The first teaser trailer for Hulu’s Veronica Mars revival is here, and friends, I feel sufficiently pandered to.
Hulu’s revival — set to premiere July 26 — will be eight episodes long. It’s a continuation of Veronica Mars, the cult favorite TV show about a teenage girl who moonlights as a hardboiled private investigator, which ran from 2004 to 2007 on UPN and the CW, and then got a fan-funded movie revival in 2014.
Per the trailer, Veronica (Kristen Bell) is now working in Neptune as a full-time PI in her dad’s office, and she’s investigating a string of bombings. She thinks they’re an attempt to destroy Neptune’s reputation as a spring break party town (why not).
J.K. Simmons, who has reportedly been cast as a “fixer” for Dick Casablancas’s real estate developer dad, looks ambiguously sinister. Patton Oswalt advises Veronica to follow the money. (Oswalt is apparently playing a true crime-obsessed pizza delivery guy, and you know what, I’m into that idea.)
But mostly, the trailer is about good old-fashioned fan service. It’s got a little bit of everything: Veronica tasing a mugger twice her size; Veronica tossing out badass quips while she does it (“For the gram!”); moody noir-ish lighting popped with livid reds; and for the Veronica/Logan shippers in the house, Logan (Jason Dohring) walking shirtless and in slow motion, and then making out with Veronica.
It’s an appealing tease of what’s to come, but it’s also a little bit worrying. For Veronica Mars, a little fan service can be a dangerous thing. The 2014 movie was in many ways an exercise in fan service, which is what mired it in mediocrity. And the idea of a bombing will be a tricky one for this show to pull off.
The original run of Veronica Mars was at its most fun when it combined big life-or-death stakes — like the murder of Veronica’s best friend, which Veronica spent the show’s entire first season investigating — with petty bullshit high school mysteries for Veronica to solve on a week-by-week basis. When the show strayed from that formula, as it did in its troubled third season, it often struggled to figure out its tone.
It’s not entirely clear that Veronica Mars knows how to handle the high stakes of a bomb investigation without the levity of smaller cases to balance against it — and while the revival may or may not include the small-stakes mysteries in each episode, now that Veronica’s out of high school, they won’t be quite as petty as they used to be.
But regardless of how the new Veronica Mars revival works out, it will always be fun to revisit the characters that the first iteration of the show made so appealing. I won’t lie: I could watch Veronica Mars take down muggers all day.
The Veronica Mars revival will premiere on Hulu on July 26.