The titular blondes of two Rob Thomas series (hey, iZombie is titular enough, plus I hardly ever get to use the word “titular,” so file it under creative license, durnit), Veronica Mars and Liv Moore have several things in common. Like being blonde or something. Snarky, maybe.
Anyway, which one do I prefer?
We’ll find out … in this fictional character battle!
Physicality. Veronica Mars is cute as a button and, despite her shortness, has legs that go on for days. Liv Moore is also cute as a button, working the whole goth girl thing. Winner? Despite my love of Kristen Bell, I have to say that I’m kind of into Liv’s pastiness. Liv Moore.
Punnier name? Veronica Mars is a cool name. It just rolls right off the tongue. But Olivia “Liv” Moore began living more (ha! so punny!) once she became a zombie. Winner? Liv Moore.
Solves more crimes? Veronica Mars is an amateur detective who solves literally TONS of crimes (not literally). She even solves her best friend’s murder! Liv Moore is an assistant medical examiner who helps the police solve murders. Winner? It’s a tie!
Solves more crimes using plain old detective work? The truth is, Liv Moore helps solve crimes through the power of being a zombie. That’s right! She gets psychic flashes and memories from the brains of murder victims she’s eaten! While handy, that’s totally cheating. Veronica Mars has never eaten another human’s brain in her life. As far as I know. Winner? Veronica Mars.
Better new best friend? After Veronica Mars’ first best friend Lilly Kane is brutally murdered, Veronica Mars befriends the awesome Wallace Fennel, and they become BFF for double-ever. After Liv Moore turns into a zombie, she ditches her old life to work in the morgue, where she befriends Ravi Chakrabarti, the most wonderful person to ever exist. He’s British, he’s tall, he loves Star Wars — oh, and he’s totally down with Liv’s zombieness and is working on a cure. Also, he saves her life a couple of times. Also, he prevents the zombie apocalypse a lot. Winner? Liv Moore.
Better old best friend? Lilly Kane, Veronica Mars’ first best friend, was a super-cool girl who did what she wanted, when she wanted, who she wanted. Which ultimately led to her getting her brains bashed in, but was probably a lot of fun up till that point. Liv Moore’s first best friend is Peyton Charles, who is probably the hottest person in the universe. She’s a DA, she can drink everybody under the table and, once she finds out about Liv’s zombieism, she’s eventually pretty cool with it. Winner? Liv Moore.
Better love interest? Veronica Mars’ was in love with her best friend’s brother, Blandguy Kane, whose name I always struggle to remember. Luckily, she came to her senses and hooked up with bad boy Logan Echolls, because they are soul mates (unless he tries to come between her and BFF Wallace, in which case he should be kicked straight to the curbside). Logan is bad because he’s tortured, man. He’s, like, sensitive, but so bad. Liv Moore’s ex-fiance is Major Lillywhite, which is an even dumber name than Liv Moore, and do you suppose she would have taken his last name if they had gotten married? Then she’d be Liv Lillywhite, which is just too much alliteration! And I love alliteration, because it’s easy! Liv has experimented with dating some dude zombies, but it never seemed to work out, so she’s probably destined to be with Major. Winner? Veronica Mars, because who doesn’t love a sensitive bad boy?
Bigger badass? Veronica Mars will tazer the hell out of you if she has to. For a tiny little person, she’s also pretty good at hand to hand combat. And when worst comes to worst, she’s always got Backup — her dog, who will rip your throat out with his adorable teeth. However, Liv Moore will literally eat your brains if she has to. She is a zombie. Winner? Liv Moore.
Overall winner? Liv Moore, because apparently I like zombies more than teen girl detectives. Who knew, right?
The truth is, I didn’t really like iZombie (the comic book). There wasn’t anything wrong with it; I’m just not that into ghosts and werewolves and all that jazz.
And when I found out they were making it into a TV show, my immediate reaction was: Meh.
But then I found out that the Veronica Mars guy was working on it, and I was all like Veronica Mars? I loved the first season of that show! Plus, it turned out they were getting rid of all the ghosts and werewolves and jazz, and keeping it way more based in reality with, you know, zombies, and so I was like: Meh?
So it turns out: iZombie (despite, oh dear God that name) is pretty good! Rose McIver is zombie Olivia “Liv” Moore, which is silly, but not as silly as her former fiance, Major Lilywhite.
Anyway, Liv gets turned into a zombie at a party and goes from overachieving medical intern to underachieving zombie morgue girl (so she has access to brains, of course), and she solves crimes with the help of 1) her medical examiner boss, who is just so wonderful and I wish our medical examiner was as awesome as he is; 2) a detective who believes Liv’s a psychic; and 3) the psychic flashes she gets from eating people’s brains.
(Don’t ask. It makes sense in context.)
(It does! Really!)
Then there’s an evil zombie, and a cute musician zombie who is actually less cute than the evil zombie, but who doesn’t like bad boys, right?…
…and there’s the secretly-a-zombie police chief, and the zombie rich lady who’s totally dead for realsies now, and the zombie chef lady at the meat restaurant, and seriously is Seattle entirely zombies now?
(My friends who live in the area, let me know! Is there some sort of zombie apocalypse hitting town?)
So it’s actually a better show than I was expecting, and I’m really liking it, and in the most recent episode they played one of my favorite songs, which is called, of course, Zombies, and also it ended with a zombie rat.
Basically, iZombie is the best zombie show ever.
Now that the Veronica Mars movie has come out (and I can’t see it!), I’ve been pretty excited about all things Veronica Mars. I’ve been forcing my daughter to watch Season 1 (“But, Mom, I want to go outside and play, and be active, not sit here watching television and maybe we’ll play video games later,” she doesn’t say), and wondering why Kristen Bell isn’t more famous (I mean, she’s pretty famous, but I think she could stand to be more famous, because she is beautiful and talented and awesome), and also wondering: Hey, what happened to that guy that played her ex-boyfriend/potential half-brother, Duncan Kane? I mean, sure, he’s no Jason Dohring, but he did have pretty eyes.
So what happened to Teddy Dunn? Why isn’t he even making a cameo appearance in the Veronica Mars movie? Did he piss off Kristen Bell? Did he witness a mob slaying?
Let’s see what we can find out.
First off, you must know (by which I mean you deserve to know, not that you know already) that his full name is actually Edward Wilkes Dunn, which is way more dignified than Teddy. He was born in Australia, but raised in North Carolina. He became interested in acting in high school, and first showed up on television/movie screens in 2004, when he was but a wee lad of 24, with a guest role on Gilmore Girls and a role in The Manchurian Candidate, which was a remake of The Manchurian Candidate. I haven’t seen either. (I add that because I know you care.)
Also in 2004, Edward Wilkes “Teddy” Dunn debuted in Veronica Mars as Veronica’s dead-eyed ex-boyfriend, in what was either a brilliant performance of a kid on way too many anti-depressants or some seriously uninspired acting. It’s really kind of hard to tell, but the only thing you really need to know is that you should be on Team Logan/Veronica, or Team Wallace/Veronica, Although Wallace Probably Deserves Better. Team Duncan/Veronica is, like, so meh.
Teddy Dunn split from Veronica Mars before the mediocre third season, fleeing halfway through the second season, after being relegated to a terrible coma baby plot that made me cry because Veronica Mars used to be awesome. After that, he laid low for a couple of years before appearing in 2008’s Jumper, which is about teens with telepathic abilities, and not someone on the window ledge of a skyscraper. That same year, he had a guest role on CSI:NY, a show that needs more initials, and then in 2009, he appeared in Kill Theory, a horror movie you’ve never heard of, and A Good Funeral, which I kind of feel like I shouldn’t have bothered mentioning, except IT WAS THE LAST THING HE EVER APPEARED IN.
Of course, it’s probably hard to make time for acting when you’re a lawyer. Because he is. Like, totally, a lawyer now. Which seems like it would make his fictional father very happy. Also, I kind of exaggerated. He’s a law clerk. That’s still cool, though.
Anyway, Law Clerk Dunn apparently didn’t have the time or inclination to be in the Veronica Mars movie, which is fine and good, because we couldn’t have seen it anyway.
I’ll admit it. I didn’t help fund the Kickstarter for a Veronica Mars movie. Partly because seasons 2 and 3 were so godawful, but partly because of course now that the movie has been made and is being released WHY WOULD THEY SHOW IT IN MY TOWN?
I mean, we’re getting the new Tyler Perry movie, but Veronica Mars? Why would we get the Veronica Mars movie that’s crazy what was I thinking?
Elsa is an orphan queen who has snow powers somehow. I’d call her the Snow Queen, but Frozen really isn’t anything at all like the Hans Christian Anderson story it’s supposedly based on, so doing so would be silly. She stars in a really popular Disney movie that has women actively doing something for once instead of just sitting around waiting for men to save them, so I kind of forgive them for completely changing the fairy tale.
The Ice King is a wizard with powers over snow. He is a character in one of the best cartoons ever, Adventure Time, which I don’t know why you’re not all watching it right now, all the time, because it’s just wonderful, and you totally should.
So: Elsa. The Ice King. In a battle, which is more a list of things and then I say which one is better at that thing. Whatever. Let’s rock!
Physicality. You know who’s pretty? Frozen’s Elsa is pretty. She’s got big sparkly eyes and long silver hair and the whole Disney animation thing going for her. The Ice King is … not so pretty. Not so pretty at all. Winner? Elsa from Frozen.
Has a big scruffy beard? Like the gentlemen from ZZ Top, the Ice King has a big scruffy beard. Elsa is a pretty lady, so she doesn’t. Winner? The Ice King.
Has a catchy theme song that just everybody is singing nowadays? A song you can’t escape right now is Let it Go, which I thought was pretty the first time, when Idina Menzel was singing it, because oh my god her voice, but have gotten more and more sick of every time I’ve heard it since. The Ice King sings sometimes, but he doesn’t have a very good voice and, also, does anybody even remember that song he sang with Marceline the Vampire Queen? Winner? Elsa from Frozen.
Is a tragic character? Elsa from Frozen is apparently a walking metaphor for coming out of the closet. She’s different from everyone else, and she must keep her differentness hidden, or else the world would fear and hate her. Also, her parents die in a shipwreck, because Disney hates parents unless they’re buying Disney merchandise for their children. Eventually, Elsa’s differentness is revealed, and she is reviled (I chose that for the slant rhyme. You’re welcome.), and she runs off to become fabulous. But then her sister tracks her down and brings her home and everything’s all right with the power of love. The Ice King is really Simon Petrikov, who was cursed with snow powers by a … erm, is there a synonym for cursed that would make sense in this context? … cursed crown, his own true self lost under layers of sheer and utter crazy. Also, he survived the apocalypse. That’s tragic. Winner? The Ice King, because love hasn’t conquered all for him…. Yet.
Has a better sidekick? Elsa from Frozen has a stupid talking snowman. I hate that guy. The Ice King, on the other hand, has various penguins named variations of Gunter. They are so cute, and also evil. Cute little evil penguins. Winner? The Ice King.
Has cooler ice powers? Elsa’s ice powers form a cool castle. The Ice King’s ice powers also form a cool castle. Elsa’s ice powers bring winter to her kingdom. The Ice King’s ice powers can also do that. Elsa’s ice powers transform her boring dress into a gorgeous, slinky gown. The Ice King’s powers … don’t so much. Winner? Elsa from Frozen, by one slinky dress.
Has better friends? Elsa’s best friend is her sister Anna, who is secretly Veronica Mars. That’s really awesome. The Ice King’s best friends are Finn and Jake, which would be super awesome, because Finn is an adventuring human (the last of his kind) and Jake is a magical talking dog, but they don’t really like the Ice King very much because he’s just so crazy. Winner? Elsa from Frozen.
Can fly? Elsa can’t fly. The Ice King can, though, using his big scruffy beard as, like, wings. Somehow. Winner? The Ice King.
Now that it’s a tie, let’s move on to the tie-breaking question, which is this:
Protects and shelters a small child in a post-apocalyptic world? Now that’s just cheating.
I know, but I’m just so sick of Let it Go. Very well, then. Winner? The Ice King.
Overall winner? The Ice King, unless he starts singing Let it Go, in which case, I will be so mad, you just don’t even know.
I don’t wanna see Hit and Run.
It’s for a very stupid reason, one that is so stupid I’m almost embarrassed to admit it. But then I think, hey, if I cared about looking stupid, would I style my hair like this?
Anyway, the stupid, illogical reason that I don’t wanna see Hit and Run is because I don’t think Guy From Parenthood is good enough for Veronica Mars.
What makes this reasoning especially stupid and illogical is I don’t know anything about the actor himself. Not his name, not his personality, not what color his eyes are.
All I know about him is that in the brief previews I’ve seen for Parenthood, his character looks like a big, dumb wanker, and I don’t want that associating with Veronica Mars, the best fictional female detective ever! (Except for Miss Marple. Ooooh, new fictional character battle?)
So I’m sure (OK, make that not quite sure, but possibly a bit positive) that Hit and Run is sheer comedy genius (I mean, jeez, that’s what the trailers are telling me!), but it doesn’t matter because Guy From Parenthood shouldn’t be dating Veronica Mars.
I can only assume that is why Hollywood put Cher (!!!!!) and Veronica Mars (!!!!) in the same (!!!!) movie(!!!!)!!!!
Oh, yeah, and Christina Aguilera is in it too.
So Burlesque looks like one of those Hollywood musicals that have enjoyed a bit of a resurgence lately, or else Showgirls with less nudity. The trailer‘s only two and a half minutes long. It’s hard to tell.
But what I can tell is that:
Cher does not actually melt under all that lighting like you kind of expect she would do.
Stanley Tucci is in the movie for some reason, possibly because some Hollywood producer said, “We can’t make a movie and call it Burlesque and NOT put Stanley Tucci in it,” and then snorted some cocaine, I don’t know.
Christina Aguilera seems to be acting her little heart out, which goes about as well as you would expect, but it’s nice to see her trying. (Actually, she’s not as terrible as some singers who attempt acting, and I just *heart* all her little wigs.)
Veronica Mars currently has yet to find a career trajectory that is consistent and awesome.
There’s a lot of shimmying and sparkly costumes.
There’s some kind of romance storyline shoehorned in there, but who cares because of the aforementioned shimmying.
And … that is all. Really, this movie looks like a big fluffy ball of fluffiness, and it has Cher and Veronica Mars, so I can’t hate it on principle. But I can forget it exists, and I assure you that I will do that as soon as this post is finished.
So for me, the best thing about Veronica Mars was Jason Dohring. I’ve got nothing against Kristen Bell, and, indeed, nurture a tremendous girl-crush on her, but Jason Dohring was my boy.
Well, you know, until Season 3, when I completely and utterly gave up on the show.
(I’m sorry, but Season 2 convinced me I shouldn’t have signed that petition to not cancel Veronica Mars. The first season was a thing of beauty, and it just went downhill from there.) (I’m trying to be nice, here. I used to love that show.)
I heard he was in Moonlight a couple of years ago, which apparently starred the actor currently known as The White Guy on Hawaii Five-O (to me, anyway), but that got canceled, like, immediately, and then I lost track of him.
So, what has Jason Dohring been up to lately?
Well, according to his IMDB page, he’s been doing guest shots on shows like CSI, where he played Danny Nagano, which makes me think of the Olympics, but probably has nothing to do with them.
Also, he was on a show called Party Down, which I guess I should’ve heard of before now, but I hadn’t. Anyway, it’s connected to Veronica Mars somehow, so of course they made room for Mssr. Dohring!
He’s also been in that awful Tim Roth vehicle, Lie to Me, that I can’t bear to watch no matter how much fondness I have for Tim Roth.
And he’s done some voiceover work for the Kingdom Hearts video games.
His most recent project sounds like a movie, but could be a TV pilot, what do I know, called Searching for Sonny, which includes a murder mystery or something.
So, yeah, my boy Jason’s been keeping busy, earning himself a steady paycheck and all, which is great, but I’d really like him to be on a show I have heard of/give a rat’s ass about.
But as long as he isn’t starving on the streets or *shudder* doing work in theater, I guess I shouldn’t complain.
Some characters are dead when their television series begin. Especially when it is their horrible, brutal murders that propel the plot along. Two such characters are Veronica Mars’s Lilly Kane and Twin Peaks’ Laura Palmer.
So they have that in common, at least.
But which of them was the better murder victim?
Or is that just cruel to ask?
Anyway, on to the battle of dead chicks!
Physicality. Lilly Kane is played by Amanda Seyfried, whom I believe we can all agree is one smoking hot lady. She’s got the looks, she’s got the figure, and if someone would make me a wig of her hair, I would be the happiest girl in the world. Laura Palmer is played by Sheryl Lee, who is nearly 20 years older than Amanda Seyfried, who has the power of youth on her side. But Sheryl Lee still looks pretty damn good, and also, Twin Peaks is, like, two decades old, so she was young then. And gorgeous. Winner? It’s a tie. I can’t choose between these two ladies, and I don’t think anyone should have to.
Whose death was discovered in a more dramatic manner? Lilly Kane’s body was discovered beside her family’s back yard swimming pool, her head having been brutally beaten with a nearby ashtray or some damn thing. On the other hand, Laura Palmer washed up onshore, her body’s discovery leading to one of the greatest lines in television ever: “She’s dead. Wrapped in plastic!” Winner? Laura Palmer’s wrapped in plastic-ness certainly was more mysterious and gave early viewers their first impression of what we were to expect, so she wins. How lucky for her!
Worked the whole good girl/bad girl routine? Lilly Kane was the most popular girl in school, was dating a movie star’s son and was on the cheerleading squad. She was also having an affair with her boyfriend’s dad, and the local gang leader, and had mommy issues. Laura Palmer was the homecoming queen who delivered Meals on Wheels and dated the high school quarterback. She was also a cocaine addict who sexed it up with whoever, including the embodiment of evil who eventually killed her, and local bad boy James “the worst character in Twin Peaks” Hurley. Also, she worked at a strip club. Winner? Neither of them were angels, but Laura Palmer really, really, really had everybody fooled. So she wins.
Better best friend? And not like in a more loyal sort of way, although Donna (Laura’s pal) would lose here, for totally dating her boyfriend once she was dead in a very unloyal display of thinking with her loins. More like in a who’s best friend is more of a badass? Now, we all know that Lilly Kane’s bestest bud, Veronica Mars, was a bit of a wallflower when Lilly was alive, but once that girl was killed, she came into her own, with the whole snarky girl detective working the cute blonde haircut thing. Also, she totally solved Lilly’s murder. Laura’s best friend Donna Hayward attempted to help solve Laura’s murder, but mostly she stole her dead buddy’s stupid biker boyfriend and was played by the excessively thin Lara Flynn Boyle. Winner? Lilly Kane.
Creepiest murderer? Ahem, spoiler alert, as I am about to reveal who both these girls were killed by. Lilly Kane was murdered by her lover, aka movie star and father of her boyfriend, Aaron Echolls, upon discovering she stole some secret sex tapes he had made of the two of them and was either going to blackmail him with them or just sell them to the tabloids. Which he totally deserved, because who makes secret sex tapes of their illicit relationship with a high school student? Laura Palmer was murdered by Bob, the embodiment of evil/her lover, who, it turned out, was at the time possessing her father. Ew. Ew. Ew ew ew ew ew. Winner? Laura Palmer, for which we should pity her profoundly.
Inspired a kick-ass song? As far as I can tell (via a very cursory google search), nobody’s actually written a song about Lilly Kane. There’s this, though. But Laura Palmer inspired You Say Party! We Say Die! to write Laura Palmer’s Prom, which is awesome. Winner? Laura Palmer.
Was on a better show? Oh, man, this is hard. I love Veronica Mars. Wait, let me rephrase that. I love the first season of Veronica Mars. It was quick-paced, well-written and fun to watch, which is everything television should be. I love Twin Peaks. Once again, let’s make that the first season. And Fire Walk With Me. I love Fire Walk With Me. What a great film! Twin Peaks was quirky and weird and creepy and everything you expect from the mind of David Lynch. Winner? It’s a tie, because these two shows are so completely and utterly different, it’s like choosing between Beethoven and The National. You just bloody well can’t.
Went on to have a career in the movies? As much as I hate rom-coms, Amanda Seyfried is certainly making a nice bit of green for herself starring in them. Sheryl Lee has mostly done television work. (And every time I see her in a show, I have to admit that I squee a little and go, “It’s Laura Palmer!”) Winner? Amanda Seyfried, which means Lilly Kane, I guess.
Overall winner? As the original, the first and the best murdered girl whose death sparked a television series, Laura Palmer deservedly takes this one. But I still love you, Lilly. Don’t worry.
Hey! You know what sounds like fun? A battle of teenaged blonde detectives sounds like fun!
In this corner, we have Nancy Drew, the first teen crime-solver known to adolescent girl. She’s “as immaculate and self-possessed as a Miss America on tour. She is as cool as a Mata Hari and as sweet as Betty Crocker,” according to some random character that I never heard of. I’m having trouble reconciling all those different things she’s like, but maybe that’s just me. I’m sure, if anyone can be a Miss American spy/baker, it’s Nancy Frakkin’ Drew. (On a related note, she’s also described as being able to dance like Ginger Rogers and give first aid like the Mayo Brothers, which leads me to believe she actually suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder.)
In the other corner, we have Veronica Mars. On television, she’s portrayed by Kristen Bell.
Let’s get to the battle, here, people!
Physicality. They’re both teenaged blonde detectives. I’m sure, in addition to being composed like a Miss America, Nancy Drew also looks like one, because who wants to read about dumpy teens solving crimes? Fat kids, that’s who. On the other hand, that thing I said earlier: “In the other corner, we have Veronica Mars. On television, she’s portrayed by Kristen Bell.” Winner? I think we can safely say that the girl who launched thousands of nerd fantasies wins. That’s Veronica Mars, for those of you keeping score at home.
Solves her best friend’s murder? So, the first (and best) season of Veronica Mars had a bunch of little mysteries for our titular (hee!) detective to solve, and one mystery that lasted the whole season. (Is an over-arcing mystery the correct phrase for that? It seems wrong.) That mystery was: Who killed Lilly Kane? Lilly Kane was, in addition to being Amanda Seyfried, Veronica Mars’ best friend.
And was her murder solved? Yes! And by Veronica Mars? Yes again! On the other hand, Nancy Drew’s friends never got murdered, even though I’m sure they got kidnapped with some frequency, because you have to have peril in these sorts of books or the kids are going to tune out. Winner? Veronica Mars.
Has a hot boyfriend? Nancy Drew has longtime boyfriend Ned Nickerson at her side and helping solve mysteries or grunting and saying “Me protect you” a lot. I don’t know. What did he contribute to the story? Anyone? Veronica Mars, on the other hand, hooked up with Logan Echolls, who is tall, thin and has a Roman nose, which makes him exactly my type. Winner? Veronica Mars.
Traveled to all sorts of exotic locales to solve mysteries? Veronica Mars was so poor, a plot point in one episode was how she and her father couldn’t afford to fix the water heater, so she kept having to take cold showers. She probably would have showered at school instead, but since a lot of people hated her, that probably would have been unwise. Unless the creators wanted an episode where Kristen Bell has to solve the mystery of the missing clothes while wrapped in a scant towel (I am copywriting this idea even as you read this so don’t even think of stealing it), that is. So she couldn’t really afford to travel to exotic locales, is what I’m saying, but I think she went to Mexico once. Nancy Drew had money coming out her ears or some other orifice. She went to Japan for a mystery, and also Austria and Costa Rica. Winner? Nancy Drew.
Sweeter ride? In most books, Nancy Drew drives a blue convertible. Since these are books for girls, who don’t care about cars or whatever, it’s not really indentified any further than that, which kind of pisses me off. Veronica drove a Chrysler LeBaron and, in that season I stopped watching the show, a Saturn of some sort. That’s pretty specific, but unfortunately, not particularly convertible. Winner? Nancy Drew and her mysterious blue convertible.
Better living best friend? Nancy’s best friends are Bess Marvin and Georgia “George” Fayne, whom I can’t remember anything about except that they thought Nancy was great and sometimes gave her boy advice. Veronica’s best friend is the very excellent Wallace Fennel, who befriends her despite her marked lack of popularity. I hope, in the future, they end up together, because, no matter how hot Logan Echolls is, Wallace was the perfect boy. Winner? Veronica Mars.
Was actually in serious peril at some point in her mystery-solving career? Being that the ladies are stars of their own series that feature their names in the titles, you don’t ever totally fear for their safety. But you feared even less for Nancy Drew, who was never locked in a refrigerator that was set on fire, nor made enemies of drug dealers and hired goons. Winner? Veronica “Danger is my middle name” Mars.
Overall winner? It didn’t even go to a tie this time! I guess that’s just because Veronica Mars is so awesome. I wish I had been Veronica Mars when I was in high school, what with the crime-solving and the snarkiness and the really cute haircut. Veronica Mars for the win.