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Veronica Mars

A long time ago, we used to be friends. I would imagine that a vast majority of stuff written about this movie will include that line in there somewhere. But the truth is, a long time ago, we didn't used to be friends. Veronica Mars and I only became friends pretty recently.

Back when the show was on the air, I remember seeing advertisements for it at the mall. I'd heard the basic premise and thought "eh". I had one friend who was really into it, but it was otherwise a pretty small blip on my pop culture radar. I'd hear it mentioned and think "oh yeah, that show" and move on. As time went on, I along with the rest of the world discovered the awesome that is Kristen Bell. Yet my opinion of Mars only turned into "Oh yeah, that show, where Kristen Bell got her start".

Then Kickstarter happened. I don't remember how it came to my attention, but I saw the project on its first day. I'd never seen the show, but knew it had a good reputation. I thought a movie was a worthy cause, and the rewards seemed worth the value to pay for them. I pledged. Soon after the whole thing exploded.

I was kinda lost at first while the whole thing was starting to take off. I'd see casting news posted about "[actor] agreed to reprise their role as [charcater]". Um, okay. Yay? But even if I didn't understand the excitement, it was hard not to get caught up into it.

Finally, at some point over the summer, I stumbled upon a cheap copy of season 1 at Newbury Comics. Game on. I wasn't even thru the first disc before I understood. I was now a marshmallow. I acquired the other two seasons and binged the whole thing in a couple weeks. While part of me was upset with myself for not discovering this sooner, another part thought I timed this pretty well actually. I could get in on and appreciate the hype without having had the disappointment of loving an unfinished show. God knows I've got enough of them (as me and all the other Browncoats in the world shed a tear).

Fast foward a bit, and we've made it. The movie is here. I was at the fan screening in Boston. Went alone, but knew there'd be familiar faces in the crowd. Momentarily considered wearing my Kickstarter tshirt, but knew there'd be a multitude of them. I did enjoy spotting all the "Team [name]" shirts standing in line at the concession stand. I got there a bit later than I'd hoped, but managed to snag one of the last Neptune Reunion tshirts. Only a handful of XL shirts were all that remained, but it's nothing a lil tshirt surgery can't fix. With only ten min to spare, I settled into my unfortunately too far front seat and waited for the magic to begin.

Before I get into it, lemme just make one more clarification on where I stand. I do consider myself a marshmallow, but given that I've only been on this track for less than a year, I'm more of a mini marshmallow. The kind that you put on sweet potato casserole or in your hot cocoa, but not the freeze dried tiny ones that are prepackaged in hot cocoa. I loved the show, but I don't live and breathe it (yet?). I've got most of the basics down. I know the major characters and can recognize minor ones who went on to bigger and better. But I don't remember all the details of everyone's stories, and I'm still formulating an opinion on the Logan vs Piz debate.

I saw an article that suggested the movie felt like a very long episode (in the best way possible). I'd counter that it felt more like a very short season. The mystery hit all the major points that a season arc tends to hit, and even included a couple of quick side mysteries. That may have added slight bit of predictability to the twists and turns, but I didn't care. The gang was back together!

It's like KBell never stopped being Veronica Mars, which became clearer with each snarky line of dialog. God how I love that snarky dialog. I think that's really the best thing for me about the whole series. They did manage to bring back a TON of original cast members, without it feeling too much of a stretch (for the most part). This is where my marshmellowness got tested. Of course I knew (and loved) most of our mains, pretty much anyone who had been in the opening credits for a whole season. There were some secondary charaters I didn't remember, or only had a vague recollection of. The full house behind me would cheer when someone was on screen, and I'd have to rack my brain trying to place them. I don't think it hurt the experience to not know those details, but it does make me wanna rewatch the series soon before a movie rewatch so I can fully appreciate it. Likewise, there were lots of inside jokes thrown into the dialog and such. Some I got. Some I'll have to revisit later.

I do applaud the team for a pretty smooth transition from one medium to the other. Making the leap, especially with such a large time gap, that feels organic instead of forced and managing to keep the cast in tact could not have been easy. I also feel they hit the audience balance pretty well as far as making something the fans will love that new audiences will also enjoy. A casual watcher might have a more superficial experience of the film without having the full context (especially in character relationships), but the actual plot is all self contained. There's a quick recap to start the movie, and I feel that the basics of all returning characters is easily accessible, at least enough to understand their place in the movie. I've already heard some disagreement on that front, and while yes, it would be preferable to watch the series first, I don't think it's a solid requirement. More a strong suggestion.

All I know is I loved the film, and I feel the money I gave Kickstarter was money well spent.

Veronica Mars - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/
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