Veronica Mars Season 4 Presentation:
via MerkieNL on YouTube.
It is my opinion that Rob Thomas fucked over every Veronica Mars fan with the abomination that was Season 3. Is that too harsh? Well, coming from a once rabid fan, I speak the truth sans hyperbole or any form of jest.
Season 1 of Veronica Mars was a sight to behold. All spunk, muted frames, and snarky voice overs, the series wasn't so much a mere TV show but a 22 hour sensory extravaganza. The direction was fantastic. The writing plastic-Tupperware-in-a-flood-leakproof tight. The characters were nuanced and alive with flaws, emotions and witticisms. Many media outlets heralded it as the best new show on TV. And that recognition was well deserved. Rob Thomas had created the best thing since sliced bread! Unfortunately very little people tuned in. Yet, it was given a second life in the form of a second season.
While Season 2 wasn't as pitch perfect as the first season was, the show still brought many surprises up its sleeve. There was less innovative colours and voice overs, but there was still plenty of heartbreak and loss. Veronica Mars graduated high school with a smirk and with very little fanfare, just as we knew she would. The audience didn't get any bigger, but their loyalty never waned. The economics of television however dictated that as good as a series was, it was nothing without a large audience. So, season 3 was brought onto the newly formed CW network and given a jumpstart.
"Let's make this easier for newcomers to watch! The loyal fans won't mind. They'll eat up anything we throw at them!"
That maxim seemed to be the mission statement for Season 3 of Veronica Mars. The series was stripped of it's usual season long arc. Instead it was pared down to 3 mini mysteries that would span 7 episodes each. Along the way, several characters were given total character assassinations and storyline continuity became a mere 'maybe' for the writers to address. Everything that I had come to love about Veronica Mars had been stripped and in its place aired a doppleganger that talked and acted like it but was not even close to the real thing. There was very little heart where there had once been plenty. Sarcasm became Veronica's main cachet of communication instead of her self-defence. "Obligatory psychotic jackass" Logan Echolls lost his spark and became Veronica's sometime left hand accessory. The delicious Veronica Mars voice overs had become but a distant memory, ditto the rich and vibrant colours.
Hence, I don't kid when I say Season 3 doesn't exist to me. It riles my blood thinking about how the mighty have fallen, being pandered away to the common denominator of television economics. So when talk of a season 4 set in the future floated around the Internet, to say I was 'not keen' would be a slight embellishment. Stop kicking the dead horse, and just put it out of it's misery already! Or so I thought.
Now, having seen the 20 minute feature presentation for a possible season 4, I'm more mad at Rob Thomas than I have ever been. You could put down season 3 to network meddling, but in my eyes, the blame lies with the creator. A TV network can only dictate so much change before the creator steps in and lay down the law. Rob Thomas got overly confident with VM, and because of that season 3 doesn't even qualify as chump change in the TV season of 2006.
Season 4, or at least what could have been, promised a lot of the spark and fire that season 2 had. In that 20 minutes, the wit was back and the excess baggage was gone. Everything that season 3 should have been was exhibited in that presentation. Thomas didn't lose his touch, he just merely hid it away and brought it out when desperate times called for it. So maybe it's a case of too little, too late, but VM Season 4?
Nice try Rob Thomas, but your chance at redemption has long left the building.