Wednesday, March 20, 2013

In defense of Logan Echolls

This post is chock full of spoilers for Veronica Mars, so if you haven't seen the show, know that it is a mystery show, and that I am about to ruin a few major things for you. And go watch the show because it was awesome.

As you know by now, Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas has started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a Veronica Mars movie. I am not here to talk about the morality of that issue. I donated because I want to see a movie. That's as complicated as it gets for me. I'll let everybody else sort out whether or not the world is going to end now.

But - and I imagine many others did the same - when I saw that video of the actors together again, I went back to my DVDs and rewatched the first two seasons.

I loved that show when it was on the air. I hung onto every clue to figure out who killed Lily Kane. I rewound and rewatched that first kiss with Logan a hundred times and swooned. When Veronica opened the door at the last frame of season 1 and we didn't see who was at the door, I was so mad. I spent all summer hoping against hope that it was Logan. Of course, in all that thinking, I failed to ponder the fact that everyone would now know that Logan's dad killed his girlfriend, so he probably wasn't feeling too lovey-dovey at this point.

Logan has many haters, although all the ones I have thus encountered are male. I've yet to find a female fan of the show who doesn't think he's dreamy. I'm sure they exist, I just haven't encountered them.

Logan is a type of character we often see in television - The Reformed Bad Boy. Angel and Spike are both reformed bad boys. The only difference with those two is that Angel had already reformed by the time we met him. The reformed bad boy starts off as a complete asshole, and through getting to know him and the love of a good badass chick who sees through his bullshit and is completely amazing, he changes into a sexy protective lover who learns to be a better man.

He's not a fantasy. Guys like this do exist. The thing is, not every girl can be the one to reform the guy, even though most girls want to be.

So let's go back to Logan and see how we develop the reformed bad boy.

Logan was a spoiled rich boy who blamed Veronica and her dad for the way Lily's death was handled. He took it out on our girl every day at school, bullying her and being generally unpleasant all the time. But just as we decided he was as shitty as he could get, we discovered that his father, adored by millions as a hot successful movie star, beat him. So now we know there's a reason he lashes out at someone like Veronica. He's deflecting his own pain.

Don't forget that on top of this, the love of his life cheated on him throughout their relationship and then wound up murdered. That'll affect you one way or the other.

Then his mom kills herself. So now he's lost his girlfriend and his mother, and all he has is a father who plays her death for sympathy and a sister who doesn't really give a shit about anyone but herself.

So now we sympathize with Logan. Or at least, we should. Assholes are rarely just assholes. Most of the time, something makes them that way, and Logan has plenty of reasons. It would be a bit of a miracle if he didn't turn out damaged in some way. Some people turn to drugs. Some people turn to sarcasm and bum fights.

Then, of course, Logan finds out who killed his girlfriend. Then he's arrested for a murder he didn't commit - again - on the same night. Then he spends the summer getting shot at. It's understandable that a guy like Logan doesn't know how to direct his angst. He's had a shitty year.

Veronica is the kind of chick who could spar with Logan. She gets him, and her wit is just as quick, but she also helps him even though he's been horrible to her. And when Logan sees that, it changes him ever so slightly. Veronica is the kind of girl who could change a man.  He now has a reason to be violent - he must protect Veronica because he loves her. And although he respects her moxie, he also knows that she does indeed need protecting from all the bad guys she pisses off. A girl like Veronica is crack to a guy like him.

Not every girl can do it. In season 2, Logan dates a girl named Hannah. Hannah is very sweet and a complete sucker. She falls for Logan's act hook line and sinker. Even after he admits he was using her to get to her dad, she still wants to sleep with him just because he gives her THAT LOOK. Her dad - asshole that he may have been - did the right thing in getting her the hell away from Logan.

Unless you are a little bit asshole yourself, you'll never be able to keep up with that guy enough to fix him. Don't even try it, Hannah.

Logan used Hannah to get to her dad. Veronica used Officer Leo several times to get access to police information. Veronica really liked Leo. Logan really liked Hannah. But make no mistake - they were both doing the same thing. The only difference is, one is our perky blond heroine. One is our spoiled little rich boy.

I'm always going to have a soft spot for the Reformed Bad Boy. On the Firefly cast, I always found Jayne the hottest, so I went out and I found Jayne and I married him. There's a reason I call my husband The Beefcake.

The reason girls love that Reformed Bad Boy is pretty simple. If he's willing to hurt people, but he'll never hurt you - that's the best kind of guy to have around. Imagine an apocalyptic scenario, where it's every person for him or herself, and you may have to mug some jerk and take his canned food to survive. Is the nice guy gonna do that? No. Probably not. While he's pondering the ethical dilemma, the Reformed Bay Boy is hitting him in the head with a crowbar and handing the supplies to his own girlfriend.


  1. Excellent post! I couldn't agree more. I also donated for the same reason - I want to see the Veronica Mars movie - plain and simple. Anything phenomenal is bound to have backlash.

  2. Well said, Susan. I think it's just a big change, and until we know how it will shake out, people are nervous.

  3. Anonymous1:59 PM

    Veronica is not an heroine or a 'good girl', she is an antiheroine the same way it is for Logan,in other words : they are grey flawed characters, BOTH. It is for this reason they worked. And the actors's chemistry obviously.


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