One of the most critically acclaimed shows of the last couple of years, "Veronica Mars" managed to build upon solid reviews and a growing fanbase in order to continue past its first season - something that's getting rarer for new shows to do these days.
The series stars Kirsten Bell as Veronica Mars, a high school student in Neptune, CA and daughter of sheriff-turned-detective Keith Mars (Enrico Colatoni, terrific on "Just Shoot Me" and elsewhere.) The first season of the series had Veronica solving the murder of her best friend. The second season opened with an episode that starts with Veronica trying to get to the bottom of her friend's positive drug test and ends with Veronica missing her field trip bus ride, only to later find the accident scene where the bus went over a cliff. The horrific finale of the opening episode was the set-up for the sophmore season's main mystery.
The third season was, sadly, the last for Veronica, due to ratings that continued to lag under what the network was expecting - this, despite the fact that the CW series had gained an enormously devoted cult following an almost universally solid praise from critics. While there was some discussion of a new direction for the series (the DVD offers a featurette chatting about the fourth season, which would have seen Veronica becoming an FBI agent, and the presentation that was shot for this new season is included), the show otherwise seems as if it's over for good.
The third season saw one of TV's favorite crime-solvers headed to local Hearst College and finding that her skills are still needed. Rather than do the show's usual season-long mystery story arc, this season of the series splits the season into a few longer mysteries (including trying to track down the identity of a rapist at the college), as well as a number of one-episode crimes to solve.
The series continues to show its strengths in this final set of episodes, offering intelligent writing, multi-layered storylines, great dialogue and memorable characters. The performances are utterly terrific, with Colatoni providing a warm, charming performance as a father who can be his daughter's pal and be a caring parent who looks after his daughter. The actor trades one-liners with Bell as well as he did with David Spade on "Just Shoot Me". Bell is the real core of the series and gives a smart, quick-witted performance that can be either exceptionally funny or quite moving.
Overall, "Veronica Mars" remains one of network TV's strongest offerings, as the writing is dense and sharp, the performances are a lot of fun and the series manages to move between incredibly funny bits, emotional moments and tense mystery.
Season 3 CW
45. 3- 1 3 Oct 06 Welcome Wagon
46. 3- 2 10 Oct 06 My Big Fat Greek Rush Week
47. 3- 3 17 Oct 06 Witchita Linebacker
48. 3- 4 24 Oct 06 Charlie Don't Surf
49. 3- 5 31 Oct 06 President Evil
50. 3- 6 7 Nov 06 Hi, Infidelity
51. 3- 7 14 Nov 06 Of Vice and Men
52. 3- 8 21 Nov 06 Lord of the Pi's
53. 3- 9 28 Nov 06 Spit & Eggs
54. 3-10 23 Jan 07 Show Me the Monkey
55. 3-11 30 Jan 07 Poughkeepsie, Tramps & Thieves
56. 3-12 6 Feb 07 There's Got to Be a Morning After Pill
57. 3-13 13 Feb 07 Postgame Mortem
58. 3-14 20 Feb 07 Mars, Bars
59. 3-15 27 Feb 07 Papa's Cabin
60. 3-16 1 May 07 Un-American Graffiti
61. 3-17 8 May 07 Debasement Tapes
62. 3-18 15 May 07 I Know What You'll Do Next Summer
63. 3-19 22 May 07 Weevils Wobble But They Don't Go Down
64. 3-20 22 May 07 The Bitch is Back
VIDEO: Veronica Mars is presented by Warner Brothers in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen for these second season episodes. A beautiful series with a great visual style, the show thankfully looks terrific throughout these episodes. Sharpness and detail are often stellar, although there are a few low-light scenes that look rather soft in comparison.
As for flaws, some slight artifacting is infrequently seen, but otherwise, the picture looked crisp and clear. Colors were rich, bold and well-saturated, with no smearing or other issues.
SOUND: The show's stereo soundtrack remained crisp, with clear dialogue, music and effects.
EXTRAS: "Pitching Season 4" and "Season 4 Presentation" offer viewers a look at what might have been had the series been picked up for another season. It's an interesting look at the show's new direction (a few years later Veronica would be a rookie FBI agent) and it's really too bad that the series wasn't given the chance to change.
"Going Undercover With Rob Thomas" is a multi-part featurette that essentially acts as something of a commentary with Thomas and producer Dan Etheridge. "Undercover" is broken up into: "Main Titles: Why the Change?", "Rob's Directing Experience", "Favorite Guest Star Moments", "Veronica Mars: Mean Girl", "The Politics of Veronica Mars", "Favorite Veronica and Logan moments", "Favorite Veronica and Keith moments", "Do-Overs?" and "Highlights."
We also get 5 brief webisodes, a funny gag reel and about 23 minutes of deleted footage.
Final Thoughts: While "Veronica Mars" is sadly over, this third season does mostly finish the series off on a high note. The DVD set for the third season offers solid audio/video quality and the amount of supplmenetal material is improved here over prior sets (although some commentaries would have been nice.) Recommended for fans; those who are new to the series would best be advised to start with the first season.