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Charisma Carpenter

Charisma Carpenter - "Veronica Mars" Tv Series - Ugo.com Review

Joanna Topor

Wednesday 4 October 2006, by Webmaster

What’s a girl to do after putting her best-friend’s murderer behind bars and learning that her awkward, nerdy acquaintance not only raped her while she was drugged, but also blew up a busload of kids? Go to college and pledge a sorority, of course.

So begins the third season of Veronica Mars, the tightly written, clever caper series about a teenaged blonde bombshell detective and her doting P.I dad. We meet up with Veronica (Kristen Bell) on the first day of college as our favorite sleuth looks to make a fresh start on campus. But life as a college freshman is anything but normal for a girl with a nose for trouble. Within minutes of her first class, Veronica cracks her first case and manages to piss off a mysterious, ego-driven teaching assistant. And before the aftermath of a few frat parties sets in, Veronica is strapping in for the long haul on a doozie of an eerie mystery involving a series of assaults on campus - all while maintaining her relationship with resident bad boy Logan (Jason Dohring) and keeping Wallace (Percy Daggs III) and his new roomie, Piz (Chris Lowell), out of trouble.

Part angsty coming-of-age drama - Veronica battles with fitting in, falling for bad boys and getting caught sneaking out by her dad - and part noir detective movie, Veronica is a jaded, fast talking gumshoe who helps her clients in spite of themselves. Veronica Mars is one of those rare smart shows that doesn’t easily fall into primetime categories. Combining the best parts of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and My So-Called Life, the show’s ability to handle all of life’s ups and downs with cutting one-liners and deft humor has resulted in a devoted following of savvy viewers (Joss Whedon, Kevin Smith, and Stephen King have openly sung its praises). And though it’s easy to list the show’s accolades and legions of famous fans, the bottom line is that Veronica Mars is responsible for creating one of TV’s best, albeit entirely platonic, couples. Veronica and her quick-witted dad Keith (Enrico Colatoni) exchange pop-culture charged banter at the speed of light while aptly maintaining their father-daughter hierarchy and dependency.

Enough about the sensitive stuff, here’s how the new season stacks up. After the show took one too many Lost turns last season, with bombings, unexpected pregnancies and international kidnappings, the third season promises a return to simpler mysteries that allow Veronica to flex her crime-solving muscle without losing track of her cases. No matter how many heartstrings she pulls and how many frat boys she puts in their place, the great part about this show is that Veronica has no qualms about getting down and dirty. The new season finds Veronica doing everything from breaking into administrative offices, uncovering clandestine grow houses, and being the filling in a sorority girl sandwich. And because Veronica is in college now, she not only gets a few new friends, she also gets to get out from under her father’s thumb a bit, and that means more freedom to pursue grittier mysteries.

The result is a fresh take on a fan favorite that is guaranteed to surprise and delight. Sure, the petty thefts and dognappings may pay Veronica’s bills, but now that she’s all grown up, she can dive into more complex cases, which she does without hesitation. Armed with her taser gun, sharp wit and bubble gum smile, Veronica is set to outwit, outlast and outplay her fellow freshmen all while putting Neptune’s law enforcement to shame.

Directing: A
Writing: A
Performances: A
Visual Appeal: A
Overall: A