Veronica Mars: First Impressions + S1E1 (Pilot) Reactions

Both of us (here at Nerdlyweds) have seen Veronica Mars in its entirety (one of us *coughmrsnerdlycough* has even seen it some four odd times). Still, with the much-anticipated Veronica Mars movie mere months away, we thought it only appropriate that we take another look at the series via Nerdy Minds’ Series Rewatch so that we’re prepared to understand every small reference in the movie (plus, the show rocks). We’ll share some of our thoughts (Mr. Nerdly in red and Mrs. Nerdly in purple) and then invite you to share your thoughts in the comments. Now, let’s get going!

The first time I saw the series premiere of Veronica Mars, I was not sold on the show, and that’s putting it lightly. I thought it sounded too scripted, the characters weren’t likable or relatable, and the plot was so-so at best. It wasn’t until the third episode that I was really hooked. This time around, though – possibly because I knew what was coming – I was hooked from the start. I already knew these characters, and even though I knew where they would end up, I was interested in watching them get there. I won’t spoil anything in case you haven’t seen the series yet, but suffice it to say that all of the characters change pretty dramatically over the course of two and a half seasons. Watching the series premier for the second time was interesting because it reminded me of why I didn’t like the show to begin with. To be fair, Wallace and maybe Veronica aside, none of the characters are particularly likable. Even Keith Mars, who comes off as such a kind and caring father, has his moments. The plot, though, is amazing. I can’t figure out why I wasn’t drawn to this the first time I saw it. It’s funny, clever, and incredibly well thought out. I can only imagine what the storyboard for this must have looked like, making sure that all of the pieces lined up and there were no loose ends. The first time, Mrs. Nerdly had to beg me to keep watching. Now I can’t wait to see the next episode.

The first episode I saw of Veronica Mars was the episode in the 3rd season where V goes undercover at the sorority party. Confession time. I didn’t dig it. I didn’t finish the episode, and I wrote it off entirely. It was only after watching my beloved Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the 2nd time that I began to expand my horizons. I finally gave into the hype of “Veronica Mars is so much like Buffy, less the supernatural” and gave it another try in attempts to satiate my Buffy craving. Starting from the beginning was a much better idea. Suffice it to say, I now whole-heartedly agree with Kevin Smith and Joss Whedon: Veronica Mars is… the sh*t. And here on my [insert ridiculous number of times to watch a series start to finish here] time watching the (extended) pilot, nothing’s changed.

Joss Whedon guest stars on Veronica Mars

Aggressive 1st Episode Reaction Time (all reactions are based solely upon the first episode, attempting not to let future events/discoveries affect them):

WTF, Keith Mars? Way to lie to your daughter who chose to stick with you through your pursuit of her dead best friend’s grieving father as the murderer even after the confessed killer was behind bars. Also. WTF, Leanne Mars? Way to abandon your family only to be in the same town sleeping with the man who is more or less the reason your (ex) husband is no longer Sheriff and your beloved daughter is hung out to dry for standing with her family…unlike some people. *coughLeanneMarscough* And… Long live Sheriff Lamb! Psych. Screw that douche canoe. Why don’t you go see the Wizard, Lamb? Maybe ask him for some not being a douche.

In all seriousness, though, yes, we understand that Keith is just trying to protect Veronica. Keith knows at least as well as anyone else that the Lilly Kane murder was messy and that the mess continues even a year later. Maybe he’s not handling the situation in what we would consider the best way, but a) he really is doing what he feels is the best thing and b) with a daughter like Veronica who is going to go snooping if she has the information regardless of what anyone tells her, this was the only way to keep her out of trouble.

Speaking of Veronica: This episode is chalk-full of backstory! Veronica Mars: 09’er-turned-outcast after best friend’s murder, total commitment to family (even if they’re wrong), virginity loss scenario unknown, mom who bolted leaving nothing but a unicorn music box… No wonder this girl is so cynical, and no wonder she has to super-sleuth her way to the bottom of everything… with so few answers on her very existence. Even the experts agree: a girl needs closure. Plus I think we can all agree that this new funny, sarcastic and sleuthy Veronica is much more watchable than pretty in pink 09’er Veronica.

The dichotomy of Weevil is pretty great, too. He’s shown as this thug biker gang leader, and while that’s him, he seems a little less mob boss when he’s with Veronica. The obvious answer is “it’s because she’s a girl,” but let’s face it, Veronica does not act like the stereotypical high school girl. She’s aggressive, headstrong and pretty stubborn to boot. Could there be more to this Weevil than he lets on?

And then there’s Wallace. We saw him go from poor guy tied to a flag pole to a pretty solid sidekick in less than an hour. He seems just like Veronica’s type, too. He’s got attitude but in the best (most adorable) way possible. He’s sarcastic but with a kind heart rather than making you want to gouge his eyes out with a fork.

We were introduced to several characters in this episode, and while we didn’t get a whole lot of depth from anyone but Veronica, we wouldn’t expect that from a series premiere. We look forward to seeing what the rest of the series holds for everyone (even though, metagaming-wise, we already know).

Your turn, Nerdy Minds. What did you think the first time you encountered Veronica Mars? Whole series aside, what did/do you think of the pilot? Sound off in the comments!

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