We Used To Be Friends

Spoilers ahead for Veronica Mars Season 4

It’s been a week, so I think we’re fine to chat about it now, don’t you?

A few weeks ahead of time Hulu dropped the new 8 episode season of Veronica Mars. I’m a Marshmallow from not the beginning, but earlier than many. Crystan was always a big fan and I borrowed her DVDs of the show in college to watch.

So the way Hulu, Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell have made the new season happen excited me. From rumor to execution it was quick, clean and done.

We need to talk about the ending though. I’ve watched the show a bunch of times. And as the last ten minutes approached, and Veronica, Keith and Wallace waited for Logan at the courthouse, my heart was in my throat. I knew someone was going to die, and since Keith had been given a clean bill of health, I knew it was going to be Logan.

But then he didn’t. And I exhaled. But then of course, he did.

I’m not as angry about this twist as others. It’s hella lazy on Thomas’s part, but I don’t think it’s this massive betrayal that other people made it out to be. Thomas and his team gave Jason Dohring a hell of a swan song to go out on. Logan was fantastic the whole season long. (So was Max Greenfield’s Leo, who I’ve always liked second best of Veronica’s love interests, due to him having a distinct personality. Troy, Duncan and Piz kinda run together in a bland mix of blah) (Also Veronica’s sex dream about him is how I imagine Fifty Shades would have been had Greenfield gotten the role of Christian. IE VERY HOT and INTERESTING)

The mystery was good, nothing will ever hit the highs of “Who killed Lily?” which has always been the show’s post season 1 problem. I’m watching season 2 now and OH BOY is the bus crash tedious. I don’t remember how it all comes together either. What’s the deal with Kendall and the Fitzpatrick’s? Beaver did it because Woody molested him, but there’s a lot of other shit floating around in the story that I think doesn’t mean anything.

The new characters are the best new characters since Gia Goodman came in in season 2, so that’s nice. Patton Oswalt’s true crime nut turned big bad Penn was a good deal of fun. JK Simmons was unsurprisingly wonderful as Clyde, an ex con with ambiguous motivation who bonds with Keith. Kirby Howell-Baptiste is fun as club owner Nicole who bonds with Veronica and Izabel Vidovic is fun as Veronica’s new protege Matty.

I think the most unfortunate thing about the ending, which again, is in my opinion, lazy but fine, is that like so many “eh” endings it’s going to overshadow what was a pretty great season of TV, with excellent work by it’s main cast. But as I said on facebook back at the last episode of Game Of Thrones, I might just like shitty endings? I like the Lost ending, the Dark Tower ending, and I like the Game Of Thrones ending (in concept, the execution I agree, was underwhelming). Those are three pretty reviled conclusions, y’all.

Anyway, I enjoyed the season. I hope as everyone’s emotions cool, we can discuss the rest of it that worked well, and not just the ending. Also, I hope we get more Veronica Mars down the line, if only because I want Weevil and Veronica to make up, and I want to see more of Wallace shaking is head at Matty during school hours. (He’s her physics teacher!)

Also, now I’m shipping Leo and Veronica, and again, don’t mind LoVe being the kind of deep epic tragic story it was always meant to be.

Ultimate Teen Drama FanFic: That Day At The Docks

A few weeks ago I put together what I consider to be the Ultimate Teen Drama Cast Of Characters. I mentioned at the end of that post that I might start playing with some fanfiction with them. Here’s the first attempt at that.

For some context notes. I’ve decided to set it in Capeside in the summer. This way I don’t have to deal with how the hell Blair is at a suburban high school, or Seth is on the east coast. (I’ve transplanted Dylan, Wallace and Brooke east and north respectively. And as Riverdale is both everywhere and nowhere by design, Jughead isn’t a problem) They’re summering there, problem solved! Also, having watched Dawson’s Creek about a dozen times, I know Capeside’s geography better than other settings. (The OC’s Newport seemed to grow and shrink as necessary and Gossip Girl’s Manhattan was completely nonsensical. Tree Hill and Capeside are quite literally the same place…) Other nuances of my imaginary mash up will come out in time. 

Joey Potter was not as excited as her classmates that it was summer. For her, unlike most them, the closing of Sophomore year meant working at both the marina gas station and a local diner to save for college, rather than lounging around at the beach all day. At least at school she got to focus on things she liked, reading and art. Work was just, work.

“Joey Potter!” She turned hearing her name and smiled seeing two boys approaching her dock. Wallace Fennell and Jughead Jones were her closest friends at Capeside High and at the moment, a week into the summer a welcome sight.

“Hey,” she said as they reached her. “How’s freedom?”

“Boring,” Jughead shrugged, jumping down onto the dock. “I thought you were at the diner today.”

“I was this morning,” Joey said, “then here until six.”

“Guess what we’re doing tonight?” Wallace grinned. Joey looked at Jughead who shook his head.

“Um,” she pressed her lips, “nothing, like always?”

“Mr. Fennell here has garnered an invite to the beach party,” Jughead rolled his eyes. “He’s spent the past hour trying to convince me to go. You’re the deciding vote.”

“We’re not going to that,” Joey laughed.

“Why not?” Wallace shrugged. “It could be fun.”

“It won’t be,” Joey said. “That party is just an excuse for Brooke Davis to scope out which summer people she’s going to sleep with until Labor Day.” Wallace shook his head.

“You two, need to broaden your horizons,” he said, “not all summer people are evil.”

“Just most of them,” Joey pointed out.

And Brooke’s actually really cool,” Wallace pointed out. “We hung out a bunch during basketball season. People misunderstand her.”

“OK, one,” Jughead chimed in, “I agree with Joey, summer people are like ninety percent evil. And, two, I don’t care how nice Brooke Davis was to you while she was in cheerleader mode, she is probably the devil.”  Joey nodded.

“Well, I’m going,” he said, “and I would like to go with my two best friends,” Joey sighed. “Just think of all the material for making fun of people you’ll get. Just in this one night, this will fuel an entire summer worth of snark, I bet.”

“Fine,” Joey sighed, “I’ll go but if one, I mean it, even one, douchey summer dude asks to show me his boat, I’m not speaking to you until the fourth of July.”

“I’ll go to protect Joey from said douchey summer dudes,” Jughead agreed, “and that thing you said about making fun of people.”

“Great,” Wallace said, “pick you up at 8?” Joey sighed and nodded.

***

Blair Waldorf sighed miserably sitting on the back porch of the large beach side mansion she’d arrived at the night before. What had possessed her mother to decamp them to this sleepy Cape Cod town for the summer instead of the Hamptons like everyone else they knew? Blair picked at the croissant in front of her and sipped her mimosa mindlessly. It was going to be a long summer, she knew that for sure.

“Miss Blair?” Dorota, her maid walked out. “There’s someone here to see you?”

“Who?” Blair said. “Dorota, we don’t know anyone here!” A girl about her age walked out the door and waved somewhat awkwardly. The other girl shared a few similarities to Blair, similar dark hair, and wide brown eyes. She was dressed in a pair of yoga pants and tank top that said “Minute Men” across the chest though, which Blair realized was probably from her school. So the similarities ended with the physical, because sartorially Blair wouldn’t be caught dead out of a gymnasium dressed like this.

“Hi, yeah, hi,” the girl said, “I’m Brooke, I live a few blocks away and I was going for a run and saw you and wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood.” Blair smiled placidly.

“Oh,” she said, at least the run explained the outfit. “Sure, I mean, whatever. I’m Blair Waldorf.”

“Right,” Brooke nodded and shook her hand. “Anyway, there’s this party on the beach tonight, we have one every year, to welcome the summer people. You should come.”

“We?” Blair said, her eyebrows raised. “So, you’re like what, a townie?”

“Unfortunately,” Brooke sighed, “but some of us are more civilized than others.” Blair smiled. At least this girl knew enough to acknowledge her lower social status. She could work with that.

“Alright,” Blair said, “so tell me about this party.” She gestured to a chair and Brooke smiled and sat down.

***

“Damn it,” Seth Cohen mumbled, as the sail boat he’d rented for the summer failed to catch the wind. “Once again, I have been foiled by Atlantic weather.” He knew that eventually he’d get the hang of east coast sailing, but for now, he was missing the calmer Pacific Ocean and the spots he knew in Newport.

He could almost hear his dad teasing him about it, though. He, Seth Cohen, who had always obsessed about moving to New England, bitching about it.

“Need some help, man?” A guy in a wet suit carrying a surf board jogged up.

“Sure,” Seth said, as the mysterious surfer helped him pull the boat into the dock. “Thanks for the help.”

“Sure thing,” he nodded. “You’re here for the summer? I don’t recognize you.”

“Yeah,” Seth nodded, “um, a couple of pushes to the parents and I managed a summer away from California sunshine. I’m Seth.”

“Dylan,” the surfer grinned and shook his hand, “yeah, I blew of Cali a few years ago too. Dad decided work would be better in Boston, and we wound up here.” Seth nodded. Something about this Dylan guy reminded him a little bit of his foster brother, who had not made the cross country trek with the rest of them.

“Alright,” Seth nodded. “You surf?”

“Whenever possible,” Dylan grinned, “you?” Seth shook his head. “OK, cool meeting you man, nice boat, and see you around.” He left and then turned around. “Do you want to go to this party thing, tonight?”

“Party?” Seth said. Yeah, definitely a Ryan.

“Yeah,” Dylan shrugged, “it’s the townies way of saying, ‘hey summer people, we can all drink cheap beer together. No need for dividing lines.'”

“Capeside is very different from Newport then,” Seth said.

“Different from Beverly Hills, too,” Dylan said with a laugh, “but in a good way mostly. You in?”

“Sure,” Seth nodded. “Party sounds good.”

Ultimate Team Ups: Teen Drama Edition

I like to consider myself something of a scholar of the teen drama television series. While I haven’t watched every entry into the genre, I still need to finish Felicity, I don’t speak Party of Five at all, I’m woefully ignorant of anything in the post Gossip Girl era, save Rivderdale, and anything Degrassi that happened after Spinner became the sage older character belongs in a flaming trash can, I do have certain episodes of The OC actually memorized, and I could probably write a book on the various film allusions in Dawson’s Creek. Plus, you know, One Tree Hill. 

So, that gives me some cred, I think.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to create the ULTIMATE TEEN DRAMA CAST Avengers style. We’ve got some archetypes to play with, and I think it’ll go well.

The Brooding Bad Boy: Dylan McKay – Beverly Hills, 90210

Dylan.jpg

There is only one choice, and it is the original. I firmly believe that without Luke Perry as Dylan, this genre would not exist. Everything about Dylan is perfect. His agnst, his chip on his shoulder, his dumb 50’s haircut, his ability to cry at the drop of a hat. I recently rewatched season 1, and I think that the scene where he sits on the floor of his hotel suite, crying into the phone when he can’t reach his parents might be the peak moment of the entire genre. It’s been all downhill from there.

The “Slutty” Girl Who Just Wants To Be Loved: Brooke Davis – One Tree Hill

Brooke davis

While 90210 and Dawson’s did excellent work with this archetype in Kelly and Jen respectively, it was perfected in Sophia Bush’s Brooke. Desperately insecure and insanely confident at the same time, Brooke is fun, funny, brilliant and perfect. Not to mention in the right circumstances she is also an excellent shit stirrer.

The Comic Relief: Seth Cohen – The OC

seth cohen

If the genre wouldn’t exist with Dylan, it would have gone away in the 90’s without Seth. The OC was going to bring twenty somethings playing angst ridden rich teens into the twenty first century kicking and screaming if it had to. And the biggest part of that equation was Seth. Ever quippy, indomitable, perfectly cast in Adam Brody, sometimes a little bit too much Seth.

The Bitch – Blair Waldorf – Gossip Girl

Blair-Waldorf-Self-Love-Beauty

Look, I love Brenda Walsh, I love Cheryl Blossom. Neither of them can hold a candle to the queen of the Upper East Side, and really everything, Blair Waldorf. Never learns her lesson, treats everyone around her like they’re beneath her (they are), and we root for her anyway. (To be fair our other options were Jenny, Serena and Vanessa…which no.)  Also, in a fun meta sense, Leighton Meister is now married to Adam Brody, which means that Blair and Seth can be a couple in this imaginary show.

The Normal Boring One – Wallace Fennel – Veronica Mars

250px-Wallace_Fennel

While his classmates dealt with murder investigations, rape recovery, gang wars, learning they were switched at birth and any number of other insane plots, Wallace was worrying about things like basketball, whether Tessa Thompson liked him (even she was a secret teen mom!), if he was OK with his mom dating his best friend’s dad. He’s very normal. Also, unlike his competition for this slot, Dawson Leery, Archie Andrews and Dan Humphrey, Wallace is neither the worst nor totally boring, he’s got a fun personality. And keeps the list from being completely white people! (It’s a genre that’s only just starting to do well on a diversity basis. It’s been very white for a very long time)

The Girl Next Door – Joey Potter – Dawson’s Creek

JoeyPotter

The secret main character of the show she was on! (Blair, Seth, and Dylan also fulfill this requirement) Again, with deference to the “perfect” version of this Betty Cooper, she’s not as perfect as dreamy, weepy, constantly put upon Joey. So wonderful is Joey Potter that Dawson rewrites their story every time so that they end up together, even though they never end up together. (TEAM PACEY!) And just imagine the amount of cry-shouting that would go into a Joey and Dylan romance!

The One From The Wrong Side Of The Tracks – Jughead Jones – Riverdale

jughead

While Jughead also qualifies for Brooding Bad Boy, he does double duty as the character from a slightly more disadvantaged background who hangs around to tell people that they “don’t understand.” Sometimes this person is barely from the Wrong Side, (Andrea Zuckerman was from The Valley! The Humphreys lived in Brooklyn!) and sometimes they’re there to provide culture shock (Ryan Atwood worked construction on his summer vacations!)  and sometimes they are genuine criminals (Weevil Navarro CHAINED A DUDE TO A PIPE TO GET EXPLODED!) But Jughead is all of those things. He still goes to school with Archie, Betty and Veronica, but he lives in a drive in for a while and HEY REMEMBER WHEN HE CUT THAT LADY? Bonus Points: He and Joey can bond about their ex con fathers who now work in food service.

Obvious Pairings That Are Obvious:

Brooke and Jughead, they’d banter and be the best, and one day realize that they’re both much more sensitive than they let everyone see. Then there’d be trailer sex.

Blair and Seth: While Blair would initially go for Dylan (with the brooding and hotel living, how could she resist) we’d all succumb to the fact that real world couples need to be fictional couples on these shows. Also, Seth is the not the worst version of Dan, who Blair also dated, although we all pretend that never happened.

Joey and Dylan: SO MANY FEELINGS!

Wallace And A Series Of Lovely Recurring Guest Stars: Much like on Veronica Mars no one in this main cast is a functional enough human to deserve Wallace. Though there would perhaps be a short and ill advised Brooke/Wallace hookup, and the writers would try to keep making Joey and Wallace happen.

I really enjoyed making this list, and I might do more of these ultimate team ups. Or just write some really fun fanfic with this group. Would you guys been up for that? Feel free to suggest plotlines.

 

Mr. Kiss And Tell Boldy Goes Where No Marshmallow Has Gone Before

Veronica Mars

It wasn’t until about halfway through Mr. Kiss And Tell, the most recent Veronica Mars mystery novel, that I realized one of the benefits of continuing the story as novels rather than movies or TV shows is that you can do things that probably wouldn’t fly if it had come back that way.

I just don’t see being able to sell an episode (or arc) of the show about Veronica solving the rape and beating of a hooker by a college basketball coach.

Not that the show really shied away from such things, but it is just a shade darker than the show ever was, especially when you learn that the identity of the victim is Grace Manning.

To all but the biggest superfan, this is probably not overly disturbing, but the idea of that innocent little girl that Duncan and Veronica found locked in a closet at 8, is now a working girl, is pretty upsetting. Grace also points out that it wasn’t as if after that initial encounter, Veronica ever did anything to help the Mannings, except help Duncan steal a baby from them.

So Veronica uses that guilt as well as her hard won desire to bring about justice for every rape survivor, to solve this case.

It’s a good mystery, and she enlists Wallace and Mac (obvi) as well as Leo D’Amato, and even toys with their flirtation as being more than just professional, especially when Logan makes the decision to leave shore duty a bit early, but no, LoVe is forever, not to be broken again. It was fun to hang out with Leo again, he was always a character that I liked a lot.

There was also movement of Weevil’s case (all of it devestating) and Neptune has a new sheriff, who has a history with Keith.

It’s a worthy entry in the Veronica Mars canon if a jarring one and I appreciated the switching viewpoints, between Veronica and Keith throughout the book this time. Also, I don’t see how you can bring the Mannings back into the plot in this big a fashion has to be setting things up to bring Duncan and that kid back right?

Right?

Things I’m Obsessed With Right Now: New Year Edition!

Hi Everyone! Low on inspiration again, 22 days into it, I think it’s time to say what the new year is going to look like, obsession wise.

So here we go!

  • Empire. Just, Empire. Particularly, Taraji P. Henson on Empire. And the character of Cookie Lyons on Empire. And also #TeamJamal, and not #TeamHakeem. Hakeem is the worst. THE WORST.
  • Star Wars #1. HOLY F***CKING CRAP, you guys, it was so good. SO GOOD! SOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSO good. Read it, it feels like a part of the movie. GAH. I’ve always resisted the lure of the extended universe. I’ve crossed into the dark side
  • Reading discussions of Serial in comment sections. I KNOW I’m late to the game, but seeing people actually type in ALL CAPS, “BUT THE NISHA CALL!” It’s pretty fun.
  • Agent Carter. This show is good, right? It’s really good. Although, I got frustrated at my SHIELD podcast, Welcome To Level 7, as they tried to make it fit into the AOS mold, because, it’s you know, a different song.
  • Mr. Kiss And Tell, the latest Veronica Mars book. I started it yesterday. I’m forgoing reading Lumberjanes and Batman & Robin right away to finish it. It’s that good. Without spoiling, Meg’s little sister Grace is involved. Remember Grace? Veronica and Duncan saved her from the closet that time, which is when we learned that The Mannings were monsters. And that Lamb’s father probably beat him.
  • It’s starting to be light-ish when I go to work in the morning and when I leave at night. I mean, it’s still you know, the end.
  • The bombastic pop-showtunes of the mid 2000s, that completely occupied my high school psyche. I’ve been listening to The Last 5 Years, and Wicked, and Legally Blonde, and Thoroughly Modern Millie, mostly because I saw Wicked and remembered what I loved so much about theatre, and this music.
  • Cabaret! Which I’m going to see tonight! WAHHHHHH!!!!!
  • Rewatching The Office, I mean when I fall asleep. But it’s been fun to revisit it.
  • Did you know that people ship YouTubers? Like real people? I didn’t know this was a thing that went on. I am fascinated by this practice…I mean, I’m pretty serious about shipping, but only with fictional characters.
  • The music of Zac Brown, Kenny Chesney and Darius Rucker. Work has been very stressful and country music mellows me out and puts me in a good mood.

So that’s what I’m obsessed with these days.

So what’s next Marshmallows?

Veronica Mars

I didn’t know what I was going to write about for today’s post. I know I start off that way far too often. My I didn’t feel like going to see Sin City or watching Assault On Arkham, both of which I know I need to get to. So, I was flipping through the channels, hoping for some kind of inspiration, and luckily Veronica Mars was on HBO.

Like I said, I worry about what the Veronica Mars revival will do for a lot of other pop culture that should have been put to bed, but I love the series and it’s world enough that I can put my misgivings aside and just enjoy that I’m getting new content to obsess over. And the movie is proving to be more satisfying each time I watch it. (I think this was watch number 6? I stopped counting.) And that means that I get more and more excited for the upcoming bits and pieces we’re getting as a fandom.

Obviously, there’s the new book. I really enjoyed The Ten Thousand Dollar Tan Line, and I’m interested in seeing what happens in Mr. Kiss And Tell, due to hit my Kindle on October 28. I don’t have any scoopy plot details because I want to be surprised, but I’m excited to see who comes back (Please be Duncan, Please be Duncan!) what mystery V has to solve and what’s next for our whole gang.

But that’s not the big news and I think any V-Mars fan knows that it’s not. I mean, the books are news and they are awesome. But they’re not what the big news is.

The bigs news is Play It Again, Dick, which is the web series that Rob Thomas promised us back in the kickstarter days. The show was always going to be for Ryan Hansen, and was always going to be about Dick Casablancas. But that was all we knew.

Now we know more and it’s all so beautiful.

Play It Again, Dick is going to be about Ryan Hansen (the actor) trying to put together his own Veronica Mars  spin off about Dick. It will center on his fundraising efforts and trying to recruit his old cast mates. Just about everyone but Teddy Dunn is attached (although there will apparently be a replacement Duncan, which HILARIOUS!) It’s going to be fun, and funny and everything that we could want.

I should explain that the reason that I didn’t write about this earlier is because I got all of my fangirl gushing about it out a few hours after I learned the information, as I hung out with Nancy Sue that night.

Anyway, I’m excited for both of these things, and I will cover them in detail when they come out. But for now. See you around.

The Ten Thousand Dollar Tan Line or Back To Basics

VERONICA-MARS-COVER

Here’s the thing about the whole Veronica Mars  revival, I still haven’t decided if I think it’s a good thing for pop culture in general.

Here’s another thing about the whole Veronica Mars revival, I have decided that I don’t really care much, because as a fan of these characters I can’t seem to get enough of them. I actually read the second half of the first VM book The Ten Thousand Dollar Tan Line while rewatching several episodes of season 2. (I really love “The Donut Run” more than is at all fair to any single hour of television.)

The Ten Thousand Dollar Tan Line is like a standard B+ episode of the show, complete with a horrific crime committed against young women, the rich kid/poor kid distinction drawn, Wallace bringing invaluable resources to the investigation (he caught two of his players in a bar and uses them to pass out flyers.) The mystery surrounds the disappearance of 2 girls during Neptune’s Spring Break. The Chamber of Commerce hires Veronica to help find the girls. It turns out that the second girl is Veronica’s step sister.

I was intrigued by Thomas’s decision to bring Lianne back in before other characters. (*cough* Duncan *cough*) But the idea of Veronica having to make due with her mother being in Neptune added an emotional element that the story would have missed otherwise, especially since Logan was still gone. Although it is a little odd that in her nine year get her life together absence that Veronica didn’t reconnect with her mother.

I don’t want to spoil much, because the twist and turns of the mystery are really what makes this worth it. The return of Lianne ups the emotional stakes, but there’s little else that really happens for the overall Veronica Mars narrative here. It’s just a fun little drop by to our favorite crime ridden beach town.

Oh, but the terms “FBI” and “criminal profiler” came up twice. I’m thinking that Thomas might be hinting at Veronica’s future, and frankly, this makes more sense than any other possible future for our girl. Also, Veronica finally got a gun, so that’ll be fun.

In Praise of Chris Lowell

I saw Veronica Mars twice this weekend, and I’m completely obsessed with Enlisted right now, so I think that it’s time to talk about how truly adorable and talented Chris Lowell is. Even if Piz is the most ridiculously out of place character in the entire run of Veronica Mars, but I’ll get to that. It’s hard not to be charmed by Lowell’s smirk and floppy hair.

Whattacutie!

Whattacutie!

I first became really aware of Chris Lowell when he played Dell, the adorable single father assistant on Private Practice, who had a strident overpowering love for Audra MacDonald’s Naomi. What I always liked in general about Private Practice was the way it took the similar tropes of it’s parent series Grey’s Anatomy and made them a lot better by handing them off to more likable characters. This made Private Practice an easier show to swallow and good deal more shallow, but honestly? I’m not looking at a prime time soap about the love lives of impossibly good looking medical professionals for emotional complexity. Dell’s love for Naomi was similar to George’s love for Meredith, in that she was aware of it and it made her uncomfortable, but not like it, in that you rarely if ever wanted to smack either of them in the face. Of course, once Dell died in a fire, and Naomi half adopted his daughter, she got pretty insufferable for a while. (Remember when she tried to force her daughter to get an abortion? That episode was the worst. But Audra still killed it.)

Next (not in his career just in my level of awareness) came Piz. I actually like Piz, he gets a lot of Veronica Mars fan hate because he’s an obstacle to Logan and Veronica’s relationship, but I don’t mind that he’s that. Characters can be an obstacle to the main couple and still be great. (Let’s go back to Grey’s Anatomy, and talk about McVet. I mean right? Or Brooke Davis, or Jake on Scandal.) The problem is that Piz is really only an obstacle to Veronica and Logan’s relationship. He’s also there to give Wallace someone to pal around with, since season 3 focused more on Veronica and Mac’s friendship, but he’s probably the most blatant example of Veronica Mars changing itself to fit into The WB’s formula, when it was retooled for the new CW. Piz worked at the campus radio station and wanted to be a serious broadcaster, liked indie rock a whole lot, and this would have been fine, again, if this had been used at all for the plot. But Piz’s reporting chops never helped Veronica solve a case, in fact he might be the only character on the show who never had anything to do with the mysteries. Even Duncan Kane, for all of his milquetoast boring-ness was at least kind of crazy, related to the show’s initial murder victim and the father of another’s child. Duncan was dull, but he was dull functionally. Piz was fun to spend time with, but didn’t make sense to the plot. This leaves him the job that was once Wallace’s, (make everyone be normal for a night) and to be a punching bag for Logan.

But now there’s Enlisted, and OMG EVERYONE WATCH ENLISTED AND GET REALLY ANGRY IF FOX CANCELS IT BECAUSE IT IS GREAT! The show centers on 3 brothers who were raised as army brats and are all now stationed in Florida with The Rear Detachment Unit, who support the army families left behind. Oldest brother Pete is a returned hero from Afghanistan, youngest Randy is an incompetent but enthusiastic soldier and middle brother Derrick is sarcastic and disdainful but couldn’t cut it in college so it was the army or oblivion. Guess which one Lowell plays? If Piz had been more like Derrick, I doubt he’d be as villified. Derrick is currently dating the bartender at the place where the unit hangs out, and rooming with his little brother.

Anyway, I’m just sort of into the guy right now, and I wanted to write about his parts here. And also, just pimp Enlisted, because seriously, it’s really good.

Little Shop of Horrors And Some Help

Hi blog readers!

There’s a lot of stuff going on that I want to write about. Veronica Mars opens today, we got a full on plot summary for Gotham, I’ve been rewatching Pokemon. But instead I’m going to do this, because this is something that I need to write about. So, I’ve mentioned before that I run a small community theatre with some friends from high school. There are a lot of things about this group that are enriching for me and my friends, but the thing that’s most important to me about it, is that it’s all for charity.

I founded TomFoolery Theatre Inc. with my best friend Katie after realizing that we missed be involved in musical theater the way that we were in high school. We missed hanging out with our friends during the rehearsal process, and also, we wanted to meet new people. The only way we knew how to do that was to be in a show. So we put on our own. A slapshod and heart filled production of Annie Get Your Gun is what followed.

The pretty girl in the pink dress on the bottom there? That's my sister Mary!

The pretty girl in the pink dress on the bottom there? That’s my sister Mary!

After the show we donated our proceeds to my church’s youth group. The next summer, all set to donate to another charity, while we were going through the planning process, Haiti was rocked by a horrific earthquake. We made the decision then to link up with The R.O.S.E. Foundation of Haiti, and donate our proceeds to them, while putting on the little known but totally awesome Once On This Island.

It takes place in Haiti.

It takes place in Haiti.(Also, Mary again, being pretty in a Pink Dress!)

Then came The Drowsy Chaperone, Zombie Prom, and last year, Godspell. 

This is the cast of Godspell. I am the one looking awkward in the brown shirt with the two buns on top of my head. (I was a Teddy Bear)

This is the cast of Godspell. I am the one looking awkward in the brown shirt with the two buns on top of my head. (I was a Teddy Bear)

Anyway, TomFoolery has been an incredible gift in my life. And we’ve begun our fundraising for this year’s show! We have an Indiegogo page and it would mean the world to me and to some amazing people if you helped out.

Why Veronica Mars Wins at Feminism: Part II

So I’m finished with the great Veronica Mars rewatch! It’s been a blast. I didn’t realize how much of season 3 I just hadn’t watched or how much I enjoyed the latter half.  I’m even more sad that the show didn’t continue and even more excited that in just over a month, we’ll be reunited with the gang.

And ever since I decided to start watching it with feminism on the brain, I’ve been noticing more and more how much better it is at it than that show about the cheerleader who kills the undead.

Let’s talk about gender reversal in established narrative style shall we? Because I’m a huge ass fan of criticism, when someone finds ways to stay exactly in genre while totally reinventing that genre is one of my favorite things. (Edgar Wright, Chris Nolan, I’m looking at you!) And when that reinvention also includes a gender swap, oh, how I love it even more. (Again, with the Buffy.) But turning the gender tables on noir is more tricky, and Veronica Mars completely pulls it off.

Obviously, our girl is the hardboiled cynical detective, driven by a need for higher justice and running on black coffee and sarcasm. OK, not really, I’m pretty sure that Veronica actually runs on Diet Coke but still sarcasm. Then you’ve got her trusty Guy Friday, Wallace Fennell. I’m a big old fan of Wallace and Veronica’s relationship. I love that it’s a true platonic male female relationship, if not exactly healthy since Wallace gives and gives and gives and Veronica makes him spirit cookies occasionally. But it’s a fun dynamic.

Then you’ve Logan, who is a femme fatale with different parts. My God, the brooding, the inability to avoid trouble, the using sexuality as a weapon, it’s all there. Also, don’t forget that the major shift in Veronica and Logan’s relationship came when he asked her to find his mother halfway through season 1. The Gal and Gumshoe dynamic continues throughout their relationship and Logan’s volatile outburst are the male version of the femme fatale’s manipulations. If Veronica is the puffy paint, girly girl version of the detective, than of course, her femme fatale would be a sort of instinctively violent alpha male. The dynamic makes more sense than anything.

I’m a big fan of good girl/bad boy pairings with my soap opera. I love my Blair and Chuck and my Derek and Ivy (though Derek and Ivy were both kind of ass holes…) But there is sort of a dissonance with Veronica and Logan that gets solved when you look at it through the mirror of noir and gender reversal rather than trying to make it make sense out of genre. Yes, you can point to them bonding over their grief over Lily’s death, their (perceived) abandonment by their mothers, and of course never forget the witty repartee, but that doesn’t account for their love story making sense as the main one over three seasons. Logan as femme fatale does.

Veronica-Logan-S3

The fact that really the only thing we know about Veronica Mars the movie at this point is that Logan’s been accused of killing his girlfriend and Veronica rushes to his side is even more indicative of this dynamic. It doesn’t matter how stable she is with Piz (Ugh, Piz!) or how much she wanted to leave her past behind her, she can’t resist the pull of Logan…

And really, it’s hard to sever bonds with the person who held you while your rapist jumped off a roof in front of you.