We all know what it’s like to lose a beloved TV show. If you somehow don’t, you either don’t watch enough TV, or you should go out and purchase a lottery ticket because you are clearly very lucky.
For the rest of us, we know the pain of no longer seeing a show you once loved on your TV every week or of putting the series finale in the DVD player and knowing it’s the end.
Of those ended or cancelled shows, a select few go on to live again. The X-Files got a second movie, Firefly got a first movie, Heroes is being revived and, of course, Veronica Mars got its own movie too. And it’s really cool when that happens, don’t get me wrong. The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Serenity and the Veronica Mars movie all have special places in my heart.
But I also really liked this article from the AV Club because it addressed some of the issues I had with the Veronica Mars movie in particular. Fair warning: There will be spoilers for Veronica Mars beyond this point, so tread lightly.
As a person who isn’t really a fan of the Veronica/Logan relationship, I was surprised that the way the relationship was handled in the movie wasn’t the part I didn’t like the most. Instead, I was more concerned by the fact that Veronica ended up throwing away her legal career.
I know, I know, in the movie, it’s at least heavily implied that law wasn’t what she really wanted to do with her life, and yes, giving up law gets us back to the private detective Veronica that we know and love. But couldn’t we have loved lawyer Veronica, too?
I don’t want to reiterate all of Todd VanDerWerff’s points in the AV Club article, not least because he says them better than I could. But in light of all the potential sequel talk, I want to pull out one point he does make about the movie: “It works…much better as a pilot for a new TV show than it does as a movie (or even as an introduction to a series of movies).”
With its barely-explored emphasis on the class politics of Neptune, Calif., Veronica Mars seems to set the stage for not just another movie but a whole new TV show that broods and twists through a series of mysteries, much like television Veronica Mars used to do.
Of course, the likelihood of that happening is slim-to-none. But since the movie was left open-ended (on that count anyway), should there be a sequel exploring those very issues?
My gut-response, even before seeing the movie, was no. And after seeing the movie, I haven’t changed my mind.
For a sequel, the narrative stakes would have to be high, which means either a very important mystery or some Veronica/Logan drama. I would prefer the important mystery, of course, but the problem is the mystery would have to be wrapped up in two hours. And Veronica Mars has always worked best when the mystery was doled out nice and slow.
I think it would be really interesting to deal with the class politics re-introduced in this movie, but the structure of a major motion picture doesn’t always allow for that kind of rumination. There would have to be something big and flashy on the line, and that’s not the kind of show Veronica Mars was. It was a show that recognized change wouldn’t happen overnight, and it often reveled in the consequences of the decisions its characters made.
Now, all of this doesn’t mean that I regret the Veronica Mars movie in any way. I think it was a good way of wrapping up the series in a way that the cast and crew and, hopefully, the fans are happy with. Particularly considering the fact that the series finale didn’t necessarily get a chance to do those things.
But this is a good spot to let the series rest. All good things must come to an end, and if you’re lucky, they come to an end before they become unrecognizably bad, like many other TV shows I have watched in the past.
If you really can’t let go, you might want to check out the Veronica Mars novel that just came out. It picks up right after the movie, and if it becomes a series like it’s supposed to, the novels are more likely to do Veronica Mars justice than a movie sequel would as they can better mimic the structure of the television show.
I know losing a show hurts, but if the Veronica Mars movie proves anything, the shows we love are never really gone. They have to come to an end, yes, and we should let them do that. But we can and will love them forever, sequel or no sequel.