Veronica Mars (Season 4) (Hulu) - Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, April 8th, 2020  

Veronica Mars (Season 4)


Jul 20, 2019 Web Exclusive
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As it turns out, you can go home again. This is what Veronica Mars has done, the titular character of the cult television show that ran for three seasons starting in 2004. In 2014 a highly successful Kickstarter campaign funded a Veronica Mars film and now Hulu revitalizes the franchise with a fresh eight-episode season that takes place one year after the film, which was set nine years after the show ended its first run.

After studying as an undergrad at Stanford and Columbia Law School, Veronica, played by the ageless Kristen Bell, is back in her hometown of Neptune. She is working alongside her father, played by Enrico Colantoni, as a private investigator at Mars Investigations, the same exact job she was doing in high school. In fact, not much has changed at all. Everything that was appealing in Veronica Mars' initial run is still in place: her sarcastic tone, her ballsy attitude, her hiding of emotion under snark, her tech savvy, and her simple yet highly imitable style. She is still with Logan Echolls (played by Jason Dohring), but she won't make an honest man out of him and he is so distortedly buff, his head doesn't look like it belongs on his body.

What has changed is that Neptune has gone seriously downhill. When we arrive, it is hosting the trashiest spring break the West Coast has ever seen. Very quickly a bomb explodes in a down-market, family-run, seedy beachfront motel. This is the first in a series of bombs that detonate over the course of the season, each one making tracing the origins and motivations take a different turn. Mars Investigations is on the case and almost all of Veronica's old friends and foes make an appearance: Weevil (Francis Capra), the gangster with a heart of gold, Wallace (Percy Daggs III), now married with a family, Big Dick Casablancas (David Starzyk), Little Dick Casablancas (Ryan Hansen), even Jake Kane (Kyle Secor) and Leo D'Amato (Max Greenfield), Veronica's one-time brief flirt interest.

The bomb storylines and their offshoots move incredibly slowly. In the process, it is difficult to maintain a decent amount of giving a "cuss." This is the word used the most in the new series, as Veronica and her father are in a competition to see who can last the longest not dropping the F-bomb. There are also multiple uncharacteristic instances when Veronica is smoking weed, taking ecstasy, and getting "spring break whoo-hoo" drunk. No judgment, but if she didn't do all that stuff for the majority of her high school and college career, why is she starting now?

There are a few new characters that are life preservers in this murky swamp of uninteresting plots. Nicole, a sassy and razor-tongued bar owner who quickly shifts into BFF status with Veronica, played by Bell's The Good Place co-star, Kirby Howell-Baptiste. Police Chief Marcia Langdon played by a no-nonsense, don't cuss with me Dawnn Lewis and bomb survivor Matty Ross played a Veronica-in-training Izabela Vidovic.

Two other redeeming qualities are the reworked theme song, "We Used to Be Friends," originally performed by The Dandy Warhols. The new version is a slow burner courtesy of the perennially cool Chrissie Hynde. And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the co-writers of the sixth episode, by which time, we really don't give two cusses about what's going to happen on Veronica Mars Mk II. (

Author rating: 4/10

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Average reader rating: 3/10


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