Investigating Veronica Mars

Essays on the Teen Detective Series

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About the Book

During the course of its three seasons, Veronica Mars captured the attention of fans and academics alike. The 12 scholarly essays in this collection examine the show’s most compelling elements. Topics covered include vintage television, the search for the mother, fatherhood, the show’s connection to classical Greek paradigms, the anti-hero’s journey, rape narrative and meaning, and television fandom. Collectively, these essays reveal how a teen television show—equal parts noir, romance, social realism and father-daughter drama—became a worthy subject for scholarly study.

About the Author(s)

Rhonda V. Wilcox is a professor of English at Gordon College. She is the editor of Studies in Popular Culture and the coeditor of Slayage: The Journal of the Whedon Studies Association. She is the author of one previous book on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and has published numerous essays.
Sue Turnbull is the chair of Communication and Media Studies at the University of Wollongong in Australia. She has published broadly in the fields of media education, audience studies and television, with particular attention to the representation of crime in popular culture.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Rhonda V. Wilcox and Sue Turnbull
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 210
Bibliographic Info: notes, appendix, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4534-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8463-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Introduction. Canonical Veronica: Veronica Mars and Vintage Television

RHONDA V. WILCOX and SUE TURNBULL      1

1. Rob Thomas and Television Creativity

DAVID LAVERY      23

2. Performing Veronica Mars

SUE TURNBULL      35

3. So Cal Pietà: Veronica Mars, Logan Echolls, and the Search for the Mother

RHONDA V. WILCOX      49

4. “Who’s Your Daddy?”: Issues of Fatherhood

SARAH A. LEAVITT and LEWIS A. LEAVITT      67

5. Family Matters: Antigone, Veronica, and the Classical Greek Paradigm

STAN BEELER      82

6. Rethinking “The Getting Even Part”: Feminist Anger and Vigilante Justice in a Post-9/11 America

TAMY BURNETT and MELISSA TOWNSEND      95

7. “Get My Revenge On”: The Anti- Hero’s Journey

PAUL ZINDER      110

8. This Teen Sleuth’s Tricks Aren’t Just for Kids: Connecting with an Intergenerational Audience

LISA EMMERTON      123

9. “We Used to Be Friends”: Breaking up with America’s Sweetheart

SOPHIE MAYER      137

10. “No Longer That Girl”: Rape Narrative and Meaning in Veronica Mars

SARAH WHITNEY      152

11. Neptune (Non-)Consensual: The Risky Business of Television Fandom, Falling in Love, and Playing the Victim

TANYA R. COCHRAN      167

Episode Credits      189

Cast Credits      192

Contributors      193

Index      197