Did you know I’m a total #MARShmallow?! If you’re wondering where this is going, it’s not a weird cult. Well, only a little. Marshmallows are fans of the hit and cult-classic show Veronica Mars.
Originally airing back in 2004, the first there seasons captivated audiences. When the show was axed in 2007, after surviving one season of the UPN to CW switch. The sudden series finale robbed fans of a complete ending, as season three ended on a cliffhanger. Thankfully, the creative time crowdfunded a feature film to conclude the series, which was released in 2014.
As an avid fan who watched the final season during its live airing, I was shocked when it was cancelled. The modern twist on noir with a female, snarky protagonist is hilarious, on point, and has some good lessons to boot. Each episode held its own little mystery to solve, with clues accruing throughout the season for a season-wide mystery arc. It was enchanting, with moments of suspense and a cast of unique characters that were just a joy to watch. As a true marshmallow, I’ve seen all the Veronica Mars things- original series, feature film, and even an online only future opener that involved Veronica leaving her crime-filled hometown of Neptune, California, for the East coast and intelligence officer training. I loved it all.
When I heard Hulu was doing a revival, I was excited because Kristen Bell was on board to be Veronica Mars again, and I trust her with the franchise. If she’s on board, so am I! When they released it a week early, I was ecstatic…until I went to watch it and discovered our Hulu free trial had already ended. The horror! Of course, Hulu couldn’t just tell me my trial had ended. Instead, they gave me a weird error warning that said VM wasn’t included in my subscription. Once again, Hulu makes things harder than they have to be. But I got it fixed, and finally got to watch season 4, episode 1.
There aren’t any spoilers here, and this post is only reviewing season 4, episode 1.
A long time ago, we used to be friends… just hearing that familiar refrain put a smile on my face. Veronica’s voiceover returns, and it’s like jumping right back into conversation with an old friend you haven’t seen for ages. The show seamlessly moves on, without focusing on the past. This is great for new viewers, as you don’t need to watch all the past episodes to enjoy the new ones.
This season sparks a new season-long mystery arc that the viewer gets to try and solve along with Veronica. Every new character is a potential suspect, with old and new characters alike.
The tone of the show is the same, with Veronica as the underdog private investigator all grown up. The film noir style is still present, with the same sarcastic comments and witty banter. Veronica’s dry wit is in practically every scene, and the characters play off of each other perfectly.
Some new characters include big names like Patton Oswalt and JK Simmons. We see Patton Oswalt as a beleaguered pizza delivery man in our first episode, and promos and trailers promise some screen time for Simmons. Oswalt does a great job of adjusting to the noir theme of the show. Of course my favorite stand-out star is Kristen Bell, who has clearly mastered quirky characters and speedy dialogue.
At least with episode 1, the new season of Veronica Mars finds the perfect balance between old and new; the nostalgia is downplayed in favor of continuing to move forward in Veronica’s life.
With a run time just shy of 40 minutes, these episodes are great whether you’re watching them one at a time or binging. With just eight episodes, you’ll have to choose which tactic to take: binge and then be left wanting more, or take it slow and savor. Either way, I’m hoping Veronica continues to find new platforms and new ways to show us how to solve mysteries.
Veronica Mars seasons 1-4 are streaming on Hulu, with the film available on HBO.