In honor of the Veronica Mars Movie Kickstarter campaign, which completely took over my Twitter feed and my brain this morning, I thought I’d talk today about why I love Veronica Mars so much, and why I think it’s fabulous brainfood for writers.
I first discovered Veronica Mars after the series had ended. When it was airing, I had thought it looked like a silly, shallow high school show. OH THE REGRET.
Fortunately, while I was one of the reasons the show didn’t have a big enough audience to be renewed past a third season, the silver lining is that I could binge-watch the entire series on Netflix. I marathoned while at my parents’ house, watching “just one more episode” over and over while my kids chased each other around like crazed squirrels hyped up on sugar.
So why do I think this show is a must-watch for writers? Basically, it has everything. Relentless pacing. Layered characters. Plotting so tight you can bounce a quarter off it. Just the right amount of foreshadowing. Smart writing full of wit, charm, and emotion.
Yes, it’s a show about teens (although Veronica’s dad, Keith Mars, is one of my absolute favorite TV parents ever), and yes, it’s a show about crimes, but it’s so much more than either of those things. Even if you’re not into teen shows or noir, Veronica Mars has something for you. It has heart. It has sass. It has kissing and explosions and red herrings and one-liners.
Oh, and it’s Joss Whedon’s favorite show. If that means anything to you (which it should).
Granted, I think Season 1 is the best example of fabulousity, but even in the less-stellar second and third seasons, Veronica Mars could still serve up the spit-take laughs, the jaw-dropping twists, and the sucker-punch tearjerkers better than most other shows on TV.
If you’re a writer, or just a person who enjoys clever writing and a good whodunit, clear your schedule for Veronica Mars. You can even stream it online at The WB.
And I’m serious. You’ll need to clear your schedule. It’s that good.
Still on the fence? Here’s a fan-made trailer to convince you.
Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the fabulous people over at The Broke and the Bookish! It’s a day for us to all make lists and read lists and just generally celebrate lists.
Okay, so I know this may be slightly irritating, and I apologize. Especially since I totally cheated last week and next week is a freebie.
Anyway, the assigned topic for this week is:
Top Ten Books For People Who Like X Author (pick an author and give recommendations)
And I wracked my brain trying to come up with 10 books that are all in the style of a certain author, but I couldn’t do it. I even picked big genre-defining authors like J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins. But just because you liked Harry Potter doesn’t mean you’re going to like all fantasy, just like enjoying Hunger Games doesn’t mean all dystopians will be for you.
Plus, using books like that is more about a genre than an author, and I can’t think of another author who writes like J.K. Rowling or Suzanne Collins or any of the other amazing authors I love. They each have their own unique voice, and that’s part of the reason I love them.
So. Since I wanted to do a Top Ten list anyway, and I was coming up with a total blank on the topic, I tried to think of what I was into at the moment.
And guys, I’m going to be honest. I’m in a reading slump. I’ve seriously tapered off in my reading (and it’s reflected in my blog. Again, sorry). I know I’ll jump back in soon with both feet, and I’ve actually got a stack of books checked out from the library and sitting on my shelf and my iPad right now that I’m really anxious to read. I just need some time off to regroup.
And you know how I regroup?
I’d like to say exercise, but the answer is TV.
So without any further ado, I give you:
The Top Ten T.V. Shows for When You’re in a Reading Slump
(a.k.a. Shows Bookish People Like)
[p.s. I feel the need to make a disclaimer here that I’m not currently watching all of these shows, nor are all the shows I’m currently watching on this list. Confused yet?]
Where possible, I linked to the show on Netflix, so you can watch it right now if you have Netflix. Otherwise I linked to the Amazon page. (Or, in the case of one show, you can catch up pretty well on YouTube).
These are in no particular order, because I love them all. With great giant disgusting heaps of love.
It was a high school vampire show before high school vampire stories were all the rage. Again, excellent character development, intricate plots, quippy dialogue, and some pretty awesome action. One of the smartest teen shows on TV, ever.
This one’s only 14 episodes long, so you can easily tear through it in a week on Netflix (if you can make it last that long). Amazing world-building, an original concept, and of course the fabulous characters and dialogue that are a staple for Joss Whedon shows.
Rory is going to be a book blogger when she grows up, she just doesn’t know it yet. She is smart and shy and sassy and sweet, and the cast of characters is quirky and lovable. The best part of this show is the close and loving relationship between Rory and her mother Lorelai. It’s not perfect, but it’s one of the best mother-daughter depictions on TV (or that used to be on TV, anyway).
I’ll be the first to admit, this show went downhill towards the end. It’s like Ronald. D. Moore had a great concept and absolutely no idea what he wanted to do with it (actually, that is what happened. I’ve listened to the commentaries. He pretty much admits it). But the first couple season are out-of-this-world (literally) fantastic. And the acting is absolutely stellar (another space pun! I’m unstoppable!)
I know I keep harping on dialogue and character development, but really, name one great show that doesn’t have great dialogue and character development.
I’ll admit, I waited a few years on Veronica Mars. I didn’t think I’d be into a show about a teen detective with no superpowers. But the thing that finally made me pull the trigger was when I read it was Joss Whedon’s favorite show (including his own shows). That kind of clinched it for me.
And this show is incredible. The only bad thing is that it got canceled after the 3rd season wrapped, so there’s not a satisfying conclusion. But I promise, the rest of the show is worth the disappointment at the end.
8. So You Think You Can Dance
I know, this is a (gasp!) reality show! But it’s amazing and inspiring, and I happen to know for a fact that there are real books floating out there in the world — books that you’ve probably heard of and maybe even read and enjoyed — that take ideas and characters from this show. For example, the above routine inspired Victoria Schwab to write her upcoming novel The Archived. (No, I don’t know how it inspired her to write it, but she promises a post later on how the dance turned into a book).
[Warning: (and this isn’t a joke) This dance is about addiction and has been known to provoke strong emotional reactions]
Say what you will about this show, but I think the overarching plot device of the mysterious titular “mother” appeals to my bookish side. I like the tiny clues and the “future” narration that ties it all together. Plus, I think this is one of the best comedies currently on TV.
I have a confession to make, and that is that I am nowhere close to having finished this series. But the quirky sci-fi plots, the witty banter, and the smart writing leaves no question in my mind as to why so many writers and readers adore this show.
So I’m sorry for cheating, really I am, but maybe if you’re like me and are totally in a rut right now, I’ve given you something to fill the lonely book-less hours.
I’ll start reading again soon. In the meantime, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go watch some more Dr. Who.