Today’s Throwback Thursday is going to be a little different, kids. Instead of a book, I’m throwing out a TV show. One of my favorite TV shows, in fact. RIP Veronica Mars. (Which really does fit the overall theme of this blog – she solves mysteries.)
When I was a kid, in between May sweeps and new shows starting in the fall, the summer was full of reruns. (I know there are some of you reading this post thinking, “Rerun? What’s a rerun?”) Reruns have gone the way of the dinosaur in these modern on-demand days. But back then our serious media debate was with the VCR – VHS or Beta? This was a big deal, you had to buy the right player. One of them wasn’t going to make it in this battle. (Luckily my dad chose correctly and we had good ol’ VHS tapes for a long time to come.) And TV shows were not available on VHS or Beta. It was really expensive to buy movies, so you rented them (we even had two local rental stores – one for VHS tapes and one for Beta tapes). Occasionally you would see a “Best of I Love Lucy” tape, but most of the time it was just films available for rent.
Back then, TV wasn’t serial like it is today. If you missed an episode or two, no big deal. Heck, you could tune in just once every few months to catch an episode and be entertained. Except Dallas. That show you needed to watch most of the time, but still if you missed an episode here or there, you were fine. Sue Ellen didn’t get off the booze for years, and JR was always scheming. My brother and I would watch shows like The Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team, Family Ties, and Growing Pains. But the best part was the summer. When they showed the same episodes again. Missed an episode? Watch it in the summer. Loved an episode? Catch it again in the summer.
Thanks in part to reality TV (and TV show availability on DVD and digital downloads), we don’t have summer reruns anymore. The networks show something in the summer (honestly I’m not really sure what anymore), and you wait patiently until September (or later) for your favorites to return and new shows to begin. So what do we do in the summer time? We binge watch. Pick a show, sit down for a few weeks (nights?) and watch the entire series at once. No more waiting to find out what happens. If you missed a show during the year, you just wait for it to come out on Netflix and all is well.
So what should you binge watch first this summer?
I say Veronica Mars. She’s a marshmallow.
Veronica is a teenage detective, a modern day Nancy Drew if you will. She’s sassy. She’s funny. She’s fabulous.
Veronica has three seasons, plus a movie (yes, I was a backer of that Kickstarter campaign), and two books (view/read in that order, the books come after the film).
The first season is the best. Her best friend, Lily Kane, has been murdered. Her father, the ex-Sheriff, is now a private eye. Veronica has been shunned at school in the aftermath of Lily’s death and the bungled investigation. In the first episode, she comes across some new evidence and is on the case. The overarching storyline of the first season is solving Lily’s murder, but each episode has it’s own case that Veronica is working on as well.
What makes Veronica Mars so great? Everything. The old-school film noir quality of the show. The dynamic between Veronica and her dad. The relationship between Veronica and her BFF Wallace. Her attitude towards life and what it’s handed her. Veronica’s fabulous one liners. The mysteries and cases range from fun to serious topics. The desire to track down Lily’s murderer grows with each episode, the buildup is fantastic. Neptune: the town of the haves and the have-nots. Go Pirates.
Give Ronnie a try. I think you’ll thank me. You know what they say. Veronica Mars, she’s a marshamallow.