A new era begins for Veronica Mars next Friday, as the former teen detective played by Kristen Bell, now grown, gets a brand new season on Hulu. The original show, produced by iZombie’s Rob Thomas, ran for three seasons between 2004-07 -- what the Dandy Warhols might call "a long time ago" -- and was resurrected for Kickstarter-funded movie. Celebrating Veronica’s return to her hometown of Neptune, Thomas, Bell, Percy Daggs III, Jason Dohring, Enrico Colantoni, Francis Capra, Ryan Hansen, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, and Dianne Ruggiero-Wright are talking with the show’s fans – affectionately dubbed “Marshmallows” – at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Minor spoilers for episode one will follow.
The crowd cheered as the season premiere began playing, recapping Veronica's journey out of her home town of Neptune and back. "Neptune didn't need another private investigator; it needed an enema."
Veronica begins with a fairly low-key case of a woman being harassed by her ex-husband via electronic surveillance devices. When the woman asks if there's nothing she can do, Veronica replies, "I didn't say that -- I never say that." And the ex gets a taste of his own medicine.
The theme song is a new version of the Dandy Warhols' "We Used to be Friends," keeping continuity with the original series while refreshing the style.
Keith Mars is also still on the job; but while Veronica chases high-end clients for $300 an hour, her father is more generous with his small business owner client, who is dealing with a strange rat infestation in his store.
Logan is in "Somalia... Burundi?" or otherwise out of town as the series begins. Or so Veronica thought. Finding him surfing, while two other women ogle him. When he gets to shore, Veronica and Logan have some spectacularly vulgar banter.
Large-ish spoiler below
Veronica jokes with Logan about getting married, apparently leading him to propose from another room -- when he comes to meet her as she's searching his bag, though, he asks "how many pockets have you searched? Front right." But Veronica turns him down, citing their own parents' bad examples of married life.
We will now leave off the episode live-blog and return when the panelists take the stage.
And we're back!
"One of the things we didn't explore much in the first three seasons is her own inner turbulence" regarding relationships, Bell said regarding Veronica turning Logan down. "She's never had a good example of a marriage, and she doesn't want to ruin" her relationship with Logan.
"She's been taking pictures of infidelity since she was sixteen years old -- how do you get past that?" Thomas said.
How worried should we be about Keith Mars? "Very worried," Colantoni said. "You should always worry about your dad!"
Thomas said recreating the Mars Investigations office and watching Bell and Colantoni perform was "the happiest I've been in a number of years."
New cast member Howell-Baptiste described joining Veronica Mars as like "meeting your boyfriend's parents" and joked that "Kristen was meanest to me."
"You see Wallace as the heart of the show, it's good to see him being able to give that love to a family," Daggs said of his character, whose wife and child debut in the season premiere.
Asked about his character Dick Casablancas, Hansen joked that, "You can't hurt Dick. Dick is hard, Dick is tough -- everybody loves Dick." But as to whether his character will grow in the new season, Hansen said, "I think Dick has seen all of his depth."
"Early on in the show, I tried to distance myself from Weevil," Capra said of his character. But with each return, "the show meant more and more and more to me," and he began injecting more of himself into the performance. Also, "Absolutely Weevil is in love with this woman! Do you know how many times she bailed him out of jail? Nobody ever bailed me out, and they sure as hell didn't look like that!"
Asked about continuing Veronica Mars into "her Murder, She Wrote years," Bell said, "I will play Veronica Mars until everyone in Neptune is dead."
Also joining the cast is Rocco in the part of Pony the dog. "He is the most wonderful dog," Bell said. She was given a gift of "his face as a pillow" as well as socks.
The first fan question was to Ryan Hansen, regarding his own show, Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television, and its relation to Veronica Mars. "Will you see me use my detective skills on Veronica Mars? Absolutely not!"
Bell was then asked FMK: Leo, Piz, and Duncan? "Fuck Leo. Marry Piz, and Kill Duncan."
A big surprise to end the panel, season for is now streaming, one week early!
Veronica Mars Season 4, starring Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, and Enrico Colantoni arrives on Hulu now, Marshmallows!