Veronica Mars and its characters are copyright ©2006 Warner Bros. Television and The CW. This is a fan site and not authorized by The CW or its affiliates. Page copyright ©2006 KryptonSite, unless the material is noted as coming from someplace else or being by an individual author. Veronica Mars stars Kristen Bell, Enrico Colantoni, Francis Capra, Jason Dohring, Percy Daggs III, Tina Majorino, Michael Muhney, Ryan Hansen, Julie Gonzalo, and Chris Lowell.



DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Veronica Mars: The Complete Third Season
Review by Craig Byrne - NeptuneSite Webmaster
October 22, 2007

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In A Nutshell:

The third season of Veronica Mars is released to DVD in a six-disc set, and unlike previous sets, we get a ton of extras, including the video used by Rob Thomas & co. to pitch a fourth season of the show.

The Episodes:

Honestly, despite some decent episodes, this is probably the weakest season of Veronica Mars. The first third of the season picks up on the whole "Hearst College rapist" storyline set up in Veronica's visit in Season Two. After that, there's a mystery involving the murder of a character that I didn't particularly care about in the first place. Finally, the show did self-contained episodes, and they also [SPOILER WARNING] killed Sheriff Don Lamb and unrealistically put Keith Mars into his position, and that's around the time where I, like many other viewers, checked out. By the end the show limped its way to under 2 million viewers.

Though, like I said, there are some gems in the rough here, the season as a whole is hurt by the very erratic appearances of characters that I do like. I want to see Wallace, Mac, Dick, Lamb, and Weevil; characters I'd cared about since the first season... only to find there are times when those characters are missing for several weeks in a row. Half the time I completely forgot that Wallace was even on the show anymore. Those relationships were important to me.

I'm assuming it was the network that demanded constant angst for the Logan and Veronica relationship, and it all came across as unnecessary conflict. The worst time for it was an otherwise good episode, "There's Got To Be A Morning After Pill," where the narrative is repeatedly interrupted with Veronica having flashbacks of Logan with Madison. Yes, Veronica is an angsty character and this is an angsty show, but the Veronica Mars I loved is not a little girl who would cry about a boy.

Veronica continues to be bitter and abrupt toward others this season. This behavior had reason in Season One, but by this time, the schtick has gotten old.

I will say, though, that the episodes look good in widescreen and on DVD. I especially like seeing the new opening credits in this format. (I'm in the minority, but I liked the redesigned credits)

Despite material that's just not as good as the show once was, most of the regular actors still bring their A game. Ryan Hansen's Dick Casablancas gets some rare dramatic work in this time, and it's great; Jason Dohring makes the best of the material he's got, even though his character is treated very repetitively.

One thing I always wondered, that I'm reminded of watching this DVD: How did Parker go from a shaved head and picking out wigs one week, to having beautiful hair not long after? Is this something I'm just not supposed to wonder about? That kind of took me out of the moment.

Although the show's two new additions, Chris Lowell and Julie Gonzalo, did do well with their roles, I felt that they were both shoved down our throats a little much... and like I said, I wanted to see the old familiar characters.

The Extras:

They finally included a good amount of extra features, and this is the main reason to buy this DVD set.

The highlight of the disc (even though the end result is not very good) is a look at the Veronica Mars: FBI pitch that Rob Thomas & co. made to the CW Network with hopes of getting a fourth season. They even have Rob and producer Dan Etheridge talking about the pitch.

Now the entire world can see why Veronica Mars didn't get an 86th chance: This presentation is horrible. It falls into the worst repetitive parts of Veronica Mars (stories involving sexual humiliation, and giving Veronica past relations with guys she treated like crap but we never really know why). There's also the question of logic of why someone like Veronica would be invited into the FBI after having a criminal record. But whatever; Veronica: FBI! (I say sarcastically) After seeing this presentation, I'm sure Kristen Bell is very happy this wasn't picked up and she can instead do a better show this season.

During the FBI presentation it seems that the logo of the agency Veronica was at was obscured and blurred at all times. Did they not get the right clearances? Either way, that was also distracting and somewhat annoying.

Veronica Mars as a series was at its best when it had Veronica surrounded by characters that, hopefully, we as viewers would like. The Wallaces and Logans of this world. I have very little interest in seeing a show with those characters jettisoned.

The extras are continually interrupted by a "Now available on DVD, Veronica Mars Seasons 1 and 2!" message, which is annoying, but maybe Warner Bros. wants to remind you that there was once a time when the show was good.

There's also a series of extras where Thomas and Etheridge talk about different elements of the series. They go over their favorite guest stars (I'd still love to know where Ryan Hansen fit into that), and there are some times when Rob tries to explain his reasons for certain things that were criticized, but the end result is rather condescending, especially when he tries to explain that Veronica was not unnecessarily mean in Season Three. That may not have been his intention, but that's how it came across. Thomas does most of the talking, and Etheridge mostly nods in between the occasional kissing up to his boss. I do like that Thomas & co. do admit that some things were not exactly perfect, in a section called "Do Overs."

The show's "webisodes" are included on this set, including an interview with Ryan Hansen followed by Ryan giving a tour of his trailer, proving that he's very much like the better side of Dick (minus the whole jerky side). Also in the webisode section, production designer Alfred Sole gives a short tour of the show's food court and college sets. If that's not enough, a quick 30 second tour of the set is given for those of us not fortunate enough to brown nose our way to the Veronica Mars set. Finally, Chris Lowell interviews Kristen Bell and does what he can to make some jokes at her expense, and then KB interviews Chris. This double-interview is also one of the best parts of this DVD set.

There is a selection of deleted scenes on the DVD, with introductions and explanations by creator Rob Thomas. These scenes involve the following:

- Dean O'Dell tells Veronica she might be expelled unless he can tell her what she wants to know. (From "Wichita Linebacker")
- Veronica talks to Dean O'Dell about what happened with his car. (From "Wichita Linebacker")
- Nish tells Parker about a protest in the middle of a class lecture. (From "Charlie Don't Surf")
- A scene with Wallace and Mac! They discuss studying together, "boot camp for the brain." ("Charlie Don't Surf")
- Another deleted Mac/Wallace scene, where Mac is awkward about being touched by a guy. ("Charlie Don't Surf")
- Wallace tells a guy to leave Mac alone. ("Charlie Don't Surf")
- Wallace and Mac meet in the food court, and Mac tells Wallace that she's switching to the advanced class. She's also reacting in a paranoid fashion thinking guys are pressuring her. ("Charlie Don't Surf")
- Keith meets with Harmony and asks what they are drinking. ("Hi, Infidelity")
- Logan calls Keith to inquire about Veronica's whereabouts. ("Of Vice and Men")
- Veronica asks Weevil for help in trying to find the Dean's computer. ("Show Me The Monkey")
- Mac and Veronica look through the Dean's browser history and find several suicide-related websites. ("Show Me The Monkey")
- The aftermath of Logan's tryst with the skanky girl at the beach. ("Show Me The Monkey")
- Bronson tells Deputy Sacks that he saw a suspicious looking squirrel. ("Show Me The Monkey")
- Veronica interrupts Lamb and asks if he checked for a gun in Mason's room. ("Postgame Mortem")
- Keith and Leo plan how to "follow the money" to catch the Fitzpatricks. ("Debasement Tapes")
- Veronica asks Leo to please not tell her dad what he has learned. ("The Bitch is Back")

Finally there's a 7-minute gag real, where I grinned but I don't think I actually laughed even once, and I think I've heard "I finally got the police report on the Dean's suicide" about 10 times too many. I've seen much better gag reels, but hey, at least this set had one.

The Packaging:

The packaging is another of the best elements... whoever designed this set did a great job. I wish Lamb had made it onto the cover, and don't know how Piz ended up on Disc Two with Logan all the way on Four, but still, good job. I'm also very thankful Warner Bros. did not go the double-sided route.

The Verdict:

I'm glad to have Veronica Mars Season Three as part of my collection just so I can revisit the episodes at a later time, but I know I'll be spending more time with the previous sets. I will say, though, that I do love the selection of extras here, so I'd still recommend picking this one up - even if it's to cringe at the VM:FBI pitch. I wish the show had kept its level of quality from the first year, but we can't win them all, right? I give this set a B-, mostly because of the quality and quantity of extras. Within the set you'll find some episodes you like, but don't expect as many home runs as you got in Season 1.

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Veronica Mars and its characters are copyright ©2007 Warner Bros. Television and The CW. This is a fan site and not authorized by The CW or its affiliates. Page copyright ©2007 KryptonSite, unless the material is noted as coming from someplace else or being by an individual author.