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TV Party with Girl Germs Featuring Veronica Mars

June 8, 2011

Veronica MarsNot that we don’t have love for shows like 90210, The O.C. and Dawson’s Creek, but sometimes a girl just needs to watch a teen drama in which the main female characters aren’t around simply to vie for male characters’ attention or to act as eye candy. Enter Veronica Mars, a groundbreaking, well-written and engaging show that emerged in 2004 and centered around the titular character, a teen detective just trying to maintain her sanity (and her GPA) while her world crumbles around her. We’ll be screening episodes of Veronica Mars at our next TV Party with Girl Germs event at the Red Stag Supperclub, Monday, June 13, starting at 9:30 p.m. From 9 to 9:30, Girl Germs’ Anna and Dana will spin some of our favorite female artists.

For this TV Party, we’ve teamed up with our TV-obsessed friends (and Fancy Pants Gangsters comrades) Blogulator Radio. Read a more in-depth analysis of the show courtesy of the Blogulator peeps:

Crime shows and teen dramas have been among the most successful, albeit trite, sorts of primetime network television, so it must have been a real bummer to studio execs when along came Veronica Mars, a show that could technically be lumped into either category but boldly defied the conventions of both at every turn throughout its sadly brief three season run. Starring now-movie star Kristen Bell as the titular adolescent detective, “V-Mars” (as the cool kids call it) led viewers through addictive and twisty mysteries that eschewed the rote case-of-the-week procedural style of storytelling that has plagued television for far too long in favor of richer and more sprawling season-long arcs every year. In addition, the crime-solving side of the show took a modern noir-y perspective of the idyllic-yet-corrupt (not to mention fictional) community of Neptune, California, trading in smoky alleyways for sunset-tinted high school hallways and replacing ham-fisted machismo-soaked dialogue with aggressively witty (and often feminist) commentary.

The inaugural season, which debuted on UPN in 2004, is arguably the best of the small bunch, possibly only because of its grandiose and slow-burning introduction of a wide range of instantly memorable characters. There’s Enrico Colantoni as Veronica’s deflated yet supportive ex-sheriff father (it is in this TV geek’s humble opinion that feminist male characters are just as important as empowered female ones) who triumphs as both a humble town saint as well as a complexly uncertain but constantly loving parent. And then there’s Jason Dohring as the brooding rich boy next door Logan, whose girlfriend Lily’s murder is Veronica’s main source of investigation throughout the show’s first run of episodes. Lily (played by Big Love’s Amanda Seyfreid) is equally arresting and vital as Veronica, too, in powerful flashback scenes that never feel extraneous to the present day goings-on. Lastly, you cannot leave out Eli “Weevil” Navarro, portrayed by Francis Capra, Jr., whose presence exemplifies the tricky class conflicts of Neptune, and uses Veronica as an admirably capable middle class middlewoman between the so-called “thugs” and bureaucrats of the town.

Seasons two and three continue much of the awesome that the first contains, bringing Veronica and the gang (her best friends Mac the wry tech-geek and Wallace the timid basketballer) through to graduation and into college. It sounds like a typical place for the series to go, but it manages to use it merely as a backdrop for first, an intense (and unpredictably personal) look into a bus crash that killed several of Veronica’s classmates, and second, an on-campus serial rapist at Hearst College. And here, in the show’s third season, which sadly leaves behind or at the sidelines too many of the show’s best characters from earlier not to mention came to a crashing cancellation that kept it from a proper close, it all comes back to the first season: Veronica, being a former rape victim, is not forced so much as chooses to constantly battle against seedy male figures that take advantage of and brutally assault the good and the strong throughout the series’ run. Yet this fact never defines her, and she never lets anyone define her this way, nor let it lead to other distracting and unfair labels, because with or without mention of the event that may or may not have influenced her to become a professional investigator, she’s a badass, she’s smarter than you, and simply put, she’s one the best female characters ever put to the small screen. And dammit, that fourth season with her interning at the FBI should have happened.

To recap:
Music from Girl Germs hosts – 9 p.m.
Veronica Mars episodes – 9:30 p.m.

Happy hour specials from 10 to close: $3 domestics, $4 select taps, $4 select cocktails, $4 Crispin, $3 house wine. (The event is ALL AGES.)

TV Party with Girl Germs is sponsored by Fancy Pants Gangsters and The Blogulator.

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