Tuesday, January 22, 2013

TV Series Review: Veronica Mars (season two)

Through some careful planning I managed to watch the entire second season of Veronica Mars courtesy of the college library I used this past summer for it, although sadly my library has changed their website around so I don't think I can use the inter-library loan system to check out the final season now instead of waiting until May or so. It would just be too easy if I could watch shows that have been out for years and years over a streaming service right?

Veronica Mars Season Two

Summary: It's the beginning of Veronica's senior year and after all of the crazy events of the past year she's put her private work aside. Well, for the time, in a town like Neptune there is always something going on, and usually multiple somethings, so it's only a matter of time before she's back and digging into the seedy underbelly of this messed up town and discovering things that shouldn't even be there.

The Good: More character development for the returning cast which is always a nice thing, although I do feel like Veronica's character arc was rather similar to the one in the first season. Logan, Wallace, and Jackie go through the most but even the smaller characters get a little more fleshed out.  This season was a lot like the first season so this time around it was the details that I appreciated more, like how the show never shames any of it's (teenaged) characters for having sex and never victim blames any of the characters who were raped (although, in browsing the tvtropes page, I'm afraid that one might change next season, crud). And overall I found this season as interesting and engaging as the first season and it even made me realize stuff about my own high school years that I hadn't thought about before. 

The Bad: So at the end of the first season I was so confused if my disc was missing an episode or not that I went to wikipedia and accidentally spoiled myself on the conclusion of the Lily Kane murder trial and I thought "well, at least that won't take too long right?" Nope, it takes them until the end of this season as well to wrap it up and frankly while trials can take a long time in real life they really should've made that one move more speedily. The show also didn't feel quite as tight by the end, looking back on it it had even more large, over-arching plots than the first season did and, even though the show does a pretty good job getting me to suspend my disbelief 90% of the time, some things just got too contrived (one of those things was executive meddling however I've learned) or didn't get addressed as much as it should've. Also, something that's almost a quibble but not quite, it did bug me that the only other girl to appear in the main credits/on the box (Jackie) was someone who spent the first half of the show being an ass and whose personality was almost exclusively defined by her romantic relationship to Wallace (and it sounds like she doesn't come back for the third season, great). She does get much better by the end but I do wish this show had more female characters, it breaks the Bechdal test easily    

The Audio: Nothing really to speak of here, the show keeps the opening and ending themes from the first season, Veronica still has some voice overs and none of the background music really stood out to me so I don't think they added anything to the soundtrack either. Next!

The Visuals: Well, to be honest, there isn't really anything to comment on here. The show  didn't have all the flashbacks/encounters with Lily and they didn't try any tricky camera work or strange filters. The show doesn't really need it now that the supernatural element is gone so as long as everything looks consistent.

Thinking about it I don't think I liked this season quite as much as the first season but I still really enjoyed it, although I'm bracing for disappointment with the third season since I heard that not everything was answered by the end there.