Introduction. Canonical Veronica: Veronica Mars and vintage television
Who did you sit with at lunch in high school? If you were an American high school student, you know that this question means much more than it might seem; and we phrase it colloquially in hopes that we might cast your mind back to those times. Did you sit with the jocks and the other popular kids? Did you sit with the eggheads, the nerds? The normal-but-not-first-rank? The outsiders? A high school lunch table is a little fiefdom, and moving from one table to another can be more difficult than crossing a national border. When we see Veronica Mars in the pilot of the series, she is sitting at lunch alone. Rob Thomas, former high school teacher, former "young adult" novelist, and creator of Veronica Mars, is very well aware of the implications of her lunchtime solitude. It introduces us to her lonely heroism and at the same time makes very apparent (through those she observes) the implications for the web of social interaction in which we are all caught. Veronica Mars manages a remarkable balance between the focus on the individual and the recognition of larger social patterns - at least for the first two seasons, the vintage seasons of the series.