Thanks for your comment, Victoria. I agree that Veronica’s race and class enable her to navigate the town of Neptune - including all of its prejudices. We see this in how she is treated differently from Eli (“Weevil”) as well as how her whiteness functions in her undercover work at restaurants, hotels and country clubs.
Your post highlights the complex nature of her character that allowed her to reach so many people. She was able to reach the people who have been ostracized in society, the people who are from single parent homes, people who want to define their own lives, etc. I think that her character came at a time when television continued to produce the same trope of a female character. I am excited to see if the complexity of her character survives in the film and if her complexity can spill over to other female characters in upcoming shows.
I have not yet watched the film, yet I do agree with your assertion that Mars is allowed to play with the in between roles of almost every situation that she encounters. What is particularly interesting about this is the opportunity that she has been afforded because of her race and class to achieve a certain standard of living throughout her lifetime. In the serious we see that she has “fallen from grace” and is now a part of the have nots. Yet the have nots that she is apart of is the middle class; thus, she still has a lot of opportunities. While I identify with the obstacles that she has to overcome, I recognize that her obstacles are slightly less harder to overcome than that of people from a minority race.
Thanks for your comment Staci. My post was meant to acknowledge that whatever label VM is given (noir, teen drama, etc.) that the program has a number of interesting visual elements that bring a lot of detail to the characters, as I suggested with my example of Rear Window (which is not a noir). Your question about how the characteristics of noir change in different media is intriguing because television is different than film, and films generally don’t have the constraints of long form storytelling, commercial interruptions, and season breaks. And while there has been some scholarship about VM and Rob Thomas’s complicated relationship with UPN and the CW, there remains a lot to be discussed in terms of how this show, or any show thrives in a medium (broadcast network) that doesn’t always have the time or space to allow this type of creative storytelling.
Great formal reading of both texts! You’re right, we often throw around generic classifications without fully fleshing out or exploring how specific texts use those generic codes. It would be fruitful to look to the specific ways that television (and VM) use traditional noir traits and the times that they adapt or alter those traits for television storytelling. How do the formal characteristics of noir change in different mediums? How does VM borrow from both the tropes of film noir storytelling and the norms of television storytelling?
I enjoyed your post Molly- great insights! I think it’s also worth considering how the differences between the mediums (tv versus movie) changes her ability to effectively navigate these liminal spaces. The seriality of television storytelling allows Veronica the space and time to explore these liminal spaces and roles as the narrative remains rather open. Veronica can move in and out of those spaces on an episode by episode basis. You’re right to point out that she is unable to do this in the film- due in large part, I’m sure, to the temporal confines of a narrative feature film.
This mashup totally freaks me out. These types of fan-made videos are so interesting; there are certainly character and generic crossover, but the texts are SO different in my mind… Nice post, Kyra!
That kind of diversity also seems like another key to the ongoing cult life of this film, perhaps especially from the rewatchability angle, as it helps keep the film from feeling too dated or narrowly prescribed in its portrayals.
Updated to add, “boom.”
Iggy Azalea Tops Hot 100 With ‘Fancy,’ Matches Beatles’ Historic Mark
Such a massive tumblr footprint, and thousands of ridiculous gifs. Tying back to your full In Focus piece, Heckerling’s influence on our memory of 90s slang and linguistic trends can’t be overstated. Hilariously, a lot of gifs and tumblr posts of the 1996 version of EMMA starring Gwyneth Paltrow are cross-tagged as “Clueless.”