on 6 November 2005
This is easily the best programme on television this year, topping every offering from every country. It got broadcast (and subsequently screwed) by LivingTV, who bought the rights to it, only to stick it in a daily 6PM timeslot. That very timeslot suggests that Veronica Mars is a show that can only be appreciated by the young teenage audience. Wrong.
Summing up the basic premise of the show sounds misleadingly, well...lame, that of a high school student that acts as a private investigator in her spare time. I guess telling you that Paris Hilton shows up in the second episode won't help much either.
The precursor to the plot of the initial season is this; Veronica Mars lives in the town of Neptune, a town consisting of the extremely wealthy and the marginalized lower classes. There is little middle class here, but a lot of friction.
Veronica had it all: she was one of the popular kids, with a much sought-after boyfriend and a happy home environment. Her father was sheriff.
Then disaster strikes several times before the first episode. Her best friend is murdered - her father accuses the family of a cover up. He loses his job as sheriff and the Mars family have to move to a miserable two bedroom flat on the bad side of town while father Keith makes his money in the PI business. Days later, her mother leaves them in the night. To top it all, Veronica is drugged at a party and wakes up knowing something terrible happened to her.
So it's a typical "fall from grace" story, only it's incredibly well written and often has echoes of the film noir style of directing. The acting too, is always faultless, from the incredible main actor Kristen Bell right down to the supporting actors.
Many have called it the "spiritual successor" to Joss Whedon's masterful Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They'd be right too. Each episode peerlessly interweaves a stand-alone storyline in with the overall season arc of finding the killer of Veronica's friend.
So buy this. It has everything you could hope for in a top-notch drama mystery series. Flashbacks, passion, laugh out loud comedy and emotion that will pull on your heart strings. Also, the main mystery of the season is brilliantly concluded in the finale, so their is a definite conclusion and no attempt to string the watcher out forever.
Take a leap of faith and trust a random amazon writer you will never meet, and buy this today.
Here's a chance to catch the best new show of the 2004-2005 TV season - ratings challenged Veronica Mars. While the ratings are low, it has a loyal following for a very good reason.
In the seaside town of Neptune, California, there are the haves and the have-nots. You're either one or the other with no middle ground. Veronica used to be part of the popular click. But that was before her best friend Lily was murdered, her rich boyfriend Duncan dumped her, and her father lost his job as the town Sheriff because of his handling of Lily's murder investigation. While her dad opened a PI office, her mom split for parts unknown, leaving the two to cope with the changes in town.
Because of her station as a former popular girl, Veronica doesn't fit into either crowd. Fortunately, the detective skills she's learned from her dad help her make friends. Seems like classmates are constantly coming to her to help with little things like bomb scares or missing pets. Even teachers turn to her in times of crisis, like false accusations of statutory rape. Along the way, Veronica begins to pick up pieces of the puzzle of Lily's murder. Will she piece them all together and figure out who really done it?
I tuned into the premier because several friends were planning to watch as well. I was hooked from the start. The show is smart with decent mysteries each week. The clues to the season long mystery of Lily's death were tantalizing as well. The show is definitely shown through Veronica's eyes, with her voiceover narrating events as well. Veronica has a sarcastic sense of humor that livens things up and keeps the often-serious storyline from becoming too depressing. Newcomer Kristen Bell does an outstanding job in the roll, believably hitting all the peaks and valleys each week. It is rather funny to see Zachery Ty Bryant and Jonathan Taylor Thomas show up in guest rolls as high schoolers.
The DVD was rushed out to help build interest in the currently playing season two. As such, the list of extras is small, limited to some deleted scenes and a season long gag reel.
Some of the plot lines are for the more mature, but teens and adults will love this smart, noir drama series. If you haven't watched yet, this is the perfect chance to find out what you've been missing.
Okay. Okay okay. I searched relentlessly on Google for an answer as to whether or not the Region 1(American)Veronica Mars DVDs play on any UK DVD player, but all I found were people saying "I hear" they play on them, or "someone told me so".
Well, I took the plunge and brought both series from Amazon.com. Also, upon receiving the series(just now), I wanted to give UK Veronica Mars fans the answers to their region questions. Thus, for you, I did an extensive test.
I tested all six discs of both DVD sets on 3 very different DVD players and two very different TVs.
Firstly, the TV issue doesn't exist. Considering one TV is a 2005 Widescreen Sony TV and the other is a 1999 Matsui portable combo, both worked fine and the picture looked beautiful. It all worked fine with the TVs, this won't be a problem for you.
Secondly, I tested it on each DVD player I have; an original XBox, a slimline PS2, and a really fickle Sony DVD player that normally only plays Region 2 DVDs, not even copied CDs or DVDs. All are UK Region 2, with no multi-region stuff or anything.
Well, it WORKED ON EVERY ONE OF THEM. All 12 discs of the first two series works on every one of my Region 2(Uk) DVD players and TVs. No problems AT ALL.
This is awesome! Literally no problems occured with anything; no need to wait for a Region 2 release, save yourself a LOT of money and import them.
So there you have it; Veronica Mars, series 1 and 2 work on Region 2 Dvd players. Nobody gave me a good answer to my Region questions, but I just did it for you. Import the "Region 1" Dvds, because there really is no boundary on them.
I'm now off to watch the series. Enjoy! I hope this guide helps; buy with certainty.
on 29 January 2006
I think this series can best be described as charming and fantastic. If you're in to gritty 'realistic' shows to the exclusion of anything else this may not exactly be your thing.
The obvious connection to series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dead Like Me, and other 'teen' TV series is often made. Veronica Mars is a smart good-looking girl who knows how to look after herself, and is somewhat of an outsider. The series has story arcs that continue over the whole season as well as ones that wrap up neatly with each episode (if fact, there are a number of cliff hanger endings). A common theme Veronica Mars picks up on is how important friends are.
In other respects though it is very different from series like Buffy. Veronica doesn't have any special abilities, and her world, though fantastical, is not supernatural. This makes her character a lot more interesting as she has to rely on her wits and not brute force to get the job done.
The only other thing I would add that comes to mind is that this show seems to have the same charm about it that shows such as Buffy or Dead Like Me did, and if you go back a bit further The Avengers or The Saint did. (Surprising how similar to a female version of 'Simon Templar' Veronica Mars is - she's good looking, dispenses witty comments on a regular basis, looks out for the little man, the authorities usually have a problem with her but also tend to wind up needing her help, she manages to impersonate people effortlessly, and of course, she's very clever).
The only real problem with this series is the fact it was scheduled on UK Living as apposed to a terrestrial TV channel that would have allowed better viewing figures. Also, being on Region 1 doesn't help people wanting to watch.
However, assuming you can play R1 discs, this is a great buy.
on 14 May 2006
Ok, I haven't seen this show air in the UK, as I don't have cable or sky where I live, and only decided to see the show on the recommendation of other people who kindly didn't give me any spoilers, they just said, "see this show, you will love it". How right they were!! This is a fantastic show, extremely well-written, great acting, engaging storylines and characters that you fall in love with from the beginning. The end of season had me at the edge of my seat!! And, it is completely re-watchable, which is a huge bonus for me.
Own this DVD with absolute confidence that you will love watching it and will certainly support it to continue by purchasing (and not become another great show that got cancelled). I cannot WAIT until the second season DVD release.
on 16 January 2006
Watched Veronica Mars on UK Living TV in Autumn 2005 (terrible timeslot -6:05pm - but I made the effort) It's a fantastic show with twists and turns in every episode and one of the best season finales ever - better than Lost Season One finale.
It's such a shame this programme is not being shown by a bigger channel at a more accessible time. Living are currently (Jan 06) showing it on Sundays, again at 6:05pm, I just wish Sky One or Channel 4 had bought it.
I haven't bought the DVD because I don't have a multi-region player, if it came out on Region 2 I would buy it without hesitation. Unfortunately a Region 2 release doesn't seem likely because not many people have heard of Veronica Mars, because it's only on a small channel at an inconvenient time of day.
Please somebody tell me there WILL be a Region 2 release?!?!
on 14 January 2006
I am over 65 years old and I love "Veronica Mars". It is a marvellous show that would be sure to attract a wide following in the UK if only it were screened on a major channel at a sensible time. Instead, as usual with any show that has teenage protagonists, it has been shunted into the kiddie slot! This show has wit, pace, good characterisation and some terrific acting from its, mainly young, cast. Don't wait for British broadcasters to come to their senses - buy the DVD now. I've lent my DVD out several times and everyone has raved about it. This is one of my all-time favourite TV shows - and I've been watching TV since 1953 so have a lot to compare it with. If you are a teenager buy this DVD and lend it to your granny - you might never get it back!
on 28 February 2008
It is difficult to summarise this series, but I'll try.
Once upon a time, Veronica Mars had it all. Her father was the local sheriff; she was dating Duncan Kane, one of the richest boys in town; and she was the best friend and confidante of Lilly Kane, Duncan's sister. But then Lilly Kane was murdered and Veronica's life fell apart. Her father was voted out after bungling the murder investigation and they now live in a shabby flat on the wrong side of town, existing on the living he makes from his P.I. business. And when the town is Neptune, the wrong side can be a dark and dangerous place. Ostracised by the people she once counted as her friends, Veronica does her best to survive high school and help her dad, all the while focused on (some might say obsessed by) her own personal mission: to find out who really murdered Lilly Kane.
As you can see from this brief summary, this is no ordinary teen series and Veronica Mars is no ordinary character. With her wit, cynicism and cute blonde appearance, it is easy to see why she has been compared to the iconic Buffy, though I would argue that Veronica is much more bitter than early Buffy. Neptune is a corrupt town. There are very few decent people. Everyone has a motive, everyone has a price. In all of this, Veronica has two people that she can rely on: her father and her new friend, Wallace Fennel. Keith Mars is probably one of the best fictional fathers ever created, up there with Atticus Finch, and his mutual love and tenderness with Veronica often provide a necessary light and a balance to the generally dysfunctional and damaged parent-child relationships that you see with the other characters. Wallace is just fun, a good counterpoint to Veronica's darkness and jagged edges, providing the support and grounding she needs. Then there's Logan Echolls, seemingly a text-book bad boy who gradually reveals more layers than you'd think possible; Mac, the Q to Veronica's Bond; and the arrogant Don Lamb, replacement Sheriff and Veronica's rival in the investigation stakes.
Apart from the witty script and interesting characters, what is most appealing about this series is its refusal to gloss over the darker side of life. Unlike "The O.C." and other American series aimed at teeangers, "Veronica Mars" refuses to be sentimental. The teenagers can be nasty and cruel, the adults weak and self-serving. Bad things can (and do) happen to good people. The dead do not come back to life. One of the most poignant scenes in the whole series comes right at the end, with Veronica and Lilly lying on lilos in a pool of water lilies.
"This is how it's always going to be, right?" says Veronica.
Lilly looks at her. "You know how things are going to be now, don't you? You have to... Don't forget about me, Veronica."
You won't forget Veronica Mars easily. Buy this series and be amazed.
on 11 December 2012
For those who are worried about this being the European import I wanted to reassure you that this plays in English perfectly. The packaging is in German but everything else is in English. Perfect boxset and the only way that we in the UK can own this excellent series.
First things first, this isn't Nancy Drew.
Veronica Mars is a dark look at a community divided by wealth. It may be billed as a teen show but its not fluffy entertainment like The O.C or its contemporaries. The first season centres on the murder of Lilly Kane, Veronica's best friend and daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Neptune. As Veronica tries to prove her ex-sheriff father's hunch that the convicted killer is not actually the murderer, she also tackles mysteries for students at her school.
It all sounds a bit silly but it's really not! The flashbacks to Lilly's murder are disturbing and often graphic which gives the series a darker edge than most teen shows. It's not always moody though, this series is devilishly funny and some of the exchanges (especially between Veronica and son of a movie star, Logan Echolls) are hilarious.
Kirsten Bell is outstanding as Veronica and the rest of the cast are equally brilliant. If you missed this in its original UK broadcast on Living (and who can blame you, there was no promotion at all), then get this DVD and watch away. Superb!