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October 08 2005

Joss Whedon reviews Veronica Mars on DVD for Entertainment Weekly. "Last year, Veronica Mars' best friend was murdered. Some months later, she was drugged at a party and raped in her sleep. Welcome to the funniest and most romantic show on TV..."

Okay. It's official. Joss can do anything. Great review of a great show. In short: overall greatness.
I finally finished watching VM's first season. I stopped watching just before Aly's stint on the show. I thought it was very good. I thought Bell was a fine actress and the show was clever enough. It just wasn't quite clever enough to make me go through the hassle of getting the episodes as my TiVo was pre-occupied with the juggernaut that is Lost.

I screwed up. I love Lost, but I chose the wrong show. The last 6 or 8 episodes of VM season 1 are beyond phenominal. The season finale wraps the threads of season 1 up so well and so cleanly that I imagine the writers of every other show on television would look upon it and bow their heads in shame.
Are there spoilers in this for us Brits who have only seen five episodes so far? Well, those of us who manage to catch it every single day at 6 pm. Grrrr.
Lost and VM playing at the same time are the reason why I'm getting TIVO. How screwed up obsessive genius is that? ;-)

PS: I *heart* Joss. Anyone who praises Galaxy Quest AND Logan in the same sentence has their priorities straight. OK, one extra reason to wear my "Joss is Boss" T-Shirt tonight when I go see Serenity (for the 9th time!)

[ edited by Alanna_Wolff on 2005-10-08 01:08 ]
Well, hubby and I decided to give it another go, mostly based on the enormous buzz and Joss' command...

We've seen the first 3 epis. It's decent. Watchable. Not must-see, yet, but I have hopes. It'll never be Buffy for me, but nothing ever will be.
There are no real spoilers for anything after the first episode in this article. Read on gentle viewer!

[ edited by RiverKillsReavers on 2005-10-08 04:24 ]
No real spoilers? What about that stuff in the description up there? Am I missing something?
Withholding comment.....only seen first 3 eps so far....too soon to judge....withholding comment.....

(Although I do wonder when all this incomparable greatness is supposed to be starting. And like, when it starts being funny and romantic and dramatic and when the guys on there stop being rejects from One Tree Hill and when it stops being a mere 'decent, watchable' wart on the butt of Joss' shows.....)

I know, I know....three eps is too soon to judge. I just can't see it yet.
Grounded, the description is all about stuff that happened before the series starts. All that is learned in the first episode.

Rogue Slayer and EdDantes, just keep watching.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2005-10-08 01:12 ]
That's not actually a spoiler. That's the setup of the show from the word go, and it's background for the everything that follows, so you really can't introduce the show without mentioning it.
Thanks. :) The stuff in the description is all revealed in the first episode anyway. I shall read on with glee..... (Though my current state is not so much "gentle" as "bouncing off the walls"...a happy side effect of spending four hours today with our BDHs :D )
Ed and Rogue, believe me, it grows. I know when I first watched Logan especially, I thought he just a one-note, jerk teen guy character, but just wait....show's got layers. If it doesn't suck you in, I shall be very surprised.
I know, I know....three eps is too soon to judge. I just can't see it yet.

Patience is rewarded, trust me. Although I'm only halfway through the first season, it does improve over those first few episodes where it is just a "Nancy Drew" TV series.

And from all I've heard the twists and turns come thick and fast beyond what I've seen. But I can totally understand your skepticism at this early stage of your viewing.
Well, I'd planned on just jumping in to the second season, so I read up on the first season. So I know all that happens, therefore the appeal is not in the mystery for me, but I'm hoping the characters grow on me.

But I've made Ed commit to watching all of season 1 before we decide if it's our thing or not. I keep thinking that if I'd only seen a few epis of season one, I'd never have been hooked.
Yeah I've only seen the first five episodes as well. Top notch telly apart from Vericona smiles far too much and the credits are somewhere stuck in bad '80s sitcom hell (i.e. Saved By The Bell).
Well, I'll tell you my short tale. I tuned into the VM premire, and stopped about 15 minutes in, because for some reason I was expecting something different. But then, deciding to give it another shot, because I wasn't watching much else on TV and I thought it wasn't fair to not give the whole episode a shot, I acquired it the following day.

And when I learned that Veronica was raped, and saw that it went to that shady dark place, I not only got Veronica as a character (why she was the way she was), I also was blown away that a show with such a typical-looking surface, had that kind of stuff going on underneath.

So I figured if they were willing to do that, I knew they probably had the guts to do other, great dramatic things you don't usually see on a "teen show" airing on network TV. Then throughout the weeks, the mystery weaved its spell on me, and I liked trying to piece it together.

Then there was the humor, the character relationships, the visual style of the show...it was really distinguishing itself. And I became attached. Engaged, even. They wrapped up the plot brilliantly. I was a little concerned about Season 2, and the rewatchability of Season 1, but I enjoyed it all over again.

Plus, Season 2 looks to topple Season 1, at least at this stage, so I ordered myself the DVDs, relieved. This is a show I'll wanna hang onto, and look back on.

Now maybe it'll end up not being your cup o' tea, and that's cool. Hope it charms you, though.

ETA: Simon, Veronica smiles too much? Hehe. You're in for a ride.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2005-10-08 01:38 ]
Heh, I like that the credits are slightly cheesy, it adds to the charm.
Wow, great review. That man can write.

No commentary? How is that possible these days?
Wow, great review. That man can write.


Yeah, maybe he should try writing something more than just a review one of these days. Might be succesfull, who knows.

I agree on the no commentary thing. Seems weird.
Warner video offered the Veronica Mars producers whether they wanted to release a basic set before season 2 started, or a special features packed release in January, they felt it was important to get the set out there before the new season, and so chose the former, and then Warner pushed it back a couple weeks, shame, it would have been nice to have some special features.

And Joss is writing magazine reviews now, jeez, is there anything that guy can't do.
Ghost Spike, I read your post while I was previewing. You said it much better than I did. I can't wait for my copy of this season and S2 is getting off to a good start.
That's the funniest review I've ever read and I haven't gotten past the 1st paragraph yet.
The DVDs come out Tuesday! Already ordered and very eager to watch the episodes...for like the 5th time!
When does it start getting good? Around the 8th or 9th episode I realized I was owned. And then I looked back, and the goodness had been there all along, but hadn't been quite ready to reveal itself.
So is somebody getting Joss a copy of Battlestar Galactica? I'd love to hear his take on that.
Hee I preordered my DVDs months ago. I loved opening my EW magazine and seeing that article by Joss. I lurve him, and Veronica. He sees the show a lot like I do, this sums up my love for the show in a way that I never could in one sentence..

Nobody is who you think they are. Everyone shifts, betrays, reveals--through their surprising humor as well as their flaws.

Bravo Joss, Bravo!! :)

[ edited by Bspalek on 2005-10-08 08:30 ]
Um, Bspalek? I don't think the quote is "everyone sh*ts..." lol.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2005-10-08 03:49 ]
So is somebody getting Joss a copy of Battlestar Galactica? I'd love to hear his take on that.


Dude, seriously. I want Rob Thomas to check it out, too! I love BSG. It's pretty much tied with VM as the best show on television right now.

Oh, Winamp just gave me "Passacaglia" yaaaay.
Bell is most remarkable not for what she brings (warmth, intelligence, and big funny) but for what she leaves out. For all the pathos of her arc, she never begs for our affection. There is a distance to her, a hole in the center of Veronica's persona. Bell constantly conveys it without even seeming to be aware of it.


I love Joss Whedon. I would propose to him.

Oh wait, I already did.

I'm glad that didn't upset my boyfriend. Anyway, what I'm getting at here is that Joss has pinned here what I love about Veronica and what I love about his shows. I said fairly recently of "Joss's vision" that it has something to do "with the bizarre isolation I feel, even in the midst of amazing people I love. And how sometimes those people are capable of making that isolation not matter, and that's the best thing ever."

Mal's "Everybody dies alone" resonates with this theme for me, and it's odd how comforted I am by other people sharing in my isolation.

Okay. That was, um, a slightly irrelevant treatise.

WOO! JOSS!
Wow...I really cannot wait to watch Veronica Mars now...really...

But why did they have to go and release the DVDs after S2 started? Now I have to, like, do some illegal downloading stuff, gorram it.
I havn't checked out the second ep of VM second season yet, but I can't wait to catch it on Saturday. I thought the show was pretty amazing from the pilot, but it totally grabbed me with that poker game episode with Logan and Weevil. :)

Oh... and in terms of Battlestar Galactica, not only is it my favorite show on television, but it's second season has blown away the immense quality of the first, and the midseason finale .... omg.... possibly one of the best cliffhanger finales ever.
Love Battlestar Galactica as well... Gosh, if Joss starts reviewing that other favorite show of mine I may actually die of contentment! (too many good things...) ;-)
OK now I'm fantasizing about a regular Joss review in EW... Or he could totally alternate with Stephen King on the last page.
Ok... too. much. happiness. again... Must go watch VM and Serenity and feel some pain already! ;-)
Simon, really? You didn't like the credits?

I've only seen the last 4 or 5 episodes in season 1, so I'm looking forward to all the yumminess of the DVDs. It will be interesting watching it all for the first time knowing how things actually end. I'm sad there will be no commentary.

Geez, Joss..what can you NOT do? Let's throw him a rolling pin and see if he can bake.

On another note....just saw our trailer (the one with the reviews) during Nip / Tuck. Wish I would see it more often.
I can't wait to see Joss on Veronica's 6th episode! And it's not just because I want to make an icon out of it.
VM and Supernatural are my two favorite shows right now. Imo, both are better than Lost, though I still enjoy Lost. By epi 4 both brothers on Supernatural had been fleshed out more than any of the characters on Lost had been in a full season.

And I have to confess both Logan and Dean are rather Spikish. *sigh* I really miss Spike.
I've enjoyed Supernatural, although I don't think it's as good as Lost. It's kind of X-Files lite with two likeable leads, even if I don't know enough about them for my tastes.

It has great potential.

[ edited by rabid on 2005-10-08 04:31 ]
From Joss' review, re: Kristen Bell's performance:
It's a star turn with zero pyrotechnics, and apart from the occasionally awkward voice-over, it's a teeny bit flawless.

The voice-overs were a huge turn-off when I watched the first three or four episodes. Huge. I've endured robotic Liz's (Shiri Appleby) insipid narrations on Roswell and mostly enjoyed Keri Russell's tape recorded penpal messages on Felicity, so I've seen/listened to a range of them, but I think I'm sick of it at the moment. And as I've mentioned in a previous Veronic Mars thread, I've gotten tired of revisiting highschool as well (23 here, not enough distance from it yet, but I seem to keep watching at least one teen show).

But god. damn. it. Joss! Fine, I'll at least rent VM. Soon. It definitely gets a second shot now. Before I was on the fence about it.
This is a show that definitely got better as the season went on. I couldn't fathom where all the praise in the beginning was coming from - it seemed like an okay show with potential but all the BtVS comparisons drove me nuts. By the last half of the season and the finale it was a great show. So far the first couple of episodes of this season have been fantastic too. So yeah, now I can see the BtVS comparison and I think VM is on par with BtVS season two as a great season but still too soon for me to say it's as good as Buffy. Let me watch this season and see where it all goes. But definitely great television and definitely worth the watch. Just make sure you stick with it past the first half of the season because it really, really ties everything nicely together in the end and you suddenly see why it's a great show.
pat32082, I guess not. Changed it! Thanks :)

[ edited by Simon on 2005-10-08 10:47 ]
I don't get why people say the show grows slowly. I loved the pilot and was hooked from there. I haven't even seen the second half of season one (though read all the scripts) or the start of season two and it's still my favorite show. Different strokes. Get the DVDs. You really don't have to love every beat because the show is so dense there's a different one coming in a few seconds. And it does all add up.

I love Joss' review and hope this becomes a trend in EW and the like. All the best book reviews have authors reviewing each other's books, why not T.V. and film makers?

p.s. I can't make the bold font go away. Is something stuck?

p.p.s. I thought I tried that, anyway there's no tags in the edit function, thanks esg :}

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2005-10-08 10:40 ]
I don't get why people say the show grows slowly. I loved the pilot and was hooked from there.


Same here, dreamlogic. The pilot blew me away. I identified with Veronica from the start.

Btw, I had to close the bold tag.
They need to give Joss a guest spot on that last page closing column they have, it would so rock.
Stephen King's stuff on there is just tired, old and bad.
I didn't mean to say it wasn't good in the beginning or anything. It was. And the pilot was fantastic. But in terms of character development, Veronica and Keith start as the most fully developed characters--as far as seeing their different sides--and it takes a little bit for the other characters to follow suit.

Plus, the mystery does grow, getting deeper and more complex and more intriguing down the line.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2005-10-08 15:15 ]
OK, that review made me want to see Veronica Mars. No, I *have* to see it.
I'm also in the "loved it from the pilot" camp. I could pretty much tell it was going to be my favourite new show of last season after the 1st episode and I'm glad to say I wasn't wrong. Didn't quite expect it to overtake everything else and actually become my favourite show (that's on the air mind, it still hasn't managed to get near the holy trinity).
In my opinion, Veronica Mars and House are the only "can't miss" shows on the air right now. I'm on vacation this coming week, and I plan to use some of that that time for a Season 1 VM marathon. :) I hope that those on the fence will watch the first season from beginning to end and see what all the fuss is about.
Maybe in response to the no commentary on DVD thing, a downloadable MP3 commentary has now popped up on Rob Thomas' website for the pilot... go here for downloading instructions:

TV Shows on DVD

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