Veronica is better as a closed-off, emotionally-stunted pessimist, with a soft marshmallow heart deep inside.
Fans were elated last week when Hulu's reboot of Veronica Mars dropped one week early following the cast's panel at San Diego Comic Con. The hype quickly turned on its head after viewers binged the eight-episode fourth season only to find that Veronica's nemesis-turned-lover-turned-husband, Logan Echolls, was blown to smithereens by the last bomb planted by serial bomber, Penn Epner (Patton Oswalt). So what happens when an underdog series with a cult-ish following kills off its fans' favorite love interest? A fandom fractures.
When the series began in 2004, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) was a young teenage private eye, following in her Sheriff dad's footsteps and trying to solve her best friend's murder. Meanwhile, Logan (Jason Dohring) spent much of the first season as a volatile rich kid organizing bum fights and ostracizing Veronica when her father fingered the wrong guy in the murder case. But soon, Logan and Veronica bonded over their grief over the loss of Lily Kane, and they ended up secretly dating at the end of season 1, kickstarting an on-again-off-again affair. Fans of the series (coined "marshmallows") shipped them hard, creating the nickname "LoVe" for the two unlikely lovers.
Six years after its cancellation, fans raised $5.7 million on Kickstarter to see their favorite sassy sleuth back in action, resulting in a 2014 movie that fueled the saga of LoVe and reignited their sexual tension. Now, 15 years and another tumultuous season later, Logan and Veronica finally tied the knot— only for Logan to be offed just minutes after the nuptials. To say some marshmallows are upset would be the TV understatement of the year.
@BornCancelled @susanmichelin @IMKristenBell @jason_dohring @RobThomas I know it's hard for male TV writers to unde… https://t.co/w02wkGFsan— LindaPB (@LindaPB)1563708957.0
Good morning to everyone, except Rob Thomas. #VeronicaMars https://t.co/JQcoStlvuK— R. (@R.)1563777627.0
What upsets me the most about the shit show that is the VMars reboot is how 95% of the promotion was based around L… https://t.co/q9eGEu4is3— Elle Jae💚#IDONTMIND (@Elle Jae💚#IDONTMIND)1563621275.0
Warning: #VeronicaMars spoilers Rob Thomas finally spoke out on THAT twist. And his reasoning feels incredibly se… https://t.co/LyL40isK70— Erin Crabtree (@Erin Crabtree)1563815225.0
Although the quick one-two of marriage and death might have had a rushed execution, you can't help but balk at the overreaction from fans. Longtime fans have given up on the show, turning their backs on creator Rob Thomas for good. Some have even called him sexist and the writing lazy. For me, a strong reaction of any kind is a good sign; indifference is the enemy of fiction. I'd also argue that one character should not make or break a show. But in all the excitement, some may have missed the clues dropped by Thomas and Bell; and clearly, fans' failure to crack the case left them feeling blindsided.
But we can't say we weren't warned. Before season 4 debuted, Thomas tweeted, "The movie was nostalgic. The Hulu limited series isn't going to be. Hardcore So-Cal noir. One big case...This is a detective show." Bell even chimed in on the press tour, stating, "You might not want this version, but you do need this version."
It should've been clear that this was no longer the CW's Veronica Mars, nor would the season serve up a double-scoop of fan service like the movie did. As Thomas told TV Guide, "The show started out as sort of a teen soap-noir detective show hybrid. And in order for us to keep doing these, I think it needs to become a detective show—a noir, mystery, detective show—and those elements of teenage soap need to be behind us."
It was the right call. LoVe's relationship was just as much a ticking bomb as the explosive that killed Logan, and Veronica's tendency to emotionally manipulate Logan early in the season proved it. Drawn to the bad boy version of Logan from seasons past, the writers made it clear that Veronica was baiting him to lash out, despite his efforts to put his demons to rest. He worked overtime to overcome his traumas and be a better man for her, but Veronica remained hardened by her own past. Her initial rejection of Logan's proposal and her inability to confront their problems at his request is textbook Veronica: Trust is difficult for her, so she stays guarded. In sum, she's deeply flawed.
The DNA of the show needs to expand to move forward—and Veronica needed to be separated from Logan to do that. A season of couple's therapy isn't compelling television, nor is Logan's perpetual on-call status for the military. Veronica is now a woman in her 30s, and without Logan she can dig elbow-deep into her next case as a workaholic with severe trust issues, a passion for justice, and an extensive taser collection. Without Logan, her fire will burn brighter than ever.
It's uncertain if Veronica Mars will fight, scratch, and claw its way to a fifth season. If it's anything like its namesake heroine, it will. But the polarized reaction to Logan's death draws a definite line in the sand. There are those with fantasies of LoVe who refuse to let go of the past, and there are realists who can accept a necessary evil if it means more of the show they love. Veronica is most compelling when she's fighting from the bottom. Like so many classic noir heroes before her, Veronica is better as a closed-off, emotionally-stunted pessimist, with a soft marshmallow heart deep inside. She's the underdog we root for because she never gives up. But, as in all great fiction, the protagonist can't have everything she wants, and as viewers, neither can we.
- Veronica Mars | Veronica Mars Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia ›
- Veronica Mars - Home | Facebook ›
- The Veronica Mars Movie Project by Rob Thomas — Kickstarter ›
- Veronica Mars @ Comic Con (@veronicamars) | Twitter ›
- Watch Veronica Mars Streaming Online | Hulu (Free Trial) ›
- Every episode of Veronica Mars, ranked - Vox ›
- Veronica Mars at 15: An Oral History | Vanity Fair ›
- Veronica Mars: Season 4 Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original - YouTube ›
The PlayStation 1 era of video games, lasting from 1995 until the PlayStation 2's release in 2000, was defined by its JRPGs.
Unlike most other genres of the era, Japanese role-playing games were largely story-based, weaving epic tales that proved video games could be more than just mindless diversions. Gameplay typically revolved around turn-based combat, relying more on tactics than hand-eye coordination. Due to their reliance on plot and menu-based mechanics, many JRPGs stand the test of time even after decades of graphical improvements. Let's take a look at nine of the best JRPGs that the PS1 had to offer.
Final Fantasy 7, Final Fantasy 8, and Final Fantasy 9<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyNjgxMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MTUyOTk2M30.e05q_Fr-JXf46sYXCv2P0gzFJ_PPmuqSIaxHG3-5Akg/img.jpg?width=980" id="dfc99" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8a3f28c9c4dec7e8fea12d81237bdfb0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Final Fantasy 7" />
Square Enix<p>Let's just get the obvious out of the way first. <em>Final Fantasy 7</em>, <em>Final Fantasy 8</em>, and <em>Final Fantasy 9</em> rank amongst the most beloved games history. <em><a href="https://www.popdust.com/how-final-fantasy-vii-remake-redefines-what-a-remake-can-be-2645973706.html" target="_blank">Final Fantasy 7</a> </em><a href="https://www.popdust.com/how-final-fantasy-vii-remake-redefines-what-a-remake-can-be-2645973706.html">redefined what a video game could be for an entire generation of gamers</a>, while <em>Final Fantasy 8 </em>and <em>Final Fantasy 9</em> took big risks, shifting their game mechanics enough to feel completely distinct from every other game that came before them and overshadowing pretty much every other game on the PS1. If you like video games in general, all three of these are must-plays. If you've already played them, they most likely rank amongst your favorites already.</p>
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyNjgxMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NTcxMTEzMX0.RHOv48sXCc4tJrqp190WdWdOSybNaTCo-eds-zLpcxA/img.jpg?width=980" id="378f9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1932ee8092fe2272ca693bf8319991d4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Lunar 2 Eternal Blue" />
Entertainment Software<p>Featuring fantastic character designs, full-blown anime cutscenes, and one of the best soundtracks in any video game ever, <em>Lunar 2: Eternal Blue </em>easily deserves far more recognition than it gets. <em>Lunar 2</em>'s gameplay is classic RPG perfection, with each party members' play style feeling incredibly distinct (one of them is a gambler, and his best move hinges on a dice roll). It also had a <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Lunar-Eternal-Complete-Official-Strategy/dp/0966299337" target="_blank">gorgeous hardcover guidebook</a> that would run you a few hundred dollars if you were to buy it nowadays.</p>
The Legend of Dragoon<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyNjgyMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk1MzA5OH0.2mlVO0qY1KYgdCCqyl1zgkhgEsZ2OaMcKH1i9YF51cE/img.jpg?width=980" id="82d26" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e102d36c0b23d3d3321496d73a1153dd" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Legend of Dragoon" />
Sony<p>Culturally eclipsed by the release of <em>Final Fantasy 8</em>, <em><a href="https://www.popdust.com/video-games-remakes-2646360023.html" target="_blank">Legend of Dragoon </a></em><a href="https://www.popdust.com/video-games-remakes-2646360023.html">never achieved the mainstream success of its contemporary</a>, but nevertheless picked up a cult following that sings the games praises even to this day. Alongside a great story, the best part about <em>Legend of Dragoon</em> was its Dragoon Transformation mechanic, whereby your characters could temporarily transform into legendary winged warriors with enhanced move-sets and powerful special attacks.</p>
Xenogears<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyNjgyNy9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0Mzk1NTUzOX0.VqokfSxeeZ_nAtZWXgJSAXwd3tdE0iPXv9wkPte92NQ/img.png?width=980" id="d95b8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="433b7414dcc9a4e392d26c5c0b4e8a45" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Xenogears" />
Square Enix<p><em>Xenogears </em>was the spiritual predecessor to the <em>Xenosaga </em>and <em>Xenoblade </em>games, meaning that it's all about two things: anime and robots. Okay, that's simplifying things a lot. In actuality, <em>Xenogears</em>' plot is amongst the deepest and most complex in any video game, even standing out amidst a genre that prioritizes storytelling. If you like great video game storytelling, there are few games that will ever even come close to <em>Xenogears</em>.<br></p>
Suikoden 2<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyNjgzMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNDc2OTMxMn0.Jfpuiv6GrqlYsj0O4QG-bAXgqhV7BjTM_LnlkilzbRw/img.jpg?width=980" id="d2c99" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bd841af76e17ce0d8d2759209b61900f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Suikoden 2" />
Konami<p>While <em>Suikoden 2 </em>didn't make a huge splash upon its release, many JRPG fans retrospectively consider it the single-best title of its era. The <em>Suikoden </em>franchise's big gimmick is that, instead of having a roster of five to 10 playable characters, your character roster clocks in at 108. <em>Suikoden 2 </em>makes great use of the variation in its characters, resulting in a game that can be played over and over again in countless different ways. The old-school, 32-bit graphics, which worked against it at the time of its release, have also served to make <em>Suikoden 2</em> game look a lot better than its 3D contemporaries all these years later. As a side note, if you like <em>Suikoden</em>, be sure to check out the <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rabbitandbearstudios/eiyuden-chronicle-hundred-heroes/description" target="_blank">Kickstarter for its spiritual successor,</a> <em><a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rabbitandbearstudios/eiyuden-chronicle-hundred-heroes/description">Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes</a></em>.</p>
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyNjgzNi9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMjg2MzY3M30.J7NW173dRiHByU2pR8CpIuzmV0Dp0EIAa5wY5jjft1g/img.png?width=980" id="fa0bd" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9ec9fc90447cfff8b1dc940aabd48048" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Persona 2 eternal punishment" />
Atlus<p>Technically the third <em>Persona </em>title, <em>Persona 2: Eternal Punishment </em>is the sequel to <em>Persona 2: Innocent Sin</em>. <em></em><em>Eternal Punishment</em> improves upon its predecessor's unique gameplay mechanics, specifically the rumor-based system wherein rumors spread throughout the city, changing how your character interacts with other people. This would go on to heavily influence the mechanics of future <em>Persona </em>titles. And yet, unlike the later <em>Persona </em>games, <em>Eternal Punishment</em>'s deeply unsettling art style is still in the same vein of the series it spun off from—<a href="https://www.popdust.com/shin-megami-tensei-2646445668.html" target="_blank">Shin Megami Tensei</a>.<span></span></p>
Final Fantasy Tactics<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyNjg0NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMzg4ODc0NH0.CHSi48sL_MHNXOGzLKXUAlgarEWmrTPfPr8d8PfUhMM/img.jpg?width=980" id="f0688" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4b36f1c1829d0676b59995068ba6a181" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Final Fantasy Tactics" />
Square Enix<p>While traditional JRPG combat relies solely on menu-based battle options, Tactical RPGs add on grid-based positioning wherein your units must move around a battlefield in order to confront opponents. These games also typically feature perma-death mechanics, so if a unit dies, they die forever. There have been plenty of great Tactical RPGs over the years, but none have surpassed <em>Final Fantasy Tactics</em>, which boasts an incredible story <em>and </em>the single-coolest unit in any game of its genre—<a href="https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Cidolfus_Orlandeau" target="_blank">Thunder God Cid</a>.<em></em></p>
We can celebrate the Boy Who Lived while still advocating for transgender rights.
Today, July 31, 2020, is Harry Potter's 40th birthday.
Harry Potter might be one of the most successful franchises of all time, but Harry's birthday this year comes coded with some recent statements made by J.K. Rowling. The author's xenophobic tweets have made her, arguably, one of the most powerful TERFs—or trans-exclusionary radical feminists—in pop culture today.
Rowling has been known to make some unusual remarks before—remember that time she said Dumbledore was gay, despite having never depicted his sexuality in the books?—but her TERF shenanigans are by far her most infuriating. Last December, Rowling received a wave of backlash after tweeting in support of Maya Forstater, an English woman who lost her job after posting a series of tweets questioning government plans to let people declare their own gender.