Monday, October 02, 2006

Giving Veronica an air of mystery

Because I wanted to do something a little different than a standard review to tease the "Veronica Mars" premiere, I interviewed Rob Thomas about the process of writing the show's mysteries:

Veronica Mars catches thieves, cheaters and killers, all while maintaining a high GPA and some impressive non-detecting extracurricular activities. But making things look so effortless for their heroine takes months of work, planning and despair from her writers.

An average "Veronica" script takes about four weeks from when Thomas and his writers start outlining, or "breaking," the stories, to when it's ready to shoot. The timeline isn't unusual for network dramas, but the whodunit element makes the process much more intense.

"Mysteries are really, really hard, and in our case it's two mysteries," says Thomas, "one we're breaking over five acts of the piece, and one that we're doing over (multiple) episodes. It's a lot of balls to keep juggling. I adored 'Freaks and Geeks,' but I could break those episodes in two days. They're all slices of life. And I adore it, and I'm not being disparaging at all; it just takes longer for us to do an hour teen drama that also has crimes to solve."

To read the rest, click here. (And if that link's not working, click here.) 37 hours till premiere time.

5 comments:

Dark Tyler said...

I thought the premiere was unspectacular. Not bad, just kinda "okay". No rapes, no bus crashes. I understand the rationale behind the creation of such a premiere, though, so I didn't mind-- just pray it pays off.

On the other hand, the way the characters become part of their new environment so effortlessly is a great feat. Shows like Gilmore Girls and Buffy more or less failed to do that, but Veronica pulls it off. Also, I loved the new characters. Way to go, Rob.

J said...

No rapes, Tyler? Really?

For those who don't want to wait, the Mars premiere has been streaming here for a week, now.

Dark Tyler said...

Ack! Should have phrased that better, but you get my point. I'd love to get into it in detail after the episode airs.

Peter said...

Tomorrow is going to be great. Game 1 of the ALDS for the Yankees and Mars is back, in HD this time since it is on Channel 11. Then I see that I could watch it now. Must resist! Must resist!

Alex said...

Nice article on the VM premiere, although Rob still has to atone for the horrible way that the Beaver revelation played out. I think it could have been done so much better. That's what happens when you muck up an episode with Kristin Cavallari's acting skills.

In terms of hooking the Gilmore viewers, I don't think the VM premiere does enough. I think there are several things that might confuse a new viewer, and as an old viewer, I was upset at the lack of exposition regarding the summer. I know they didn't want to go for too many flashbacks, but I still have tons of questions that I'd like answered, most importantly--how did the town react to Woody/ Cassidy/ Aaron's murder? I'm hoping that we might get some answers in future episodes, even if they're casual, throwaway lines.

One nitpick, don't know if it was yours or the SL--it's LILLY Kane, not LILY.