Earth to Mars

***Dave and Margie, unfortunately, decided to watch Veronica Mars for the first time last night.
Damn shame that that was the first impression they got of the show. I said in his comments that it was a pretty bleh episode and likened it to Teacher’s Pet from first-season Buffy, but after thinking about it, I realized that it wasn’t as much a lame throwaway episode as it is a “drop mega-hints for the uber-plot” episode… which is almost worse.

See, the problem with trying to dismiss this VM episode as vaguely hackish crap is that it drops a lot of foreshadowing and hints for uber-plot stuff that, while important to someone following the whole thing, are meaningless to the first-time viewer:
– Her mom and her ex-boyfriend’s dad used to date. A lot. Why is that a big deal? Well, there’s a chance the two also had an affair at a later date (something we see hinted in earlier eps), so… what if Veronica is her ex-boyfriend’s half-sister, and that’s why he dumped her last year. (Cf. all the flashbacks for this ep.) This all ties back into VM spacing out when Dad says something about “Have to respect a guy who would raise a kid who isn’t his own.” This element is kind of huge, but only if you think about it for about an hour and try to figure out WTF the point of the whole yearbook C-plot was about.
Not that… I… did that….
– Stuff about dead-Lilly’s relationship with the biker guy, who figures prominently in the show in a kind of “I haven’t had my Screen Presence 3 episode yet” way.
Lots of important plotty stuff, but yeah, not a great starter episode at all.
VM’s a good show, though. I wouldn’t call it a great show, because sometimes the timing and scenes are a bit off — it’s still getting it’s sea legs and figuring out if it’s 90210 or Elmore Leonard, but it has a lot of potential.
I’m pleased (and vaguely relieved, in a Red-Sox-Curse-Lifted kind of way) to learn that UPN picked it up for the full season.