Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Veronica Mars fans can dive into Neptune Noir

Benbella Books has a series called Smart Pop,where pop culture junkies like myself come to chat about our favorite shows,films and cartoons in essay collections. One of the latest is Neptune Noir: Unauthorized investigations into Veronica Mars. Rob Thomas,the creator of VM himself,is the editor who not only writes an interesting introduction into how and why the show got started,but adds thoughtful intros to each essay as well as helpful notes when needed.

A good number of the articles cover topics you would expect about a teen girl detective,like father-daughter relationships and class struggles in both high school and society. Some go into the techiques of the noir genre used and reinvented for the show,such as Evelyn Vaughn's "Veronica Mars. Girl. Detective." which discusses how voiceovers morphed from a male to a female strong point of view:

Others get into the moral aspects of the show,as in John Ramos'(aka Couch Baron at Television Without Pity)"I Cannot Tell a Lie and if you believe that..." that talks about constant lying by Veronica and others is sometimes justified and a handy tool of the detective trade. Jesse Hassenger writes about "Reality on Mars and Neptune",going into some of the creative liberties and surprising truths that make Neptune both believable and TV land only plausible.

A couple of the essays look into the similarities between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars(Samantha Bornemann adds in My So-Called Life into the mix with "Innocence Lost"). I really related to "On the Down Low",Lynne Edwards' take on how a former Buffy addict slowly warmed up to appreciating Veronica and partaking in the Pirate love:

There were some unusual topics that cropped up,such as in "The Duck and the Detective",where Chris McCubbin notices the conservative comic strip,Mallard Fillmore,praising VM and looks into what a conservative crowd might find favor with on a show with seemingly liberal values. "The United States of Veronica" by Deanna Carlyle focues on the state of current events that influence the show and also why VM is a product of its time. And yes,folks,we have a car essay by Lawrence Watt-Evans on how each mode of transportation reflects upon the characters.

All in all,I can safely say that this is a pretty clever book for the discerning Veronica Mars fan that would look well next to your VM DVD sets and shrine to LoVe. While there are not alot of insights into season three(the book was being put together as the latest season of VM was underway),there is plenty of food for thought that should sate the most eager of palates as they await the next set of DVDs and hopefully,another season of the show. Also,one of the essays happens to have one of the best dialogue bits from this season as it's title:


Bob said...

Cool! I'll have to check that out. And I know the rumors are swirling everywhere that the show won't be coming back but I'm still waiting for the official announcement. Long live Veronica!

lady t said...

Thanks,Bob but as we all know by now,the big brains at the CW have put the kibosh on Veronica Mars,in favor of a Gossip Girls series. Sad,but true.

Oh well,we still have the DVDs and this great book to remind us and future generations of what VM once was.