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Versatile Toppings!! The First New VERONICA MARS Since Feb. 8!!

I am – Hercules!!

UPN has been sitting on new episodes of “Veronica Mars,” and this is probably a good thing. Though a critical darling, “Mars” garners abysmal ratings. Without an uptick, UPN chief Dawn Ostroff will have difficulty justifying any decision to bring the show over to The CW for a third season.

By holding “Mars” episodes until now, when highly rated lead-in “America’s Top Model” has a new “cycle” underway, “Mars” stands a better chance of getting its averages up before the CW announces its autumn slate in two months.

Tonight’s episode, “Versatile Toppings,” deals with a blackmailer who threatens to “out” Neptune High’s closeted homosexuals. Real-life rich-girl Kristin Cavelleri, who starred on the MTV reality series “Laguna Beach,” plays a closeted lesbian cheerleader. (“Veronica” has developed a penchant for handing scripts to reality stars, having already given roles to Paris Hilton and the hot lesbian Kim from the last cycle of “Top Model.”)

Keith, meanwhile, learns that gambler-ballplayer Terrance Cook could not have personally triggered the bus crash. Tina Majorino, who had a couple of big scenes with Amanda Seyfried on “Big Love” this Sunday, is back as Mac. And a local doctor is aghast to learn Logan Echolls is dating his Sophomore daughter.

Spoilers for episodes beyond tonight’s lurk in the text invisible.

* Kendall Casablancas will conspire with murderous movie star Aaron Echols, whose trial approaches.

* Veronica will investigate the disappearance of Wallace’s new girlfriend’s sister, a bride-to-be.

* While touring Hearst College, Veronica will run into her evil season-one boyfriend, Troy Vandergraff, who will be accused of date-rape.

* The big season-long third-season mystery (regardless of whether there actually is a third season) will be briefly introduced in a fast-approaching second-season episode.

* Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat, who played kissing cousins George Michael and Maeby on “Arrested Development,” will appear in an upcoming episode.

* We will learn that Logan had more than just sex on his mind when he started dating Hannah.

* Keith will go on a series of blind dates.

* Veronica will get a new love interest, someone we’ve not yet met, before season’s end.

9 p.m. Wednesday. UPN.

Firefly: The Complete Series just went half-off -- $24.96 new!!

You say you don’t live in Los Angeles and have grown miserable hearing of Herc’s adventures at the Museum of Television’s William S. Paley Festival? Then you might have a gander at these:
2005 Paley Festival: Lost
2005 Paley Festival: Desperate Housewives
2005 Paley Festival: Boston Legal

Readers Talkback
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  • March 15, 2006, 2:28 a.m. CST


    by Pseudo

    And me having to work this evening. Alas now I will have to watch repeats. I wish to hell my high-school had been as exciting.

  • March 15, 2006, 2:29 a.m. CST

    Veronica's new love interest will be...

    by Led Gopher

    Me, bitches! Heard it here first. True story.

  • March 15, 2006, 5:07 a.m. CST

    Ratings are abysmal because its in against LOST

    by Cosmik

    Maybe if they ran new Veronica Mars episodes when LOST is showing reruns that might help? The idea that an intelligently written show is going to capture the braindead viewers of America's Next Bimbo because its on before it is just silly. The lead-in helping the ratings concept is just about dead in the age of remote controls and DVR's.

  • March 15, 2006, 5:23 a.m. CST

    Come on nerds - get with the Mars!

    by gammaknight

    VM has ten times the intrigue of Battlestar Galactica and the intense character study of Lost with none of the filler episodes and shallow supporting characters that we put up with from both of those shows. The genius dialogue sounds like Joss Whedon has been doing this as a secret side job for two years - it's that frigging good. Everyone NEEDS to get into this show quickly.

  • March 15, 2006, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Veronica Mars' Ratings

    by nemesisdarkside

    Finally a new ep, it feels like its been ages since the last one. I agree with Cosmik in that the lead-in concept is less effective these days. UPN should have moved VM's slot at the start of the year to one that was less competitive and faithfully marketed the crap out of it. Low US ratings has a knock on effect with other regions. In the UK Veronica was given a crappy slot (weekdays 6pm) on a crappy channel. I would have loved to see VM as an E4 "9-thing" show, but as it is now, no one even knows of the show. I desperately want VM to continue past this season onto the CW schedule. However, I have a horrible feeling in the back of my mind that VM may join Wonderfalls and other such shows which were unique, didn't attract a big enough audience, weren't marketed properly and ended up more or less forgotten. Only remembered by fans or seen rerun late night in five years time. Why don't people watch this show!!!!

  • March 15, 2006, 6:56 a.m. CST


    by Nairb The Movie

    They aren't abysmal.... FUCK LOST!

  • March 15, 2006, 7:24 a.m. CST


    by mrtwig48

    If they cancel Veronica Mars I will probably quit watching Network TV. Lost is was better last year. It's going the Alias route. I'll just have to stick to watching HBO and FX. Shield does need a talkback. But Veronica is the best thing on TV.

  • March 15, 2006, 7:31 a.m. CST

    Blind Dates?

    by meCPS

    When did Keith break up with Wallace's Mom?

  • March 15, 2006, 8:11 a.m. CST

    Bad timing

    by zer0cool2k2

    First new episode in how long? And what will UPN be showing in my neck of the woods? Mavericks Basketball. Damn it all to Hell. I'm a casual Mavs fan, but I'll take Kristen Bell over Dirk any day. Not to mention, trying to DVr the ep following basketball is always a risky proposition.

  • March 15, 2006, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Alicia Keys

    by HermansHead

    Keith's Car, that is! They broke up after he stole Wallace's birth certificate, and they were calling each other bad parents and whatnot.

  • March 15, 2006, 9:54 a.m. CST

    u could put

    by ZO

    american idol on upn and it wouldn't do well in the ratings cut veronica some slack

  • March 15, 2006, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Veronica Mars needs women!!!!

    by luis1210

    Since that other guy hasn't come yet I say it, I support the cause anyway.

  • March 15, 2006, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Oh, Come on....

    by CatVutt

    What the hell else is the "CW" going to put on the air? Seriously? This is the only thing I watch on EITHER of those two networks, with the exception of the occasional "well, there's nothing else on" viewing of Gilmore Girls. And why the hell IS it still up against Lost? It's not like they've got this cram-packed schedule of quality product. Morons. Oh, and Herc? I haven't watched The Shield in ages, but those who like it REALLY do seem to like it. Howzabout just giving them their oft-requested Talk-Back already, huh?

  • March 15, 2006, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Kristen Bell

    by Toby___Wong

    Rings my bell whenever I see her. However, Veronica Mars is second class compared to The Shield. If Forest Whittaker doesn't win an Emmy this year there is no justice in the world. Come to think of it. Anthony Anderson didn't win the Emmy last year, so there is no justice.

  • March 15, 2006, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Not just the first new one since 2/8, Herc, but...

    by paulh

    Just the FOURTH original episode since 12/7/05. Tell me again why Dawn Ostroff (UPN bosslady) is such a stellar choice to be president of the CW. I keep forgetting. :|

  • March 15, 2006, 7:54 p.m. CST


    by Wungolioth

    No mention of the Whedon-fest on Bones tonight, Adam Baldwin guest starring? You're slipping, Herc.

  • March 15, 2006, 8:39 p.m. CST

    They Did It Again

    by topaz4206

    Wow guys... even my second post, which mainly mentioned Veronica Mars, and the shield only in PASSING, was deleted? Your crusade against logic is inexcusable.

  • March 15, 2006, 9:11 p.m. CST

    So-So Episode.

    by CatVutt

    A bit of a 'tweener. Some developments, but again with Veronica stumbling onto clues while doing something entirely unrelated to the main mysteries of the season. The later eps of last year worked better because she was knee-deep in everything with her mother and Kane Enterprises, etc. Nice interplay between her and Mac, as usual, but a little soft on real tension overall. And Wallace only in a casual mention...that said, the teaser with Kendall and Aaron looks promising and surely they'll be ratcheting up V's involvement going forward.

  • March 15, 2006, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Also...Did I miss something?

    by CatVutt

    I thought that the recording that Keith gave Lamb awhile back WAS the blackmail/gambling audio and NOT the phone call recording of the bus crash that he thought it was. (Veronica had left it out, and I thought that was the one Keith took to Lamb) Am I wrong? If not, why was this never addressed again, and why did Lamb act like he never heard it before? I'm thinking here...maybe I just assumed that was the case based on the way that episode was presented? I dunno. Somebody with a better memory clarify for me, if possible.

  • March 15, 2006, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Pretty Good Episode...

    by DanielKurland

    As stated above, I guess it was so-so, but the stuff with Logan put it over. I don't know how, but him delivering lines like, "Strawberry soda, a fine choice." is fantastic. And yes, the teaser for next week looks great with Kendall and Aaron, and Terrence is being too easily set up as the villain. My guess is on Woody Goodman, just because we've seen so little of him, or maybe Sherrif Lamb, as a way of getting himself to be more popular (it did win him the election).

  • March 15, 2006, 10:14 p.m. CST

    isn't it funny how the black accused athlete

    by ao33

    drives a bronco?? BWA HA

  • March 15, 2006, 10:19 p.m. CST

    It wasn't amazing, but...

    by Novaman5000

    Enjoyable, definitely. Any Veronica Mars is a good thing in my book.

  • March 15, 2006, 10:37 p.m. CST

    another strong episode

    by Whedon

    Loved Veronica's double take at Logan when Mac mentioned Hanna's dad being a plastic surgeon. Funny as I always assumed he and Veronica cooked that whole plan up from the beginning to get close to the surgeon's daughter but having Logan going rouge agent all on his own to the surprise of Veronica was a nice little twist. That chick from Lauguna Beach seemed out of place from the rest of the cast in this episode but her part was small and she was a good piece of eye candy so her presence was tolerated without becoming too much of a gimmick. Logan Echolls and Veronica Mars are running neck and neck in my opinion for the best character currently on television. We must get a season 3. Line of the night goes to Sheriff Lamb while having his fingers crossed "Please be the new Big and Rich..."

  • March 15, 2006, 11:35 p.m. CST

    Veronica is too Passive

    by Heisenberg85

    I agree with the posters so far, this was an enjoyable episode, not great, but enjoyable. The Logan scenes saved it from "meh". But the main complaint of the season, that Veronica isn't actually trying to solve the bus crush mystery, is really starting to get to me. I mean, last season she was OBSESSED with Lily's murder, and this season she doesn't seem to care. Where is her laptop full of suspects for this one? She even thinks she was the target, and isn't lifting a finger to solve it. And tonight, it's mention that Terrence had a connect to Mint Condition, the same place Curly worked, and she didn't even blink an eye? What the Hell. This better get addressed in a big way at some point, as in someone calling her out on it.

  • March 16, 2006, 12:14 a.m. CST

    ao33...We were supposed to notice cause that character.

    by torpor_haze

    mentioned it to Keith in a joking manner....Plus is that chick that Logan's hooked up with smokin' hot..or is that just me?

  • March 16, 2006, 12:18 a.m. CST

    ao33: I thought Ford replaced the Bronco . . .

    by jocutus

    With the Ford "Escape". You know, to get away from the whole fugitive image.

  • March 16, 2006, 4:34 a.m. CST

    Strawberry soda

    by The Selecter

    was a fine choice. Logan's so great in his role he almost has me forgetting that he's in the same cult as Isaac Hayes. This episode was merely okay, so I found my mind drifting at times wondering about Veronica, the gay cheerleader, and Logan's new squeeze and what fun would transpire with the three of them simultaneously.

  • March 16, 2006, 6:17 a.m. CST

    lots o'comments- VM and Bones

    by sabine16

    First- on VM- that other Kristin chick who played the lesbian cheerleader CANNOT ACT. Who thought she could? That last scene was straight out of a bad high school soap opera play. Whatever that is . . . And secondly- yeah for the Whedon reunion (good note Wongolioth), but I was thinking more along the X-Files lines- it's the second time Adam Baldwin has played a character on a show with fun FBI agents.

  • March 16, 2006, 7:10 a.m. CST

    I'm not getting enough of the VM regulars this season

    by Drath

    When I read that they were cutting down the number of episodes in which most of the regulars appeared other than Veronica, Logan, and Keith, I didn't think it would hurt as much as it has. But this season is too convoluted plot heavy for me with too little of the regular cast interacting. They bring Beaver and Dick Casablancas onto the cast, but then waste their episodes with cameos like tonight or Beaver's one scene in the episode about the fair money. I think we've seen more of Sheriff Lamb this year, why are they regulars and he isn't? They flat out had to write Wallace out for a large block with a story that has disappeared (did I miss an explanation about where his mom disappeared to?) and now he's still not always there. And Wevil is MIA far too often, so much that he appears to be changing his looks so he can get other acting jobs. This season will probably play better as a straight shot on DVD, but so far I feel like it's tapdancing around a story arc that has only about two episodes worth of character development and a ton of padding and red herrings.

  • March 16, 2006, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Strong Episode, Thank God it's Back!

    by Mr. Profit

    Seriously, I was reminded how much I love this show last night. It's been gone too long. I have a solution for next season. Have 13 episodes run consecutively after Top Model or whatever show The CW has it paired with. Have it go on a mini hiatus after the 13th episode (That should have a mini cliffhanger) then have it return for the final episodes to run straight into May. Either that of do the "24" formula, but cut the order down to 18 instead of 22. Veronica requires you to really remember things that happened before. Sometimes you can get confused with all the breaks in between. For example, my GF was totally lost when Duncan was in the car in Mexico with the blonde woman, who I had to remind her was Celeste's assistant. But I doubt The CW will allow Veronica to play re-run free.

  • March 16, 2006, 10:29 a.m. CST


    by nalapou

    no, the tape Keith gave Lamb before was the bus crash recording... this was the first time he tried to blackmail lamb for blackmailing terrence cook. this season is shaping up spectabularly, IMO.

  • March 16, 2006, 10:42 a.m. CST

    And the episode's title is pretty funny as well.

    by Mr. Profit

  • March 16, 2006, 12:22 p.m. CST

    the same thing happen with recurring characters...

    by Novaman5000

    Last year. Remember her black teacher? She was in the credits for a while but she was barely in it, then she got a throw away mention of having gotten knocked up. They have weird habits of having credited characters and then not using them on this show. I still love it though. I actually had a girl tell me last night that One Tree Hill was a better show than Veronica Mars. I just laughed at her.

  • March 16, 2006, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Just not working this season....

    by Fart_Master_Flex

    This season is a bad unfortunate case of too many plot lines and too many repeats. Perhaps if it were to air "24" style, then it would be great. But as it is, I often find myself straining to remember shit. I can barely remember the bus, it seems like that happened last season. Too many characters are spening too much time being tossed around. They need to stop wasting time with things like the "stolen cashbox episode" and get down to bizness. Oh and it is high time to make Mac a series regular. I mean for real.

  • March 16, 2006, 12:46 p.m. CST


    by CatVutt

    Thanks, and I know the source of my error. I read too much into the way that particular episode was presented. Veronica played the recording for Keith, but it wasn't on a CD at that point. What WAS on CD, was the blackmail recording with Terrance, that V was originally going to use against Jackie before thinking better of it. She left it on the counter, and Keith asked if she wanted it, and when she said no, he sorta lingered on it. The next time we see Keith, he's giving a CD to Lamb, saying it was the bus crash audio. I thought maybe Keith had assumed the CD that V had left was the bus audio and turned over without checking...which would've been really stupid and out of character, now that I think about it, but that's what I had stuck in my head.

  • March 16, 2006, 5:32 p.m. CST

    veronica MARS NEEDS WOMEN!!!!!!

    by StudioPlant69

    Almost forgot to post. Have a nice day. GFY

  • March 16, 2006, 7:04 p.m. CST

    How do you have an episode

    by Itchy

    where a central theme is gay high school teens and not throw in some gratuitous chick-on-chik action involving Kristen Bell ? That's just pissing ratings away, man. If blatant ratings grabs are good enough for Winona Ryder on Friends, they're good enough for VM !

  • March 16, 2006, 10:56 p.m. CST

    real life rich girl

    by oisin5199

    That explains why she couldn't act. The outing thing left me pretty underwhelmed. Logan's front much more interesting. I love the scene between him and the plastic surgeon where the power shifts so nicely between the two. And I'm beginning to think that Jackie had something to do with the bus crash, not the father.

  • March 17, 2006, 4:48 a.m. CST

    Dear UPN

    by Hell_Bender

    I should be Veronica's new love interest, think it over. Just planting some seeds.

  • March 17, 2006, 6:40 a.m. CST

    Shield Talkback!!! Gina Torres!! THE ASS!!!

    by Fart_Master_Flex

    FInally checked out the latest episode of the Shield. Unloaded it from the depths of my DVR. Holy shit!! Gina Torres gets her panties pulled down by Vic and reveals perhaps the nicest ass I have ever seen. Thank goodness for the ability to rewind and slowmo that shit.

  • March 17, 2006, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Lost is a bigger problem than the VM folks think

    by Freakemovie

    Hate to sound like a broken record, but as odd as it seems at first glance, the shows really do cater to the same crowds. I love both and I know plenty of people who like both, but I always tape it to watch after Lost, and can't give it the ratings it deserves. I understand that it didn't do any better last year when it wasn't opposite Lost, but by making the switch the second season you're not giving it much room to grow. If it survives the CW switch I hope they do it right and find a good slot for it.

  • March 18, 2006, 6:06 a.m. CST

    It's Steve Guttenberg

    by Psychonaut

    Veronica found the bomb in a locker in the hangar. Jackie said that the hangar belonged to Woody, who let her dad use it. Baseball-guy didn't put it there, the owner of the hangar did. Plus, this is consistent with the first season, where the villain was an actor who was big in the 80s but was now getting his first gig in about 15 years. Next season, the villain will be Pee Wee Herman. You heard it here first.

  • March 18, 2006, 11:19 p.m. CST

    I agree: faded stars = veronica mars bad guys

    by Freakemovie