When most people think about large gatherings of people that are borderline obsessed with a movie, TV show, or videogame — myself included —they imagine those involved will react similarly to fans of the latest teen heartthrob. In some cases, this may be true, but fortunately the Veronica Mars fan event I went to on Thursday evening was more low-key and chill than you’d expect.
My night began with what I thought was a genius choice to take the back roads to the movie theater. Unfortunately, my phone’s GPS lost my location after I drove through a tree-lined area reminiscent of The Village, and I was forced to make a right turn that that I wasn’t sure was the right one. Luckily, it was and I made it to the theater with about 35 min. to spare.
Once inside, I picked up my tickets and looked around for the large amount of people gathered underneath a banner or something of the ilk, but there wasn’t one to be found. This was my first signal that the event wasn’t going to be like I had imagined. I had assumed that it would be throngs of men and women talking nonstop about the plots and relationships of Veronica Mars’ three seasons — kind of like a Twilight or Harry Potter crowd. But what I had forgotten was that while Veronica Mars was marketed to teens its plot lines drew a different type of audience than its contemporaries during its run.
The only sign that the fan event was even taking place was a table where people could pick up their free T-shirt and lanyard. Just like the show itself there was no glitz, no glamour and no need to make a bigger deal out of it than needed to be. The movie itself was for the fans, so for the most part, the event was the movie not the gathering beforehand. This is not to say it was a flop because if it was, why would they need to rent out two of their larger theaters? For me, getting to see the movie early, the lanyard to mark the event, and a free T-shirt (who doesn’t like a free T-shirt?) was more than enough for me to enjoy the night.
As for the crowd, it was a really eclectic mix of early to mid-20s people who may have seen the show as preteens to people in their late 20s to early 30s — like me — who discovered the show in college. Since the show itself wasn’t built around “pretty people with problems”, the show drew many different kinds of people to it. While there was some evidence of people siding themselves with “teams” in the vein of Twilight— in this case, Team Piz and Team Logan — there seemed to be no strong feeling one way or the other who Veronica ended up with. Therefore, the event and the movie weren’t ruined by people who only cared about Veronica’s romantic situation.
Best part about the night was remembering why I loved the show and the characters that Rob Thomas (not that one) created. Veronica Mars’ tone and dialogue were huge influences on my writing, and to this day, I’m still trying to find that mix of wit and emotion that flows so elegantly on the show. Besides being a great series, it is also involved in a personal moment for me that I think all people have while meeting new friends. The show premiered during my freshman year of college and was the first thing that my roommate and I bonded over that wasn’t a typical guy thing like sports. So for all intents and purposes, Veronica Mars is responsible for helping me connect with one of my two best friends, and honestly, that memory made the night all worth it. And because of that, I’m proud to say that, yes, I am a Marshmallow.