Hearst College, jewel of the Pacific. A citadel of higher education set amid rolling lawns and swaying palms. But since Hearst is in Neptune, California - and since Veronica Mars is among its incoming freshmen - you know it's also a noir netherworld of lies, betrayal, secrets and (of course) murder. Veronica, Logan and more of your VM favorites join cool new characters for a Season 3 of seething mystery and sardonic wit. College is indeed a learning experience as Veronica aces a crim class led by a hunky prof, solves the case of on-campus rapes that began in Season Two, and gives a grad seminar in sleuthing when two faculty members take sudden, eternal early retirements. Frosh year is gonna be freaky!
Equal parts Buffy the Vampire Slayer
and Nancy Drew
, Veronica Mars
is smartly written and well-acted. This third and final season of the critically acclaimed (but viewer-challenged) series ends as all good shows should--by leaving viewers wanting more and wondering how their favorite characters will fare in the future. By now, our spunky heroine Veronica (played by the effervescent Kristen Bell) is a college student working on a degree in criminology. Though blond, pretty, and uber-smart, Veronica doesn't have an easy time fitting in to her new setting. The series focuses as much on her personal life this season as it does on the cases she is hired (and paid) to solve. Besides dealing with rapes, robbery, and other sordid crimes, Veronica has to clear her own name when she is accused of plagiarizing. She also gets involved in helping figure out who may have given a pregnant friend a pill that caused her to lose the baby. This year's guest stars include some stunt casting with Patty Hearst, who plays a wealthy woman who disappears during an event held in her honor. Unlike the first two years where Veronica focused on solving one major crime, this season features several story arcs. Perhaps it was the producer's way of trying to attract more viewers, but diehard fans may be turned off by the change, which provides a less cohesive storyline than in the past. All 20 episodes--which aired originally during the 2006-2007 television season--are included in this six-disc set. The collection also includes a cute gag reel and an informative bonus feature that includes insightful commentary from show creator Rob Thomas. --Jae-Ha Kim