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02.16.2006

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DigsMagazine.com.

must-see dvd tv: 
lost, veronica mars
by Yee-Fan Sun
| 1 2
continued from page 2

It's been a turbulent year in Neptune, see, and for Veronica especially. Before things went so horribly wrong, Veronica was living the stereotypical teen dream: beautiful and blonde, she'd managed to find herself at the top of the Neptune High social ladder, despite her family's lack of wealth. Her dad's then-position as town sheriff gave her some level of respectability; her boyfriend Duncan, son of software gazillionaire Jake Kane, cemented her place in the popular crowd. But when her best friend Lilly, Duncan's sister, is found brutally murdered under mysterious circumstances, Veronica's perfect life unravels. Duncan grows distant and dumps her; meanwhile, as her dad Keith uncovers increasing evidence that Jake Kane may have had something to do with Lilly's death, the whole town turns on Keith, driving him out of office and rendering Veronica a social pariah by association. Tensions between Veronica's parents mount; her mom leaves town. And just when Veronica's sure things couldn't get any worse, she crashes a party one night in a moment of bravery, only to wake up the next morning to discover that she's been drugged and raped, and has no clue who's responsible. Refusing to let these events destroy her, a new Veronica emerges from the tragedy: smart, fearless, with a new look to go along with her don't-mess-with-me attitude, Veronica decides she's okay with her outsider status and sets her mind to uncovering the hard, ugly truth.

Last year, part way through season 1, my obsession with Veronica Mars led me to wax rhapsodic in an article dedicated to why this was my new favorite show. The story had just started to get really thick and juicy at that point; with only four episodes left till season's end, I was still wavering on who Lilly's killer might turn out to be, and who had raped Veronica, and what the deal was with Duncan's mysterious behavior. Every episode revealed new plot twists that had been exquisitely built up by the show's writers, yet managed to take me by complete surprise each time. Star Kristen Bell's smart, tough take on Veronica had given me a new TV heroine to root for in the post-Buffy years; meanwhile, Veronica's arch-nemesis Logan Echolls, as played by the very talented Jason Dohring and aided by plenty of cleverly-written dialogue, was developing into one of the most complicated, intriguing fictional men of all time. (All right, I admit it; I'd developed a hopeless crush on his trademark wit and occasional flashes of emotional vulnerability.) I was so enjoying the slow unfolding of the whodunit that secretly, deep down, I was convinced that finally finding out the answers could only be a major letdown. Instead, things got better, as season one continued its excellence for the remaining episodes, barreling along at a dizzying pace to reach a conclusion that provided very satisfying answers to all the main mysteries -- while leaving viewers with a delicious cliffhanger to chew on all summer as well. Though the current season has proved more confusing, a revisit to season one reminds me of why I fell in love with this show in the first place. It's one thing to create a mystery that grabs the audience and makes them want to learn more; the real test is whether once the mystery's solved, curious fans can go back through the story, retrace the chain of events, take delight in all the seemingly obvious details that they missed in the first go-around. Watching the brilliantly constructed, pitch-perfect first season once again, my faith is renewed. I know that despite my current concerns about what's going on with Veronica and Co., watching Veronica Mars is a bit like taking a roller-coaster ride in the dark. Just as you're getting used to how things are rolling along, you hit another twist; the track drops, the world's turned upside down. Your viewpoint shifts constantly, but still you know: in the end, things will somehow come full circle.

o

recent must-see dvd tv:
carnivale, deadwood | dead like me, wonderfalls | arrested development, the office | firefly, freaks & geeks | more

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