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Veronica Mars fictional mbti, television
Old 08-28-2010, 04:52 PM   #1
blueback
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I ran into this on Netflix and it's a lot of fun. What type do you think Veronica is? I was leaning towards a well-developed INTJ, but the consensus seems to be ENTJ
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Although, on the whole, I'm not sure the characters who aren't named Mars are consistent enough to be typed. It might just be that they aren't on camera enough, but I'm leaning more towards the idea that the writers simply wanted to keep people guessing, so they let the secondary characters change motivation on a whim.

But I like the show because they managed to balance things so well. It's not really a detective show, because the auidence never has enough information to crack the case ahead of the main character, it's really just a standard soap opera BUT from the point of view of someone like me, rather than the population average. Veronica is constantly analyzing and weighing everything around her, while navigating her way through absurdly dramatic situations. Her approach is so practical (and powerful) that the writers were forced to involve her in legitimately dangerous and illegal situations simply because she can steam-roll over all of her classmates. If she was dealing with nothing but high school there wouldn't be any tension in the show.

In a funny sort of way the show reminds me of Avatar. The writing is a lot better, and I do enjoy seeing the clever ways they come up with to solve problems (like hiding in her car, while banned from school, right in the parking lot, by hiding it under a car cover), which Avatar didn't have. Despite the many differences, there is one important similarity: eye candy. I've only seen Avatar once, but what got me through it was that when nothing interesting was happening I was still fascinated by the pretty pictures. The 3D was amazing. In the same way, Kristen Bell ('s face) is just so perfectly sculpted that I can happily get through the most boring or dismissively dramatic scenes as long as she's on camera. Also, to a lesser but still significant extent, the basic cinematography is good and every now and then they throw in an unusual shot to keep things interesting. One that stuck with me tracked around a guy as Veronica was walking around him so that his face remained in the same place (at the same angle) while everything else spun around. It was just sort of thrown in there once but it was a really good illustration of the way seeing a particularly pretty girl for the first time can sort of spin your head. A good application of the "show don't tell" philosophy.

I think what I like most about the writing is that it constantly plays with motivations. The puzzle for the audience (or at least for me) is trying to figure out what motivations and explanations pictured on screen can stand on their own and which are misleading or lacking in context. They threw a lot of conflicting motivations into the mix, but once the first season was over (all I've seen so far) it became obvious that only one person pictured on camera was capable of smashing someone's skull in. Each of the characters was provided with a moment in which they COULD plausibly be the killer, but only one of them was also provided with moments in which they demonstrated that they WOULD plausibly kill. Of course, that makes the show largely consistent, but it doesn't make it a detective show because it turned out none of the traditional evidence actually mattered. And of course the show has the same problem all CSI shows have, which is that the audience demands closure, so at the end of the episode (and season) the bad-guy ALWAYS confesses, rendering any and all evidence accumulated to that point moot. The evidence was just plot devices which led the protagonist to a position where they could tease out a confession.


Summary:
* Kristen Bell is gorgeous
* the writting is clever
* I'm looking forward to finishing the show
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:43 PM   #2
katrin
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I agree Kristin Bell is pretty awesome. I even enjoyed her as the voice of Gossip Girl for the few weeks I watched that show.

Rob Thomas (not the same guy as in Matchbox 20) and his writing crew were awesome -- in season 1. Season 2 is not quite as good and season 3 pretty much fell apart. So, in short, enjoy the heck out of season 1 because it is going to go south slowly.

To me Veronica seems more ENTJ. She's a "General." She derives energy from being around people.

On a side note, Rob's novel Rats Saw God and his other books are worth checking out.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:17 PM   #3
blueback
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Yeah...so far the 2nd season is less...endearing, than the first.
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:53 PM   #4
lupinskitten
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I LOVE "Veronica Mars." (The first half of season two sucks, though -- which you have probably figured out by now. It improves once Logan quits seeing the skank.) I haven't really thought about what personality type she is, though -- I'd lean toward ENTJ, because she DOES love being around people a lot, and she's MUCH more emotional than most INTJ's. Plus, she has trouble letting go of relationships -- which INTJ's don't. (She clings to whats-his-face for awhile... Duncan?)

Either way, she's great -- and that was one of the cleverest shows on television. Even my parents got hooked on it, and they usually don't watch "teen-oriented" shows.

I didn't hate season three... a lot of people did, but I didn't. Mostly, I think fans disliked it because she and Logan were not really an item. I liked LoVe, but I can deal with their separation.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:17 PM   #5
blueback
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I dunno. I just finished the third season and I think there were plenty of examples of her lack of enjoyment of parties. It seemed like a pretty good illustration of the basic INTJ approach: "I don't want to meet anyone I don't already know." Just because she enjoys manipulating people into giving her information doesn't mean she likes people. In one line towards the end of the third season she even compared the rush of solving a case to eating too much sugar. And in another line she specifically commandeered the couch as her safe harbor in a party she didn't really want to be at. Anywho, I just mean that all sounds very familiar.

Now that it's over it's kind of funny that I laughed just as much at the absurd drama as I did at the jokes. I mean, how could you not? Logan wasn't a character, he was a walking plot device. Whenever their relationship was going well the writers just made up some retarded illegal/immoral event for the two of them to yell about.

Also, it was kind of weird that the show had such a strong girl-power core, but seemed to have trouble dealing with other issues. Maybe it's just me, I dunno, but the writing kind of felt like someone who you know is a racist (if only a mild, implicit one) at heart claiming they have a black friend. It felt like the writers thought they were being racist in the first season with the PCH'ers, so they replaced them with a white gang in the next two seasons. No one mentions crimes committed by anyone except PCH'ers in the first season, but they hardly get mentioned again halfway through the second, and by the third all the crime is committed by white people. Are there really Irish gangs in Southern California? And, after a great deal of thought, I do vaguely remember Wallace flying an RC plane in, like, the pilot. But he's got no interests besides basketball and partying for two seasons, and then all of a sudden the writers realized it was kind of racist for the token black guy to focus on basketball and vehicular manslaughter, so out of nowhere he decides he always wanted to be a mechanical (aeronautical?) engineer. And those are only two long-running examples. There were plenty of short-term examples of minority characters getting implicit treatments. I'm not claiming any of that hurt the show. I got the impression it was merely serving the interests of the audience.

I suppose nothing more is going to happen with it, which is a shame.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:23 PM   #6
lupinskitten
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Hmm... you do make a good point about Veronica and partying. It could be that she's an INTJ who can function at a social level if it's for a purpose -- such as information gathering. I haven't seen it in awhile, so the next time I watch it, I will pay more attention.

Personally, I think that the writers adored Veronica so much that everyone else was kind of secondary -- just figures for her to interact with. I too found her constant bickering with Logan to be irritating... I liked the dynamic at first with them hating one another, and then her coming to trust him, and finally a romance -- but their reasons for splitting up and his chronic immorality were annoying. Plus, she had a lot of major trust issues -- she was always yelling at him for *something.*

Oh, well. Not every show is perfect. I kind of hope they make a wrap-up video at some point, but I doubt it. Booo.
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Old 09-05-2010, 06:47 PM   #7
blueback
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Yeah...after thinking back on it the writers really dropped the ball by not dealing with the fact that Veronica was both the moral center of the show AND a criminal. Not only did she regularly lie to and impersonate people, but she never hesitated to break into houses and offices, she usually stole something whenever she broke in somewhere, she constantly recorded people without their consent, she blackmailed pretty much everyone at some point, and she didn't have a problem getting her friends involved in her illegal activities.

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"In sum, California case law indicates that:

(1) The PIA prohibits investigators from misrepresenting themselves or their principals--whether the misrepresentation occurs affirmatively or by silence and whether or not an investigator actually lies. Violations of this prohibition my lead to suspension of or other action against the private investigator's license.
(2) Evidence obtained as a result of misrepresentation might be excluded in civil proceedings.
(3) Victims of torts related to misrepresentations may seek damages against investigators.
(4) Victims of intentional torts may seek damages against attorneys or others hiring the investigators.
(5) Victims of negligently supervised or entrusted investigators may seek damages from attorneys or others hiring the investigators.
."

"In California, at least five investigatory activities generally are permissible:
(1) Overt investigations, in which investigators identify their roles and principals and do not otherwise mislead or deceive anyone.
(2) Public records searches.(35)
(3) Physical observations, measurements, and the like.
(4) Protection of a person, if it is "incidental" to an investigation and if the investigator complies with the PIA's firearms and insurance requirements.(36)
(5) Surveillance, even if covert, provided that investigators do not trespass or invade privacy
."

"Unlicensed persons (not including those considered exempt under the PIA) who represent themselves as licensed or act as private investigators are committing a misdemeanor and may be jailed for up to one year and fined $5,000.(46) In addition, anyone--presumably including a lawyer--who "knowingly" engages an unlicensed investigator or who conspires to have an unlicensed person operate as an investigator also commits a misdemeanor with the same penalties."

Basically, not only is pretty much everything Veronica does in the show illegal, but the same penalties that apply to her apply to the people who hired her! So, pretty much every character in that show is looking at fines and jail time, and is open to civil suits.

That's disappointing. It casts Veronica's relationship with her dad in a whole new light. I was thinking that their relationship was pretty good, cuz they eat meals together, they love each other, they try not to disappoint each other, and her dad seems to generally think it's important for her to "grow up right." I was thinking that the things her dad does that are the most questionable are specifically to protect her, like destroying evidence. But, given that he not only knows what she's doing is illegal, but he knows that he's asking her to do illegal things, the moral core of the show is kind of...questionable. The message of the show becomes less "families stick together and try to make the world a better place" and more "it's okay if you constantly break the law as long as you crack jokes over a sit-down meal."

Actually, now that the reality of California law comes to light, I think a "gritty reboot" of Veronica Mars could be really good! When put into context there is an awful lot of content in that show that could be "gritty" with only a slight twist of perspective. Most of the gritty stuff merely occurred off camera. For example, most of the arbitrary tension in Veronica's life produced by retarded relationship swaps could be replaced by the very realistic tension of the constant threat of her thrill-seeking, law-flaunting activities crashing back down on not only her but everyone she knows. Instead of her crying about a breakup she could collapse in an alley and shake and vomit until her nerves settle after stealing the most valuable item out of a high-security mansion. Instead of her boyfriends being pushed away by her intrusive questions (it's pretty hypocritical of her to judge them when she breaks the law so often) they could be pushed away by her addiction to the thrill of not getting caught, and the inevitable emotional swings of being occasionally confronted with her just punishment.

I mean, the whole character of not only Veronica, but also her father, takes on a different connotation when you realize that most of what they do on a daily basis is illegal. The show could easily be more like Breaking Bad than 90210.
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