The “Independent” Veronica Mars

The television show, Veronica Mars, revolves around the teenage Veronica Mars who is private investigator. She is supposed to be a strong, independent woman who doesn’t put up with anyone. Since she has become ostracized at her school following events before the show airs, she was forced to toughen up and take solace in being alone. She is the only person who challenges the bullies of her school and she doesn’t let the little things get to her, unlike most high school students. In this way, she is exemplifies an independent woman. Even as a private investigator, when she goes on cases, she prefers to do them alone – no matter how dangerous. Veronica is known for her having a mind of her own and doing things her own way, to the chagrin of authority figures. However, as Veronica goes through the motions of solving cases she regularly finds herself in life-threatening situations. This causes a large disconnect with her independent persona, because every time she gets herself into these problems there is a man to save and protect her, mostly her father or her boyfriend.

I am using a vid to argue this exact disconnect. I thought it was important to point out that a show awarded for it’s portrayal of independent women falls into the same gender trap of most shows, having men save women. I really wanted to reveal this disconnect because most people do not see it, even Kristen Bell (the actress who plays Veronica Mars) has said, “I loved Veronica right off the bat. She was so strong and I think it is so important because there are so few shows that portray women, especially young women as being strong and being able to stand up for themselves.” I do not think that I could have made this argument as strong if I did not use the method of a vid, or more specifically a songvid. The visuals of a vid allow the viewer to see Veronica Mars act independent and, conversely, only being saved by a man. As Francesca Coppa explains, “in vidding, the fans are fans of the visual source, and music is used as an interpretive lens to help the viewer to see the source text differently. A vid is a visual essay that stages an argument.” The contradicting songs (and lyrics) of the vid supplemented the corresponding visuals nicely, enabling the viewer to see how Veronica is both independent and dependent. I decided to use dialogue at the beginning of the vid and at the transition of songs to show that Veronica tried to hold on to her independence but with her boyfriend’s want to protect her and her commonly found in dangerous situations, the stereotypical male heroics beat out her female independence.


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