Veronica Mars made its long-awaited 2nd season debut on Wednesday. Well, long awaited by the approximately 2 million people who watched it last year. (Hey, I did my part, screening an episode for my Women’s Studies Class, under the thinly veiled excuse that it would lead to a discussion about feminist role models in the 21st Century.) So only 2 million regular viewers, but almost all of them television fanatics. The people I know who watched last year were mostly my friends who watch a lot of television and spend a lot of time thinking about television. The type of people who make almost daily visits to Television Without Pity and sign petitions when a beloved show might be cancelled. (I’m not judging. I may have signed as many Save Veronica petitions as Stop Bush ones last spring.) I’m willing to guess, in addition, that a large percentage of Veronica fans were also Buffy loyalists. The show certainly plays to this fan base, first bringing on Willow (Alyson Hannigan) last year and then introducing Cornelia (Charisma Carpenter) last night.
Why is this show so good? Because like Buffy at its best, it features lightening-fast dialogue, clever pop culture references, moments that are hysterically funny followed by ones that are heartbreakingly sad, and, best of all, characters that are complex, flawed, and multi-dimensional. Last year, the show made you love characters you once hated; at the same time, Veronica herself, while totally cool, has a manipulative streak that her best friend is willing to point out, even as he helps her. Plus Veronica has a handy pit bull named Backup. (So her father can say “Bring Backup” when she is going into a dangerous situation.)
For a summary of last night’s action, visit: