When I blogged about the efforts to save Veronica Mars last week, they were fairly insignificant. There was no real momentum, no real content, no real drive, and it felt like an attempt to copy the successful campaign for CBS’ Jericho. However, while there is certainly inspiration to be found within Jericho’s triumphant defeat of network executives, the two situations are not the same, and Veronica Mars fans are likely fighting a losing battle. Despite what is perhaps a cynical perspective, I want to make something very clear: I believe that fan movements are never valueless. And as the campaign formed into an extensive Mars Bar, Snickers and Marshmallow Fest over the weekend, I guess I became a bit more nostalgic about it.
BarsForMars Campaign Info
Stage One: Purchasing Mars Bars from The Indian Food Store, later becoming Snickers bars when Mars Bars ran out (Note: We in Canada have plenty, and they’re good. Really good). Later, deciding that Marshmallows tied in with the series, fans began to send the poofy treats as well.
Stage Two: Fans are instructed to order the show’s season finale, ‘The Bitch is Back’, on iTunes on Tuesday June 12th in an effort to raise it to the top of the charts and show support for the show. There are no current plans to bulk purchase David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars?’, but considering that it is both an awesome song and that international viewers can’t buy TV shows from the store, I think it might be cool.
There has been criticism that fans are “wasting their money”, or squandering their time; I would argue that this could never be the case. Television is a medium that people connect to in a way that just doesn’t occur with movies or books, and the result is often a sense of fan support that creates a community. That community is something that, for better or for worse, has been part of those people’s lives, and television is something you talk about. Chatting about an episode, a character, is something that brings people together with a common goal in a way that politicians can only dream of.
For fans of Jericho, they didn’t have that community in April. That community existed, sure, but they had never had to go through a fight. After the Nuts to CBS campaign, that community is now stronger than ever, and should be able to mobilize support to ensure a future for their show if they put their minds to it. It was a similar fight that solidified the Veronica Mars community two years ago, when the show was faced with cancellation.While it may sound cliched, belonging to something is fairly empowering. For fans of Veronica Mars, they twice helped save the show from the brink of elimination. Without that community, I am convinced that the series would have been canceled five times over by now. With the fans behind the series, Dawn Ostroff was scared to death of canceling the series knowing the anger that fans would throw her way.
And while I believe that the axe has finally fallen on the series for good, I think that this campaign is still both necessary and valuable for fans of the series. First, I think the series has life of some sort left in it, and that reaffirming fan support can only help that cause. I think that fan support is always a sign that there is life in something, even if a limited amount, and that perhaps the show can be revived in some capacity, however minimal, in an attempt to take advantage of that. Without some show of support from fans, there would never be a chance for the character to live on.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, I think this community deserves one last hurrah. These fans were perhaps the only reason the show got a 2nd season, and without a doubt they have been instrumental in keeping the show on the air these past years. As a result, it feels almost right that if the show is going to go out that the fans weren’t taking it lying down. It might be the last campaign that they organize, but I feel as if it would almost be a fitting send-off. These people whose love of a TV show saved it from the brink of cancellation come together one last time to support the show they love once more.
So, over the next four days as the June 15th deadline to extend the series comes closer, Veronica Mars fans will be staging an internet-wide love-in. And, well, I might well join in on the fun. Even if I don’t believe the show can be saved, I do know that I spent three years with Veronica and Co. and that fondly looking back seemed about right. Perhaps I’ll share some of those memories this week as judgment day comes for the series.
Because, even if futile, there is value in a fan movement like this one. Money is spent, time is spent, and in the end I believe the result is people who know they’re fighting for something they care about. I cannot damn such a movement.