Tuesday, October 23, 2007

DVD Review: Veronica Mars - Season Three

Oh, Veronica Mars. I miss you so much! Happily, thanks to Warner Home Video and M80 promotions, I now have a copy of the third season DVD set (which was released today) in my hot little hands. Hooray!

Now, as you may know, Glowy Box covered the third season of Veronica Mars in quite some detail, so I'm not going to review the season itself. If you want to know what we thought about the third season's episodes, head here. (Brief summary: "Even its worst episodes had better writing and acting than some shows that have run twice as long." So true. Although the third season - and second season, for that matter - never quite reached the brilliant heights of the first season.) Instead, I'm going to focus on the many excellent bonus features, since they're new for all of us.

First off, and most excitingly, the bonus DVD includes the entire season four pitch. For those who don't remember, Rob Thomas, in a last-ditch effort to save the show, put together a 15-minute video introducing a possible fourth season, which would take place several years in the future, when Veronica is a rookie FBI agent. Though I was very skeptical of the idea at first (though supportive of anything that would save the show), I am now convinced that it would have been an awesome, grown-up Veronica Mars that very well may have been successful. You guys, the DVD set is almost worth the price for the FBI pitch alone. It's like the first two acts of the first episode of the fourth season! And am I the only one who thinks this would make an awesome movie? (Hint, hint, movie executives...) And seriously, I feel like the other networks should be fighting over this show.

The DVD also includes interviews with Rob Thomas and a supervising producer about what went into the season four pitch, and where it came from. Fun fact: He always envisioned Veronica going into the FBI somewhere down the road. Fun fact #2: They threw the whole thing together in two weeks! My only (very small) complaint would be that they intersperse long clips from the pitch, which we presumably just watched, with the interviews. Which is redundant at best.

The bonus disk also features an illuminating series of interviews with Rob Thomas and the supervising producer about various aspects of season three, including the change in opening credits (which is more interesting than it sounds), Rob Thomas's experience directing "Spit & Eggs" (probably my favorite episode of the season), Veronica's relationship with Logan and Keith, and (quite interestingly) the politics of Veronica Mars, which doesn't necessarily go in the direction you'd expect. Fun fact: Kristen Bell is an animal rights activist! Right on--I knew I loved this show!

There are also five "webisodes," or features from the website, with actor interviews, set tours, etc. My favorite is definitely the clip of Kristen Bell and Chris Lowell (Piz, now on Private Practice) interviewing each other. It's pretty hysterical. There are also deleted scenes (or, as they put it, "unaired scenes") with introductions by Rob Thomas (who points out that there aren't many, because it's hard to cut scenes from a mystery show in which most every scene contains clues). And, of course, the predictably great gag reel.

However, the DVDs also seem to be lacking in one major bonus feature: episode commentary. What gives?! Couldn't lure everyone back into one room to reminisce? That disappointment aside, if you're already a Veronica Mars fan, you obviously have to get these DVDs. If you're not a Veronica Mars fan (yet), you have to get the first and second season DVDs, and then these DVDs. Seriously. This show was all kinds of awesome.