~If you're a big television fan, you've probably at least heard about the little show that could, Veronica Mars, not least because its creator, Rob Thomas, and the show's original cast (including Veronica herself, Kristen Bell) recently took the internet and entertainment biz by storm with a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign to fund a movie spinoff (which wrapped production in July and could be released as early as February 2014).
Veronica Mars—about a teenage private investigator by the name of, you guessed it, Veronica Mars—was a cult classic from its very first season, during which fans launched a campaign to make sure it was renewed for a second. Leading up to a decision about Season 3, fans famously got very organized and hired a plane to carry a banner pleading for a pickup by new network CW (the result of a WB-UPN merger).
(Editor's Note: For more on the Veronica Mars movie, check out the post Judgment Day: Will Veronica Mars Choose Piz or Logan?, and look for a review of the novel Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line, which picks up right where the movie left off.)
Why all the fuss over a series that sounds a lot like a modern-day take on Nancy Drew? For starters, the show's mysteries—both season-long and weekly—were always well plotted and often involved characters you cared about, whether they were central figures in the show or, sometimes even more fun, secondary characters who popped in every now and then. It doesn't get much more compelling than a heroine investigating her best friend's murder, and her own rape. But more than plotting, the show also had going for it some incredibly witty dialogue, fantastic pop culture references, a cool noir feel, star-making performances by Kristen Bell and Amanda Seyfried, and—surprise, surprise—wicked-hot chemistry between Bell's Veronica and Jason Dohring's Logan Echolls, originally intended to be merely the “obligatory psychotic jackass.”
But every fan knows this story by now, and I don't want to ruin it for anyone new to the show. Suffice to say, the on-again/off-again pairing of Logan and Veronica (dubbed LoVe by the fans of the 'ship) is a huge part of why fans were so very eager to fund the movie and see the series return in film form, and I, for one, cannot wait to see where they—and the rest of the Neptune High/Hearst College crowd—are 10 years later, where the movie will pick up.
Before their story continues in Veronica Mars: The Movie in early 2014, let's look back at 10 moments that have defined the great ship Logan/Veronica—so far.
10. Their last scene—for now. (“The Bitch is Back,” 3x20) While Logan and Veronica had been broken up for a while in the Season 3 finale (which also served as the series finale), and Veronica was actually dating someone else (her best friend Wallace's roommate, Piz), they had a charged last scene together. Long story very short, when Veronica—who usually lives by the rule “someone always has to pay”—declines to go after a guy who has seriously wronged her because he's “connected connected” (as in, linked to the mob), Logan thrashes him publicly. Veronica seems a little please despite herself; Logan has proved he'll risk pretty much anything to take care of her, even as a friend. (If only he'd go about it in a less violent way...but maybe that's where the movie will show he's grown and matured?)
9. “She's a keeper.” (“Ruskie Business,” 1x15) The antagonism between Logan and Veronica first took a hit when Veronica agreed to look for Logan’s mother, who may or may not have jumped off a bridge (turns out she did). These two working with rather than against each other on stakeouts and intel gathering was certainly a sight to behold. The charm! The witty banter! The chemistry! You couldn’t look away. And when Logan finally had confirmation of his mom’s suicide? Veronica was there for him, and a bond formed that day, paving the way for a potentially epic ’ship. Which it totally is.
8. Logan gets himself arrested to beat up Mercer. (“Spit and Eggs,” 3x10) I probably shouldn't like this scene as much as I do, but there's just something about Logan avenging Veronica, even when they're broken up (and this breakup was HIS idea!). I feel like this scene was also Logan kind of apologizing to Veronica for defending Mercer at the risk of their relationship? Or maybe I'm just making that up.
7. Veronica cradles Logan (“Normal Is the Watchword,” 2x01); Logan cradles Veronica (“Not Pictured,” 2x22) These scenes are perfect book ends (one in the Season 2 premiere, its mirror image in the Season 2 finale), and I love it like whoa. The give-and-take of the Veronica/Logan relationship is perfectly illustrated here: Veronica cares for Logan when he needs it, after being attacked on the bridge, and then Logan comforts Veronica when she thinks her father died in the plane explosion that Beaver orchestrated.
6. Logan talks Veronica down from shooting Cassidy. (“Not Pictured,” 2x22) For all that Logan can be that psychotic jackass, he does recognize that violence isn't always the answer. After Cassidy Cassablancas (aka Beaver) reveals he not only blew up a bus full of kids but also raped Veronica and blew up a plane (she thought was) carrying her father, Veronica turns Cassidy's own gun against him. But Logan intercedes, telling Veronica to put the gun down, repeating over and over “You're not a killer, Veronica.” I think he does this for a few reasons: He's still in shock that his best friend's little brother could have done all this, he knows Veronica could never live with herself, and he knows he couldn't live with himself either if he doesn't stop her. This scene kickstarts the reunion of Logan and Veronica as a couple, it shows how well they balance each other out, and it demonstrates that Logan will always come when Veronica calls (or texts).
5. “If you don't like my girlfriend, you can leave.” (“A Trip to the Dentist,” 1x21) Logan calling Veronica his girlfriend in front of their whole class, basically, was a HUGE turning point for the LoVe ship. Go big or go home, right? That Duncan found out that way too was unfortunate, but it had to happen sooner or later.
4. The Sadie Hawkins dance (“Plan B,” 1x17) Logan and Veronica dancing! How could I not include this one? Veronica rescuing Logan from the pesky G-g-gia and her endless talking was cute enough, but that she guided him into a dance was THE BEST. They sway together awkwardly at first and can't make eye contact, but then they sort of melt into each other and DAMN. They make a gorgeous couple.
3. First kiss. (“Weapons of Class Destruction,” 1x18) This one’s pretty obvious, right? Here was the lightning-fast transition from enemies to lovers. While it took a lot of people by surprise, in hindsight it’s so clear that the show had been building toward this for a while. All their anger was masking an intense attraction that basically combusted on screen. If you weren’t already shipping it, you likely were after that kiss at the Camelot Motel.
2. Last makeup—for now. (“Show Me the Monkey,” 3x11) Logan and Veronica broke up and made up a few times in the show and especially in Season 3, but this makeup was by far my favorite. They danced around each other for a while, but it was actually a speech from Piz about recognizing when you really have something good going (versus just going through the motions) that spurred Veronica into knocking on Logan's hotel room one night and kissing the hell out of him. Logan kissed her back and kicked the door shut and that was that. SWOON.
1. “I thought our story was epic, you and me. … Spanning years and continents, lives ruined, blood shed, EPIC.” (“Look Who's Stalking,” 2x20) Arguably THE most memorable—not to mention quotable—Logan/Veronica scene in the show, the “epic” speech gave shippers a renewed sense of hope for reconciliation after a lot of ugliness between them in early Season 2. Probably didn’t hurt (or hurt in the best way?) that Logan couldn’t remember his speech the next morning, driving shippers WILD with the heartbreak and ratcheting up the (delicious) drama.
What did I get right, and which moments did I miss? What scenes do you think every LoVe fan must see? What is YOUR #1 scene?
And who will join me in squeeing over Veronica Mars: The Movie teaser trailer?
As mentioned, the Veronica Mars fandom is pretty badass, and they've created some impressive fan works. I can recommend a few great fic roundups (just let me know in the comments) and here are some of my favorite fan vids these days:
Plus, this one, with clips from the first Veronica Mars: The Movie trailer
Heather Waters is the site manager of H&H, and a 24/7 fangirl. Tweet her @redline_