LOOK. I don't want my readers walking around looking like idiots. TWICE this week I heard someone say, "WHO is this 'Veronica Mars' and WHY are they making a movie about her?" This is commonly known as "fashionable ignorance": people who pretend to have never heard of Veronica Mars—even though she's the greatest female teenage detective in the history of humankind! (That's right... suck it, Nancy Drew.)
The Veronica Mars movie will be debuting this Friday, March 14, in AMC theaters across the nation, and simultaneously on video on demand (including Amazon, iTunes, and participating cable and satellite providers). So here's your choice: See it on the big screen or on your couch (in your underpants, while devouring an obscenely large bowl of Cheetos, taffy, and chocolate syrup). I FRANKLY DO NOT CARE. However, you will NOT remain ignorant about Veronica Mars—because I... will... NOT... allow it!!!
And so? Here's the very LEAST you should know about Veronica Mars. LEARN IT! KNOW IT! LIVE IT!
Running from 2004 to 2007, Veronica Mars follows the adventures of the titular teen detective as she solves mysteries at California's Neptune High. Formerly a popular cheerleader, Veronica's fortunes go to shit after the murder of her best friend Lilly Kane and her sheriff father's investigation of the Kane family. Now Neptune High's resident pariah, she obsessively uses the observational skills taught by her single dad to sniff out Lilly's murderer... while solving random student crimes.
THAT IS THE SHORT VERSION. However, it's the details that make VM a cult classic. Not only does Veronica have to contend with a grisly murderer and high-school drama, she's also (a) the victim of a date-rape drug, (b) searching for her missing alcoholic mother, and (c) falling into a tongue-wrestling relationship with Logan Echolls—the school jerk and former boy toy of her murdered best friend!
But don't get it twisted: As much as VM revolves around intrigue, it's just as much about class warfare. The tension here between rich and poor is palpable—and when Veronica is unceremoniously dumped by the "09ers" (wealthy denizens of the 90909 zip code), she acquires a new clique of lower-caste pals: best friend Wallace (the loyal "Watson" to her "Sherlock"), teen computer geek Cindy "Mac" Mackenzie, and the morally questionable "Weevil" (leader of the local Latino motorcycle gang). Veronica's mystery solving abilities are coveted by both the upper and lower classes—and eventually come to the attention of Lilly's murderer... whose plans for Veronica are uncommonly violent, indeed.
And it's this darkness that catapults Veronica Mars to the upper echelon of teen dramas. The snappy noir dialogue, the complicated characterizations, the loss of innocence, and the constant tug-of-war between the haves and the have-nots make this show a brilliant cross between Saved by the Bell and Chinatown. And THAT, my friend, is why the show's fans poured their hard-earned moolah into Kickstarting the Veronica Mars movie AND why it will not be just another ridiculous Charlie's Angels–style remake.
Trust me: You won't have to binge-watch all three seasons of Veronica Mars to "get" the movie. But binge-watch it anyway. It's objectively terrific—and who wants to go through life being "fashionably ignorant," anyway?
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12
10:00 FX THE AMERICANS
FBI agent Stan gets justifiably obsessed with Russian spy Nina—because she’s HOT.
10:00 COM WORKAHOLICS
The guys hatch a new (and almost assuredly unsuccessful) plot to get college girls.
THURSDAY, MARCH 13
8:30 NBC PARKS AND RECREATION
Leslie pushes for a new town slogan—to the endless hilarity of local radio shock jocks.
10:00 ABC SCANDAL
President Fitz thinks he’s prepared for his debate—until his opponent brings up a… SCANDAL!
FRIDAY, MARCH 14
8:00 CW COLIN & BRAD: TWO MAN GROUP
Comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood’s two-person improv show!
10:00 NBC HANNIBAL
Will’s trial begins, and he might not want to use Hannibal Lecter as a character witness.
SATURDAY, MARCH 15
11:00 LIF BRING IT
A controversial ruling by a judge sparks a cheerleading contest riot! YESSSSSS.
SUNDAY, MARCH 16
9:00 FOX COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY
This episode features a visit to “The Hall of Extinction.” Oooh! I want to see the “print media exhibit.”
10:00 NBC CRISIS
Debut! Terrorists kidnap the kids of Washington’s movers and shakers… including the president!
MONDAY, MARCH 17
8:00 ABC DANCING WITH THE STARS
Season premiere! Celebrity has-beens attempt to dance themselves out of “Has-beens-ville.”
TUESDAY, MARCH 18
8:00 ABC MARVEL STUDIOS: ASSEMBLING A UNIVERSE
A behind-the-scenes peek at the superhero flicks and TV shows produced by Marvel. NERDS ASSEMBLE!
10:00 FX JUSTIFIED
Raylan and Boyd once again unite against a common enemy: hillbilly bad guy Dewey Crowe.
What’s this “Twitter” thing people keep talking about? @WmSteveHumphrey