I know, I know, I really missed the boat on this one. But Veronica Mars is kind of awesome. Like my beloved Arrested Development, it was a fiercely loved cult show that only made it three seasons. And I'll admit, even though I read glowing reviews of the show, I didn't really give it a chance because I was sick of getting really into shows that were likely to end up cancelled. And now I'm sad that I never gave the show a chance because it's really, really good.
I've only finished season 1, so I can't yet speak to the quality of seasons 2 or 3 except to say that I did see part of the episode from season 2 with Michael Cera (George Michael from the aforementioned Arrested Development) but didn't understand any of the reoccurring storylines. But season 1 was awesome. It was written way better than a show about a high school girl cum detective had any right to be. Just awesome.
I think what elevated Veronica Mars above your typical high school TV show is that it wasn't a teen soap, nor did it try to solve the problems facing American youth (Beverly Hills, 90210, I'm talking about you). It took a completely absurd idea - high school junior as hardened gumshoe - but kept the rest of the show grounded in reality. The protagonist was Sam Spade bitching about algebra homework. Theoretically, this shouldn't work, which means that it was totally awesome.
I know a lot of people thought it was highly influenced by Buffy, and I can't really speak to that as I never could get on that train. But I can definitely see the influence of Twin Peaks, and in a much better way than the train wreck (that hopefully will no longer be a train wreck this season although thanks to the writers' strike, who knows what we'll see) that currently is Lost.
And seriously people, Kristen Bell is all kinds of awesome. Love her!
In the revisionist history of my mind, I like to pretend that I was as cool as Veronica in high school, above all the bullshit and pretentiousness that came with having to deal with the assholes that were my classmates. I wasn't. But I'm glad that Rob Thomas created Veronica Mars and gave me the opportunity to pretend.