's isolation from the group, though at least I understand why and how it happens. I love the beauty of Buffy finally having freedom, being able to share the weight of saving the world with others so it's not just about she alone saving the world (dying twice is quite enough, thank you). And yes, I enjoyed the Spuffiness that Season Seven gave me, even if it was at the expense of the writers just not knowing how to handle the events of "Seeing Red" or their outcome. And you know what I loved? How Season Seven, knowing it was the show's final season, threw in more shoutouts and throwbacks to earlier seasons than ever before - from invisible loners at school to calling Xander out on "kick his ass" to the Scoobies parting ways before the battle and Giles concluding the world is definitely doomed. That felt like the best kind of fan service, and I'm grateful for it.

Speaking of gratitude, for all its faults (which we've spent the past few years pointing out), I really love Buffy, you guys. I think it's a fantastic and ridiculous show that I can't quite believe exists sometimes, full of dialogue I quote freely to this day, full of characters I love, full of pain and joy and vitality, full of remarkable achievements like "The Body," "Hush," and "Once More, With Feeling." I'm grateful Joss decided to write a musical episode, without which it would have taken much longer for me to get around to watching this show and realizing how special it is. I'm grateful for the friends I've made because of it (especially Daniel!). I'm grateful to you guys for sticking around to read us talking about it. This is basically me:




Daniel's Thoughts:

Ditto.


Zelda's Rebuttal:

You dork.

We'll be back in two weeks with the pilot of Veronica Mars! Be sure to take Backup.