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Logan, Veronica and the Crowdsourcing problem: NPR

Jason Dohring and Kristen Bell as Logan and Veronica in the new season of Veronica Mars at Hulu.


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Jason Dohring and Kristen Bell as Logan and Veronica in the new season of Veronica Mars at Hulu.


[Spoileralert:Containerinformationdennyaseasonof Veronica Mars who sank on Friday. Don't say you weren't warned.]

Initially, I admit that I was skeptical of the 2014 video Veronica Mars funded by fans. I then wrote that "the film feels more anniversary than creative; more of a gift to put on a shelf than an extension or even an extension of the story."

Creator Rob Thomas agrees, or he suggests in an interview with critic Alan Sepinwall published today:

The film was intentional nostalgia and fantasy service. It was a fan-funded movie. It was like making a list of all the things we thought fans wanted to see and trying to build a mystery that would allow us to get to those dessert pieces.

In other words, as Thomas continues to explain more specifically, the project began with the fans' collectively understood wish list, and the story was built back to give these desires. It is probably why the changes in Veronica's once poor boyfriend Logan felt so unnatural – not because it seemed impossible that he could have grown, but because it felt like he had been ground down to the point where I said then, He was to become a cartoon prince. (His only deficiency that remained was – and I'm sorry for the extent I can't let go of it – that his navy white didn't fit, which made him look like he was wearing someone else's clothes. I can't let it go!) Fans paid for a fantasy, and it's a wonderful idea, and they got it, and they loved it, and that's good.

[Do not say you were not warned of spoilers more than once.]

But of course, the mass-resource campaign finally killed Logan.

Of course I am exaggerating. But what Thomas explains in the Rolling Stone interview is that he did not think it was credible that Logan would suddenly go back to being the dark figure he had been while driving the regular show. Not after such a makeover in the movie. Thomas wants to write really noir, he says, and you can't write really noir with a beautiful, stable relationship in the center. When that relationship became the imagination the people who sent Logan and Veronica wanted to see, the relationship could not be assumed to continue unless the show ended. It's less that nothing gold can remain; It is more that nothing gold is noir, which makes sense in both the TV language and the French language.

This is a basic problem for fiction. You must be unfulfilled until the end . It's good to have a happy, packaged conclusion at the end of a story, but you can't have one in the middle of a story. So by giving the fans the happy ending they wanted, Thomas forced it to work only at the end of history. But he didn't really want it to be the end of the story.

That's why Logan had to die. A live cartoon prince is not included in the show that Thomas wants to do, but the trauma of losing your cartoon prince does. Excellent parts about the new season from Caroline Framke and Libby Hill have, among other things, been wrestling with the strange way that the show is beginning to pick up Veronica's unhealthy attraction to Logan, just to seemingly release it and go back to treating the couple as a beautiful dream. There is a very promising sequence in which Veronica clarifies that she is switched on by the same ugly behaviors that Logan is trying to endure in therapy, but it is not persecuted. It's frustrating when you look at the season, and it's a kind of clumsy and graceless bow sometimes. But everything gives some kind of meaning when you realize that Logan and the Veronica story during this season are almost entirely devoted to digging Thomas out of the hole he dug by giving the Logan / Veronica people what they wanted in the movie.

Whilst reactions continue to come in, crowdfunding also risks leading contributors to believing that they have become investors eligible for returns. How do you feel today if you have contributed to a movie because you wanted to see Logan and Veronica together, and now you saw him die? On another show with intense fan preferences – Jane The Virgin for example, where there are people who are extremely Team Michael and people who are extremely Team Rafael – you can generate some disgust from people who do not get what they wanted. But you do not get a sense of treason of consumption style from people who didn't get what they think they paid for.

Had the film not been crowdfunded, or Thomas had not interpreted crowdfunding to mean that you were implementing a wish list project, perhaps Logan had remained a more complicated, elusive, genuinely bad idea that long in Veronica's life. And it would have fit perfectly into a longer story of a woman who could not liberate herself from the ghosts. In other words, if he hadn't been so perfect he might still live today. (Such a privilege to say. So mean! Talk about unhealthy. I know.)

No one who crowdfunded the film is guilty of this in any real way, obviously – it's an absolutely understandable impulse to set up your own money to Give room for a creator to continue a project. Who can resist such happiness, especially in this economy?

But when we move forward in this new environment, if more projects are funded in this way, it will be important for fans and creators to think beyond wishes and the future. There are unintended consequences of strengthening the creator / viewer pact, which means a delicate balance between giving you what you want and not and giving you what you want, especially not giving you what you want too soon. You move with it, and you can accidentally … you know, blow up the whole thing.

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