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The Bloggers vs. Rob Thomas and Jason Dohring - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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March 29th, 2006


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02:55 am - The Bloggers vs. Rob Thomas and Jason Dohring
Tonight I participated in an online press conference with Rob Thomas and Jason Dohring, sponsored by UPN and their marketing obsession with bloggers. We called in and asked questions, and they answered. Yes, there were some small spoilers, as there always are with these things, BUT thanks to beppergirl, you can still read my recap because the spoilers will TOTALLY BE OBFUSCATED AND SKIPPABLE. (Um, you were supposed to read that, spoilerphobes. It's okay.) I'll also try to denote how spoilery things are so you can selectively highlight. There was nothing specific about the major mysteries, no worries.

Let's begin. If you don't want to read the write-up, there's still an important poll for you to take at the end!

Rob's on the screen giving his old story about how people are always disappointed when they find out he's, well, him, and not the Matchbox 20 guy. He's alone, and he assures that Jason is on his way; he's in a looping session.

Rob is the one in control of the phones, basically. Pushing buttons and picking up callers, like he's got his own radio show. He reads the name and blog of the caller from a screen we can't see.

The first caller is Jennifer from Tube Talk, and I can't really hear her question. I'd called in before the press conference started to get a place in the queue, but my question was for Jason, not Rob, so I asked them to wait till they put me on. As I waited, however, I was hearing the call live in my earpiece, whereas the feed on the website was delayed. It was confusing.

In any case, Jennifer says that she loves the minor characters, and as far as I can tell, she asks the Dick question, and Rob tells the Dick story he told in Austin, about how they got him for a few lines, and his role just expanded because they liked him.

Next up is Annie from Random Acts of Television. She has a very good question: with all this talk about Neptune becoming incorporated, does this mean the end of Sheriff Lamb?

Rob answers no, if Neptune becomes incorporated, they would have both a sheriff and a police department, both a "county supervisor" and an actual mayor. He tries to tell us when we'll find out whether Neptune is going to be incorporated, but it's hard because it's all one big storyline to him, a jumble. They're talking season three in the writers' room at the moment. At any given time, you've got one episode shooting, one episode writing, one episode editing, one episode breaking. So he's a little fuzzy on what's aired and where the story is.

Then, suddenly, Rob is saying that the next caller has a question for Jason, but maybe they'll let him call back later when he arrives, so they're putting him on anyway, and it's me, and uh, okay then. It's a good thing I'd come up with a fun question to ask Rob a couple hours ago, although now I wish I'd paid more attention to questions various other people had wanted asked; I hadn't really intended to ask Rob anything. I'm a little disoriented, but Rob and I exchange pleasantries. I tell him it's weird because of the feed being behind what I'm hearing on the live call, so what's on the screen doesn't match what I'm hearing in my ear. Rob says he'll start pre-gesturing, and he apparently makes this wild gesture that I forget to catch on the video feed however-many seconds later and then tells me to say something that will go with that gesture.

You must understand, I'm really nervous here. Not because I'm talking to Rob, but because I'm talking to Rob "in front of" people. It's this strange, uncomfortable space where I have to talk a certain way, where I am delivering questions rather than just chatting like we were about five seconds ago. Though even that made me nervous because, again, the performance of it all. The unnerving idea that people were listening in, watching us. Well, him. Yes, it's fun to talk to him, but I am a nervous person. Anyway.

I say that he's heard the sad news about Arrested Development, and he thanks me for sending him that article. (I've been keeping him apprised of the AD saga since so much of it has been unofficial and not in avenues he would come across on his own.) Since both VM and AD are set in Balboa County, I ask, what would be his favorite crossover?

Of course, he mentions tomorrow's episode (or "next week's," as his jumbled sense of time likes to call it), and I clarify that I mean the characters, and then he goes off on a tangent, as he is so very wont to do.

He talks about the fact that he's been singing the praises of episode 16 and 17 a lot, so he hopes they live up to his hype. He'd shown them to his parents this past weekend when they came into town for Greta's first birthday, and they loved them too. The next two episodes are approved by Rob's parents, guys!

Getting back to my question, he says that he loves the whole cast. He loves Lucille, he loves GOB, he loves Michael, he loves George Michael. And, so, basically, he never really answers the question, as he is so very wont to do.

And then there is silence in my ear, and I notice I am no longer on the line. So now I have no confusion, and I can watch and listen to the feed on the website until Jason arrives.

After me is comice. She asks about the move to Tuesday and whether he's encouraged.

Rob gives a tentative yes, noting that it will be good to get away from Lost, so it...shouldn't hurt.

We're probably up to Line 5 now, upon which is Cathy from Give Me My Remote. She begins by mentioning that she attended the VM Bloggers Press Day, which she deftly uses to segue into her question: why connect with the online audience?

Rob answers that it's all about discovering the audience that's discovered the show. The Nielsen numbers aren't great, but the show's doing well online. He admits that he, personally, keeps his head down and stays focused on the content of the show. But when the UPN marketing people tell him to be somewhere at a certain time, he goes. They think connecting with the online audience is good for the show and will get more people watching, so he does it.

Next caller is magnolia888 from, um, Talk of Life. I never paid attention to the actual title of her journal. She was also at VMBPD. She says that there was a good response to the commentary for the pilot he posted on his website and asks whether he will be doing any commentary for the S2 DVDs.

He can't say, really. He doesn't have any plans to at the moment, and by that he doesn't mean that he doesn't want to, he just means that he has to fit such things in between finding the time to do a show and having a one-year-old. He does, however, anticipate that the S2 DVDs will have more deleted scenes and a blooper reel from both seasons. He'll do at least one commentary on the website if he doesn't have the time to do it for the DVDs.

Magnolia asks if he'll do commentary for a season one episode, and he can't think of an episode he'd do one for. He says maybe he'll have Diane do one for "A Trip to the Dentist," since that's his favorite S1 episode.

Here comes Scott from Scooter McGavin's 9th Green, who doesn't want to sound cliché or anything, but he was at the VMBPD too. He says that he's been getting the feeling that the two major mysteries of the year, Felix's murder and the bus crash, are related, and...he wants to know if he's right.

Rob starts and stops a few times before saying, "I wouldn't tell you if you were right." That's the kind of information he wants to keep close to the vest. He muses upon the structure of both seasons, noting that the first half of the season makes the story look bigger. You pile on more characters and more plotlines, with some red herrings and some genuine clues. The last half narrows the focus. Last year, the final five or six episodes were very strong. He knows the central fanbase follows the year-long mystery, so those last episodes will be the strongest for them as well. This year, the last five or six are "real meaty." All he'll say about Scott's question is the two mysteries don't resolve at the same time, which isn't really a spoiler, but maybe you don't want to know whether the two mysteries resolve at the same time or not, even though the answer doesn't necessarily tell you whether they're related.

Rob mispronounces Rae's name (Rae being, of course, raelee), and he seems amused to read the title of her journal, which includes the words "TV Whore." She asks what to expect in the homestretch.

The challenge, Rob says, is to deliver something different in the finale, a different feel. The finale has some real action, unlike most episodes where Veronica solves problems using her wit. We knew that from last year's finale, of course, but then Rob goes on to describe this year's finale, and I will say, to the extreme spoilerphobes, that it sounds entirely awesome, and to everyone else, I say follow me into the black for some vague descriptions of what we can expect in the finale. Rob says they're "blowing up the bank," but I honestly can't tell whether he means that literally or figuratively! Because if it's the former, that seems pretty damn spoilery. So he probably means it as an expression. The key point, however, is that the actions spans, and I'm not sure how to interpret my notes, which say "contents of U.S." magnolia888 heard the word "continents" in there, along with "countries." He says that it's BIG, with "lots of geography."

But Rae asked about the homestretch, not just the finale, so he wants to say more. He prefaces the following disclosures with the fact that he doesn't consider it spoiling if it's something that's going to be in a promo (or a "previously," as his jumbled sense of time likes to call it). Basically, if he's telling us this, he doesn't mind our knowing it. Regardless, some of you mind knowing it anyway. I will say that what you will read underneath the spoiler bars will not surprise you in the least. We'll be seeing some iconic end-of-high-school moments. There will be a prom, of sorts. There will be a graduation. A big graduation scene, actually. And the mysteries have a momentum of their own. He's "pretty jazzed" about the end of the season. (Sadly, he does not do the jazz hands.)

Next up is Erika (queenrikki_hp) of LiveJournal. Rob pronounces "LiveJournal" with an emphasis on "Journal" rather than "Live," which makes it sound so foreign coming from his mouth. Erika is excited and spazzy because she's been a fan of Rob's since Cupid. She doesn't have a question of her own, but she wants to ask a question some of her friends have been asking: did Duncan ever find out that Logan drugged him the night of Shelly's party?

Yes, says Rob, as if we should all know the answer. And then he awkwardly rambles on for, like, two minutes as he thinks about things and realizes that, no, they never did address that on the show. In his mind, they eventually got it hammered out, but it was something like "Weevil's pen" (no, Rob, its proper name is THAT FUCKING SPY PEN) that they forgot to get around to. He says there were some tough days in the summer between Logan and Duncan, not a lot of chatting, and I'm not entirely sure how it's relevant because it seems to contradict the fact that they "got it hammered out." If they got it hammered out after the summer, well...oh, bygones.

At this point, rather than go to the next caller, he apologizes for both being unshaven and being dressed for a day at the office. He gives us a wardrobe spoiler, displaying his Neptune Fish House shirt, which Dick will be wearing in a future episode. The wardrobe department was kind enough to let him wear it.

I do a little squee dance in my chair when the next caller is Shannon (zimshan) (my notes say, "Shannon, from LJ!!!"). "How's it going?" she asks, and "It's great," he answers, and ha ha ha. Oh, conversation. Shannon's question is about episode titles. She says that they always encompass so much and pull the script together, so how do they think of them?

Rob answers that they usually just pick the title that makes them all laugh in the room. They usually have the title before they start writing the script.

He launches into a digression about what's entailed in breaking an episode. You start with a big idea; you'll have your mystery of the week and your major plot developments. Breaking the episode involves taking the big idea and dividing it into scenes. It's like putting together a puzzle. At this point, he acknowledges that he's giving a longwinded answer, but he's trying to get to the question. Breaking an episode takes about a week, and over the course of that week, the title just announces itself. They will all laugh, and they will know that must be the title of the episode. The title of tomorrow's episode is his favorite title, and he amusingly says it a couple times, misspeaking once or twice since it's kind of a Spoonerism.

Adding to the paucity of guys in this thing is J-Unit from TVgasm. He tells Rob that his readers begged him to start writing about the show, so he started watching S2. He doesn't mention this, but there were massive complaints about his recaps because he seemed willfully ignorant of S1. He finally got the chance to watch the S1 DVDs over Thanksgiving. Now, to the praise! He says that the show does one of the best jobs depicting the young high school crowd, that Neptune High is a unique scene for television. He follows all this up with, goddammit, the question about the characters graduating and going to college and how do you keep from sucking? So, of course, Rob says what he said in Austin, about the fact that it's a noir mystery show in its early years, so the transition will be fine. College will give Veronica some interesting cases, though. They can tell stories that may have been too big for high school, but right for the college years. It also lessens some of the pressure of the Keith/Veronica relationship because they have to keep asking themselves, "What can Keith know about Veronica's detectiving"? (Yes, he did say "detectiving.") "When is he a bad father for not taking her out of that lifestyle?" Moving her to college, making her an adult...and then he stops himself, saying he almost spoiled something he didn't want to spoil. INTRIGUING. But, really, given the way Rob's mind works, this spoiler could be, like, the third tangent left of a digression in relation to the topic at hand.

The next caller is Masarath (frankdbunny, who I always thought was a guy!). She congratulates Rob on pronouncing her name correctly the first time (it rhymes with "Nazareth"). She says she might ask the same question as someone before because she couldn't follow along when she was on hold, but Rob says that even if she does, he'll give a whole new answer. Which, no, Rob. You always give the same answers to the same questions. You've already done it twice this very night! Masarath explains that she runs vm_campaigns with three other people, and they do all they can to figure out ways to get new viewers and make sure the show gets renewed. Rob thanks her. She asks his opinion on the fervor of the fans.

Rob says that the show would not exist without the fervor of their fans; it keeps them on the air. The Nielsen ratings barely justify their continued existence; what makes the network proud is the ardent fans. If ratings were based on passion rather than the number of eyes watching, they would be doing much better. It's the fervor of the fans and the supportive press that have kept them alive. He's optimistic about having a season three; he would be surprised if they didn't get one. Dawn and Les have spoken glowingly about the show, and they'll give it a great timeslot. There will be pressure to bring the numbers up next year in order to assure a season four, but he thinks season three will happen, as long as nothing happens in the next few weeks to jeopardize their chances.

The next caller is Debra (inigo, better known as InigoMontoya) from "Mars Investigations...no, MarsInvestigations.net." She starts talking, and my notes say "SO BRITISH OMG!!!" It's so awesome to hear her voice. Here's her question, as she planned to ask it: "To what extent is what you want to do with the season's main story, which because of the nature of the beast will be a mystery, compromised by the need to dish out the clues and diversions over the course of 22 episodes?"

Rob admits that it's not always best for story momentum. It forces certain pacing that's not always the best pacing. He uses as an example the fact that they could've done better with Veronica's involvement in the bus crash mystery, which lost steam in the early middle part of the season, but has picked up the pace since. It hurts at times, but the audience knows they're going somewhere with it. He uses as a counterexample the fact that he was a huge fan of Twin Peaks, but at a certain point, it dawned on him that the show didn't know where it's going. For Rob and VM, the goal is that you will get an answer. He will put in enough clues so that you can make an educated guess. In the end, they hope that they've tricked you in a cool way, the way mysteries are designed to trick you, that there's the one twist you didn't expect.

This leads to perhaps the biggest revelation to come out of this online press conference. They've been debating something in the writers' room about the mysteries, and he decides it can be a test balloon for us bloggers. Would it be interesting, rather than having one Big Mystery throughout all 22 episodes, to try three mysteries about seven episodes, seven episodes, and...eight episodes? One thing they feel is happening is that fans try to get their friends to watch, but they're leery of joining in because they can't catch up. Instead of two concurrent mysteries, maybe they can divide it up into smaller mysteries. They do need more viewers, after all.

Now, we get another man, yeah! It's Dan from duckyxdale. He, too, was at the VMBPD. He asks if Rob is worried about the CW scrutinizing the content next season. It would be a shame to lose such censor-worthy gems as Shockers and tossed salads.

Not really, says Rob. He says that CBS/UPN Standards and Practices are considered the toughest of the big networks. They caught heat on the Janet Jackson thing and, more recently, an episode of Cold Case. What people might not know is that Rob battles them every episode. They argue over lines, and sometimes his favorite lines get cut. He wishes he could do a whole episode of just those. They've cut lines that he's been surprised about. He hasn't been told whether they'll fall under the same S&P or a new unit at the CW. But he's not afraid of the censors' getting tighter.

Next up is Reed, The Attractive Nuisance, the fifteen-thousandth person who was at the VMBPD. She asks about the scene in "Leave It to Beaver" when Veronica mentions that Logan was abused. It's hard to read Duncan's reaction, so she wants to know whether Duncan and Lilly knew.

No, they didn't, says Rob. Especially not Lilly, a character he loves and adores. Yes, she's promiscuous and engages in some questionable decision-making, but he has faith in Lilly that if she knew, the relationship with Aaron would have never happened.

He interrupts to notify us that Jason is on his way, so I call in again to get into the queue.

Continuing his answer, he adds that Duncan hadn't figured it out for himself, but he had been around long enough not to be surprised.

The next part is one of the highlights of the press conference, and I miss some of it because I'm on the phone. But it's Laura (schnappycat), representing rack_of_lamb. Rob is very amused by the name as he pronounces it, quizzically. He asks if it's some sort of Veronica Mars community devoted to Sheriff Lamb, and Laura explains that it's devoted to Lamb and Michael. "Excellent, excellent," says Rob. "'Rack of Lamb.' I love that!" Laura adds the disclaimer that her question is not about seeing Lamb shirtless, since she knows he's gotten a lot of requests for that. He laughs. I miss some of her question, but the gist seems to be: how did he initially envision Lamb, and what has Michael done with it?

Rob says that Michael has done a fantastic job in the role. It took him a while to dial it in, but he doesn't mean that in a negative way. He spent the last two-thirds of the first season figuring out who the character was and how to play him. Yes, he was oily, vain, and proud of himself. But this season, they didn't want him to be just a bully; they wanted to see some humor. Rob praises Michael some more, noting that whenever Michael's in a scene, he simply expects the dailies to be good. He's gotten funnier and funnier. He has the confidence to play comedy between Lamb and Keith, between Lamb and Veronica. There's an upcoming scene with Lamb and Keith and Cliff that is awfully funny.

Rob asks for Laura's follow-up again. Laura asks if the character went in the direction he hoped it would go. I don't really catch much of his answer except for some bit about the fact that when he cast Michael, he he was in his early 30s, when he's actually in his late 20s. Sometimes, he appeared too young to be a sheriff.

Around this time, Jason Dohring is led in by a chain. No, it really looks like some dude is pulling him by a chain. And he's wearing a leather jacket. And I'm a heterosexual male, but even I can tell the man is looking hot.

comice is back, and she tells Rob that the fanbase comprises a virtual army to market. So, what should we do?

Rob says he would love to hear feedback about ideas. He fills in Jason on the new mysteries idea. Jason is all, "So you're setting up season three?" And then he says something like, "I've read the finale script. It's pretty good." Which is really funny.

Rob notes that an asute viewer who pays attention to episode 16 will have a very good inkling as to what season three will be about.

Then I hear Rob saying that I'm back again, and I'm disoriented again. I'm back, and here's Jason. I ask him if he liked his CD, and he tries to remember which one, like, he must have gotten THIRTY-THOUSAND CDs in Austin. I hear Rob saying something about "Polter-Cow" as if that means anything at all to him, and I say that it's the one with the profanity. Jason remembers, and he says it was wonderful.

I wish I had the ensuing conversation transcribed verbatim because it's really amusing and cute. Jason starts trying to describe the CD, and he's, like, "Can I say it?" I say that he probably can't; they'd have to bleep it out. He says it's that one...word, going down. He's so hesitant, trying not to get in trouble. Rob adds that he loved his CD too, which he'd already told me, but aw.

Then I get to my question since I've wasted enough time (I did want to ask him about the CD because I could, but I wasn't going to until I saw that the atmosphere was pretty casual). I say that what's always fascinated me about Jason's performance is the physicality of his acting. It's like he has complete control over every one of his muscles, and he can get any one of them, his cheek, his finger, his toe to do whatever he wants. He says, "Thank you," and I'm all, "You're welcome, but I'm not done with my question, yo." I ask whether he learned this or whether he was just born brilliant and, in addition, whether it was Logan-specific or something he does for all his characters.

He says that it's definitely Logan-specific. He refers to the pilot, when Logan is very loose. He has all these harsh emotions, but he has to relax. He thinks it adds beauty. And I have no bloody clue what he's talking about. It's like that guy who's cool because he moves cool. And...yeah, I still don't really know how this relates to my question. He calls out Kyle Gallner as one who has this "loose, floppy quality." He likes actors that do that.

Um. Right, Jason.

"Loose and floppy," says Rob, summarizing his answer.

"That's not what I said," says Jason, subtly hurt at the mocking of His Craft.

Aw, right after me is Wai-Yin (backup10 of MI.net fame). Rob says it's good to talk to her again. Wai-Yin says that Profit and EZ Streets are on DVD, so what about Cupid?

Rob says that's a great question because he just had a meeting with Columbia/TriStar yesterday, and they showed very little interest! Oh, shit, he did that thing where he makes you expect one thing and then hits you with the other thing. Bastard! He talked to the head of development, and they all said very nice things about the show, but they certainly weren't scrambling to put it out on DVD.

Scott/Scooter McGavin returns to ask Jason a question about his plans for the summer.

Jason says VM has kind of spoiled him, so he has pretty high standards. He gets these low-budget horror movie scripts, but he really wants to do some theatre, where he can really do some Acting. There's one project he's very interested in, but they're still pulling together financing.

Cathy the Remote-Demander returns, and Jason says, "Aah, I know this one." Cathy wishes him a happy early birthday. Jason thanks her and tells Rob he's turning 24. Rob says that's pretty old for a high-schooler. Jason says something about it being so cool that they're going to go to college, and I also have the phrase "unique drama" in my notes.

Anyway, Cathy once again brings up the move to Tuesday nights and observes that it's effectively turned into GG/VM night, which is great for her. Was it a strategic decision or did it just happen?

Rob offers that it could be on purpose, but he gets very little say in the scheduling. It's a network brass decision. They might call Joel Silver to ask how he feels about it, but not Rob. He's excited about the possibility of being paired with GG in the fall. They could use their six million fans. He urges everyone to watch Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars on Tuesday nights.

magnolia888 is back, and she thanks Jason for hanging with them at the VMBPD. Does he ever see the script and think, "Logan wouldn't do this"? What's the most surprising thing Logan has done?

Rob notes that it's a funny question to ask in front of Rob, but Jason counters that he has a "really swell" answer that Rob will approve of. Basically, Jason has to make it work for Logan. The character is very sarcastic and very honest, and there's some way that it works in. And...yeah, Jason is really not making with the sense tonight.

Magnolia asks if he's afraid that people won't like Logan. Rob tells an anecdote about a meeting he'd had with a potential writer for the third season. She'd told the producers that ever since the bum fights, she couldn't like Logan. She couldn't get past that. But Rob's interested in keeping Logan a prickly character. We see the good and the bad. Logan has had a tough, tough upbringing, and there's a neat story coming up that underlines that.

Jason brings up something he said in his interview with Cathy, that Logan does all these bad things, and then he's surpised when bad things happen to him. Logan now, Jason says, doesn't even want to do some of the things he does in the first part of the first season. He's evolved into something different.

Rob says that the bum fights were the perfect level of bad for a screwed-up Southern California boy who had grown up with wealth and privilege. In his mind, he could be redeemed, but it was still an unpleasant act. And in the same episode, Logan goes home and picks out the belt that Aaron beats him with. It made him understand that character.

But, Rob says, let's quit patting ourselves on the back and get to another question.

Jennifer from Tube Talk has returned, and her entire question is based on a small spoiler from her interview with Percy. When I say small, I mean inconsequential. A harmless scene unconnected to the major mysteries. Percy mentioned an upcoming scene with Jason, so she wants more information!

Jason says that there's an egg drop competition, and while he initially pairs up with Dick (and there's some Dick/Logan Brokeback stuff), the teacher instead pairs them up alphabetically, so Logan Echolls gets paired with Wallace Fennel. HA! He just came back from a looping session.

Rob adds that it's funny because in Austin, someone asked whether they would see a scene with Logan and Wallace, and it hadn't even occurred to him until that point that they hadn't had a scene together. Jason thinks about it and agrees that the two characters barely ever crossed paths.


Rae, the TV Whore, returns to ask Jason how much he knew about the Hannah storyline.

Jason says that he wanted to play it ambiguous. He thinks that in the beginning there was real "love for...liking for" her, but when he discovered who she was, he decided to do his thing. Which I don't really buy, but, hey, Jason = no sense tonight.

Rob tries to get a sense of where Hannah's storyline is, and he asks how many Hannah episodes they've shown. And Jason absentmindedly reveals when the last Hannah episode is, which is why the rest of this paragraph is in black. He says, "I think this is the last one," and actually, I'm not really clear whether he means tomorrow's or the one they're shooting. I guess I'll know when I see the director for tomorrow's episode because he continues, "with Michael Fields, directing?"

Rob says, "Don't tell them that! Let them think..."

And Jason doesn't even realize what he's said; it's very funny. There's some awkward silence before it dawns on him, and he tries to correct, "I was just saying it was the last one...with Michael Fields directing." But it's too late. Heh. NEXT QUESTION.

Debra's back from bonny old England! Here's the question as she prepared it: "Rob and Jason, after nearly two years, you both know the character intimately. Are you at a point where you don't need to sit down and talk about Logan from time to time, or is that still necessary? Are there occasions when you disagree and if so, what does it take to persuade Jason that he's wrong?"

Rob answers that Jason knows the character, so they don't really have discussions. He has supreme faith in him. The most he usually says to Jason is "Jason, can you speak up a little more so you don't have to loop all your lines?" They don't get a lot of face-to-face time since the writers are in L.A. while the actors are shooting in San Diego. Rob tells him where the character is going, but no moments of how he should play a scene.

Jason interjects, "Yeah...keep talking, Rob, while I think of something."

Rob obliges. He says that the show's been easy to work with. If an actor has a question, they can discuss it. At least the series regulars. A guest star coming up and saying, "Well, this is how I would do it"...doesn't come back.

Jason has thought of something. Rob will sometimes give his note. He mentioned a scene with Trina bopping him on the nose and Logan swatting her hand away. That action is written in the script, so Rob made sure he did it. And he realized that it was a very brotherly thing to do. If he leaves something out, chances are it should have been there.

He muses that it's so funny, acting, everything is right and that's the way it goes. The best actors, that's the best way to play it. I think he's talking about the way an actor can completely own a character such that you can't think of any other actor portraying him.

Rob takes an opportunity to praise Jason. He loves that Jason throws away the funny. He never delivers a punchline as though it's a punchline. It's always delivered with such disdain and intensity. The writers like to write funny and quippy, but they have a show with death and murder and rape and mass murder, so the comedy must feel grounded. Jason makes it real and intense.

I always find it amusing whenever Rob says something he's already said to me in an e-mail. I think he has this huge store of mini-speeches in his head ready to bust out when appropriate.

In any case, it's at this point that they get the wrap-up signal, so Rob bids us all goodbye and tells us bloggers to tell him what the Mars community thinks about the proposed mystery format. So, let's find out.

Poll #700230 Dial 7-7-8 for Mystery!

Rob has proposed the idea of, rather than having one Big Mystery spanning 22 episodes, having three shorter mysteries spanning about 7, 7, and 8 episodes. What do you think?

Great idea! More opportunities for new viewers to jump in and increase the ratings!
16(5.5%)
Good idea! This could lead to more energy and faster-paced mysteries!
75(25.7%)
That's an idea! I'm not really sure what I think about it!
118(40.4%)
Bad idea! This could lead to less complex and interesting mysteries!
59(20.2%)
Worst. Idea. EVER! The show is nothing without a season-long mystery!
24(8.2%)

Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
Current Music: Garbage - Use Me

(78 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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[User Picture]
From:elle_400
Date:March 29th, 2006 08:16 am (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks for the great recap! I quickly scaned most but I'll read it in more detail later. I don't like the idea of no season long mystery, its not VM without one, but if it can get more viewers and keep it running longer then it may be ok.
[User Picture]
From:snoopypez
Date:March 29th, 2006 08:18 am (UTC)
(Link)
Well, I was going to possibly comment on some stuff with my usual "oh, P-C, you're so awesome" chatter, but I read the blacked out bit from the Jennifer from Tube Talk question and my brain is broken.
[User Picture]
From:zimshan
Date:March 29th, 2006 08:29 am (UTC)
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I got a little squee dance? WHEE! I feel special! Too bad I picked the wrong question to ask...

AH! But you missed the best part! After clueless Jason reinerates to Rob "I was just saying it was the one with Michael Fields directing" all of a sudden, THEN he slowly realizes what he said, and he's like "OHHHH DAAAAMMMNN". And then looks all worried like Rob's gonna take away his dog biscuit or something. Too priceless!

Though it looks like that's about ALL I caught. Was I really watching the same webcast as you? How could I have missed SO much! I suck at being a cool kid. And I must have been way to busy laughing because I really did not realize how little sense Jason was actually making. Oh well, UPN seems to be putting it up on the website tomorrow so I'll rewatch then...
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 29th, 2006 02:26 pm (UTC)
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You got a little squee dance, AND I totally dreamed about you.

Rob is so taking away Jason's dog biscuit.
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From:sadiekate
Date:March 29th, 2006 08:34 am (UTC)
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I have been thoroughly avoiding everyone's recaps of this thing, because I am so freaked out by the possibility of getting inadvertantly spoiled, but because it's you, I read the whole damn thing except the spoilery parts, and I am very excited and happy in my face. Also, in case I have not let you know this recently, I love you.
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From:alliterator
Date:March 30th, 2006 05:41 am (UTC)
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Holy crap, your icon rocks.
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From:squaringkarma
Date:March 29th, 2006 08:39 am (UTC)
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OMG, lots of things. #1? Love love love I got an upfront mention for helping with the spoilers. Too bad tech support was being an ASSHOLE and caused me to see your call like 7 hours later. I would have really loved to hear Inigo's voice, DAMMIT!

But it's all good and I thank YOU for thinking of me. Didn't go under any of the black bars.

And finally, I think a couple of these people don't want their RL names about, but I could be mistaken. Just so we're clear. I mean, I'm fine being Gaby and you're fine being Sunil but I think others are.. not.

Off to try and sleep again! I was asleep for maybe two hours and then I wake up. WHY?!
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 29th, 2006 02:28 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I wasn't sure about some names, but I'll take them out if asked.
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From:duchessdogberry
Date:March 29th, 2006 08:56 am (UTC)
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Thanks for the awesomely detailed recap, [b]P-C[/b]. And the black-bars.

I wonder why Jason was so floopy.
From:mangopickle
Date:March 29th, 2006 08:58 am (UTC)
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I honestly think that Veronica needs to go to the Midwest. How about transplanting her to Chicago for college? I loved how Rob made the city come alive in "Cupid" and I figure he can easily mix that with Veronica's personality. I feel like keeping homegirl at...home...would be such an easy decision.

As for the 7-7-8 format, they should not be mutually exclusive. I think the MoTW format is proving to be difficult, but I'd love it if the three mysteries prove somehow linked to each other.

Oh and TPTB, PLEASE GET SHOHREH AGHDASHLOO TO GUEST STAR ON "VERONICA MARS" stat. Preferrably for a multi-episode arc.
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From:alliterator
Date:March 30th, 2006 05:42 am (UTC)
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Oh and TPTB, PLEASE GET SHOHREH AGHDASHLOO TO GUEST STAR ON "VERONICA MARS" stat. Preferrably for a multi-episode arc.
TerrorMom! TerrorMom! TerrorMom!
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From:catatonia00
Date:March 29th, 2006 10:08 am (UTC)
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Awesome recap!! So, this is what kept you from clarifying that comment about fucking produce. Though I vowed to go spoiler free for the remaining episodes, I couldn't help but peek under the blackened parts. All was good. I voted going 7-7-8 hoping that it would make the mysteries tighter and all, but I really love the season long arc. I'll sacrifice my personal preference for the good of the show. Because it will kill me to see it go off air.
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From:cran
Date:March 29th, 2006 11:03 am (UTC)
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I like the idea of three smaller mysteries. Right now I feel like the writers are stretching to come up with enough material to fill 22 hours and are making the mysteries a little too complicated. I mean, three minutes of previouslies is getting to be a bit much (unless it's a season finale -- I expect that then). Seven or eight episodes seems just right -- it's enough time for an engaging, complex mystery with red herrings and plot twists and all that, and since it's only a couple months' worth of episodes, we wouldn't start getting confused and forgetting all the little plot details. But I do think a new format would cut down on the standalone episodes, and those are some of my favorites... so I don't know. I guess I'd be okay either way. I'm really looking forward to seeing Veronica go to college, in any case!
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From:harper47
Date:March 29th, 2006 12:57 pm (UTC)
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Thanks so much for posting this - terrific recap and I love the way you expressed what your feelings making it feel like I was there with you, listening and waiting my turn.

I kind of fall with the majority - I like the season long arc but I think it hurts with new viewers. Breaking it up would help with pace and viewership.

Hee - floppy Jason.
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From:raelee
Date:March 29th, 2006 01:27 pm (UTC)
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That is freaking amazing. I can't remember half that shit. Here's the transcript of the Rob/Jason/Sunil CD moment:

Sunil: Did you like your CD?
Jason: Uh, which... which one?
*Jason looks at Rob - as if he knows*
Rob/Sunil talk at the same time but Rob wins.
Rob: This is from Polter-Cow in Austin.
[I interject with editorial comments: I did love how Rob said that so matter-of-factly as if Jason should know just froming hear P-C.]
*Jason continues to look totally confused and lost.*
Jason: Which-- OH. *still lost* I'm trying to think exactly which CD - I've gotten---
Sunil: It's the one with all the profanity on it.
Jason *smiling and nodding now* Oh, yeah, exactly! Yeah, that was wonderful. It's, uh, very like me and, uh, *Rob laughing* yeah... *to Rob* It's funny, did you hear about that?
Rob: No.
Jason: *hesitantly* Can I say...
Rob: Uh, I don't think you can say the profanity.
Jason: Yeah, ok, good, it was just the main word - you know - over and over in every other song and any song that had it. So, it was quite a compilation. Yeah, *to Sunil now* appreciate it actually.
Rob: And, Sunil, I loved my compilation as well.
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From:raelee
Date:March 29th, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC)
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[I interject with editorial comments: I did love how Rob said that so matter-of-factly as if Jason should know just froming hear P-C.]

*sigh*

MUST PROOFREAD. Oh well, I'm sure you know what I meant.
(Deleted comment)
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From:bspalek
Date:March 29th, 2006 02:05 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the re-cap! I have been so out of touch with the internets latley I didn't even know about it. I am really excited for season three now! Which I have been trying *really* hard not to be, since I am not as sure as Rob that we are going to get it.

I am not really sure how I feel about the proposed new format, I am going to have to think awhile on that.
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From:frankdbunny
Date:March 29th, 2006 02:06 pm (UTC)
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haha. Michael Muhney thought I was a guy too. he called me "mr. f" just the other day. it's all cool, cuz there really is no way of telling online. what bugs me is when people in REAL LIFE think I'm a guy.

and yeah, i congratulated Rob not because he was mispronouncing names earlier, but because people always seem to mispronounce my name. variations i've heard:

Masiarus
Meredith
Masatra
My Cigarette
Mattress (that's the best one i've heard yet)

and then there were the girls in 8th grade who called me Mozzerella, but they were doing that on purpose cuz they were mean. and i'm sure this is of no interest to you. my point is, i wasn't trying to be a smartass.

and my vary detailed comments about the 7-7-8 thing are in magnolia888's post.
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From:spadada
Date:March 29th, 2006 02:26 pm (UTC)
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You just rock. I printed this out and am now late for work because I couldn't stop reading it. But I will respond quickly. I was hoping for a *spadada will be so happy* shout-out after Rob said jazzed, but that is because I am 12 and wish I could have been included in this whole thing somehow. New fav Rob word = detectiving. I am not sure how I feel about the mini-mysteries, but I am open to it, so I voted for #2. The Lilly mystery felt like it unfolded naturally, while the bus/Felix mysteries feel like they have been cut up into 22 little clue packets. Maybe the season-long mystery was a Lilly thing, not a VM thing... Like I said, I trust them. And finally, Logan and Wallace in a scene together thanks to fans bringing the lack of such a scene to Rob's attention in Austin? AWESOME!
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From:spadada
Date:March 29th, 2006 10:07 pm (UTC)
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I have re-read your post 3 times and I can not find when you say that Rob said jazzed (but "without the jazz hands" was the line I think). Did I make that up or was it a comment in someone else's post? It obviously makes no difference, I just think it will be funny if it turns out I totally made the shit up.
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From:wickedenigmatic
Date:March 29th, 2006 03:11 pm (UTC)
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I haven't actually got time to read this just now but def. will later. Just wanted to chime in with a HUGE thanks for the spoiler font!!! And for your thoroughness:) (And I hope people keep the spoilers out of the comments!!)
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From:gymble
Date:March 29th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the recap P-C! Honestly, I don't know what to think of the three mystery format. Maybe if they were linked somehow? And the link isn't completely apparent until the end? I don't want to see three completely unrelated mini-mysteries. A season needs a driving force.

Mainly I want Veronica to have a real connection to the mysteries - a reason for her to care and a reason for us to care. I want character development. Those things have been a bit shaky this season.
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From:holly96
Date:March 29th, 2006 08:12 pm (UTC)
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I totally agree with you.

I'm going to say "What gymble said" on this. I think a few multiple-episode arcs would work, but there needs to be something that ties the whole season together. And I definitely agree on the connection to Veronica part. I care a lot more about the Felix mystery this year than the bus crash, but that's because I care about Logan. Veronica has helped Logan and Weevil a couple times, but she doesn't actually seem to care at all. It's okay for her to not care on a personal level about MotWs, but it's not okay for it to come across as if she doesn't care (or can't be bothered to do anything) about the season mysteries, especially when other main characters are involved. I didn't particularly like Lilly, for example, but I cared a lot because Veronica cared a lot. We don't really have that yet so far this year, and I think it's hurt.

Also, episodes completely without VMVO (like VT) really hurt that connection to Veronica. We need to be able to get in her head and know what she's thinking. There have been times this season when that has been lacking.

Okay, that was a little more than just "What gymble said," sorry.
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From:schnappycat
Date:March 29th, 2006 04:21 pm (UTC)
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Do you people record this stuff because I couldn't remember anything? I have the worst memory ever!

Thanks for typing this up. Do you mind if I link to your post along with Rae's transcript?
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 29th, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC)
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I took notes while watching, but I still missed stuff. And no, I don't mind your linking to this post. Please, God, everyone read this. It took me six fucking hours, and my fingers still hate me. APPRECIATE MY HARD WORK, FANDOM.
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From:violet4120
Date:March 29th, 2006 05:19 pm (UTC)
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This was an awesome read! I appreciate your hard work. Seriously. :)

However, there's a pic of Rob's wild gesture, but no pic of Jason in his leather jacket? Come on! I'm dying over here.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 29th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
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raelee has Jason pics up now as well.
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From:queenrikki_hp
Date:March 29th, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
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(no, Rob, its proper name is THAT FUCKING SPY PEN)

Ah, I find this terribly amusing for some reason. You really did get a lot of detail, I'd almost think that you recorded it rather than taking notes (which I would have done if my recorder hadn't needed batteries) It's nice to be reminded of my own idiocy. And as soon as they post the video everyone will see it.

And of course we all appreciate the time and effort you put in to this. It means the rest of us don't have to.
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From:ohimesamamama
Date:March 29th, 2006 05:53 pm (UTC)
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I heart you and envy you, O Cow I Miss Much. This is what I get for dropping out of the fandom, isn't it? But still, this was awesome.
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From:soundingsea
Date:March 29th, 2006 07:25 pm (UTC)
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No coherent thoughts, but I read and enjoyed this, and thank you so much for being extremely spoiler-sensitive!
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 29th, 2006 07:30 pm (UTC)
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You're welcome! I'm so glad I learned how to make spoilerfont because I did want spoilerphobes to be able to read the non-spoilery parts, and I know that I normally wouldn't read about these things at all because they always have small spoilers.
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From:slayervixen
Date:March 29th, 2006 08:07 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for this indepth recap. You rock so very hard! Thanks. Your an absolute credit to the fandom would you mind if I friended you??
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 29th, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC)
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Not at all!
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From:bello_sogno
Date:March 29th, 2006 09:15 pm (UTC)
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I like the idea of the shorter mysteries - I think it would definitely help with the pacing. Still, though, I love the season-long mystery format. It would rock if they could do both.

Thanks so much for this recap (and especially for the spoiler-tagging)! I appreciate your hard work too! I'd like to friend you too, if you don't mind.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 29th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC)
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I don't mind. The more, the merrier, around here.
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From:smiles1_9
Date:March 29th, 2006 09:32 pm (UTC)
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I just wanted to thank you SO much for you very thourough and detailed recap of the event, I love the thoughtful spoiler bars that you included as well. Thank you, I greatly appreciated your hard work! I hope your fingers have recovered!
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From:spadada
Date:March 29th, 2006 09:53 pm (UTC)
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Dammit, I just realized that I had a question for Rob! I should have submitted it. Still, if you feel like asking him, P-C, I want to know why UPN isn't hyping this week's special guest stars more? I know one of them is in the trailor, but you'd think they would say something about it in the VO. "Catch Blah Blah and Zah Zah, stars of Hoo Hah, on the next Veronica Mars..." Too late now though, since the ep is tonight :P

Also, it took me forever to understand just what JD had actually spoiled. "Last" has two meanings, you know? In case my response gives it away, I tagged it. So it's tonight's ep then? Glad to hear it!

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