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It’s also an important reminder that Veronica Mars could only be a female character. It’s not a show that would work if the main character was simply reassigned to a differently-gendered actor. Veronica thrives on that underdog status. She needs people to consistently look down upon her, in the most obvious literal sense as well as the conventional metaphorical sense, in order to be so effective. - TV’s Great Women

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I’ve grown resigned to the fact that in just about every Veronica Mars AU where Lilly Kane lives, she’s some kind of horrible, monstrous witch who secretly hates Veronica Mars with the fury of a thousand jealous suns.

I’m okay with it, I get it, sometimes it’s really well written. Still, I disagree.

Lilly Kane is fucking fabulous. Some of the blame goes to Amanda Seyfried’s incredibly charismatic portrayal. In flashback after flashback, she bounces around, widening those alarming peepers, reveling in her very own awesomeness. She eats the screen with her physicality, her vibrancy. It’s tragic, she’s the most ALIVE person on the show sometimes, and her loss creates a void. Which she was meant to do, because no Lilly Kane means no Veronica Mars 2.0, no Teen P.I. No girl we know and love. 

The character is written beautifully. Lily Kane is self involved, bitchy and spoiled, ripping on her parents, her brother (extra points for giving him the greatest and most apt nickname of all time for a TV character), her on-again/off-again boyfriend but most notably, NOT her best friend.

Lilly loves Veronica. She pushes her, tells her she is hiding her hotness, and in one tiny scene, makes it apparent that it’s more than yellow cotton sundresses, it’s everything about her. Veronica is her moral compass. Veronica challenges her, makes her laugh and most importantly, loves her back, not for her great gift of seductiveness or her popularity, but because she is her best friend and sees who she truly is despite all of the not so nice things about herself she knows she can’t hide. Yes, Lilly’s death changed Veronica Mars but it’s clear from her long hair flashbacks that she always had a bit of spice under those pink outfits. How could she not? That’s the crucial ingredient. Lilly Kane would not be best friends with anyone else.

We know that Veronica loves Lilly back because we see it in their flashbacks. Their easy affection, their harmonious difference. We know she loves her because she says so. Pointing at her heart, saying I loved Lilly. Telling her I would never*. When she dreams that Lilly hadn’t died, they are still best friends despite everything. Because boys could never destroy their bond. It would take a lot more than that to break them apart. That is the reality I would choose for them.

I know. It’s complicated. Lilly must’ve suspected something was up with Logan’s broken bones and bloody noses. Even if she didn’t, even if she willfully played dumb and believed whatever lie he told her, because I do think that’s what he did**, what kind of girl sleeps with her boyfriend’s dad? I’ll tell you. A teenage girl who developed early and realized that her new lusciousness made her intoxicating to practically everyone around her. A teenage girl who hated her mom for not loving her. A teenage girl who hated her father for not seeing her value. A teenage girl who didn’t want to be tied down to the loving but possessive boy she just couldn’t break free of until she found the perfect dealbreaker. A teenage girl who wanted to see what other people had to offer because she wasn’t done becoming herself. A teenage girl who loved to shock her best friend but still kept secrets from her for fear of losing her for good. A teenage girl with beauty, brains and power and no inkling that things might not go her way. A teenage girl who made a terrible mistake. Because she was not going to be her mother. She was going to be amazing. She was going to live life to the fullest.

It makes sense to love Lilly Kane, feel her loss, because to love Veronica Mars is to love Lilly Kane. To love Logan Echolls is to love Lilly Kane. Even though she was being a bitch that week. 

 

* Bell’s line reading gets me every time.

** People forget that unlike Veronica, Lilly wasn’t the overly nurturing type and as perceptive as she might be about certain things, she seemed perfectly willing to overlook the obvious. As Veronica says, Lilly loved Logan. If Logan told her he was getting scraped up surfing or walking into doors, I can see her mentally filing that information away but not really pursuing it. After all, we never saw Logan tell Veronica. She had to figure that one out on her own.

Amazing meta.  As to the why-Lilly-slept-with-Aaron dilemma, I have one more “teenage girl” possibility to add.  Power.  She believed her sexuality gave her power over men. And she wanted to have power over Aaron, possibly because of something to do with Logan, but possibly not.  I’m writing Lilly right now, from Weevil’s lens, and it hurts.

And here’s a conundrum to grapple with.  Lilly doesn’t have to be good/moral/justifiable in any way to be fabulous.  Lilly WAS fabulous, her lust for life makes her that way, and so maybe it led her down the wrong path occasionally.  Maybe her genius for manipulation made it hard for her not to manipulate the people around her?  Maybe she could love Veronica and shelter Veronica and STILL be a selfish, self-absorbed person.   The genius of Rob Thomas, people.  Writing characters that are so TRUE to their humanity.  Because sometimes the most fabulous people, especially the priveleged ones, are not GOOD people but we love them anyway.

I love me some Lilly Kane, but I love her darkness and her light.  I don’t feel any need to excuse/absolve her of the horrible things she did … she’s human.  She was young, and killed before she had a chance to grow out of being so very young and self centred.

And our discovery of Lilly’s dark side is, of course, Veronica’s discovery of Lilly’s dark side.  The friend she loved was not always the person she thought she was, but she still LOVED her, even with the truth stripped bare.  That says a lot about who Veronica Mars is, as well as Lilly Kane.

It’s key to Lilly’s character that she’s never really suffered significant consequences for anything she does. Which is pretty typical of someone in her position - the gorgeous daughter of one of the richest men in a rich community. So she’s always a bit too impressed with herself, half convinced that she’s immortal in the way that only the young and privileged can ever be. Add to that the way her energy and her playfulness scrape on her (very bitter and closed off) mother’s nerves and I can see why she becomes so determined to never deny herself anything she wants. 

And that’s why she can’t see the danger that Aaron Echolls represents. Lets face it - Lilly is uncommonly beautiful and probably developed quite early (girls with her build tend to), and she had received a LOT of attention from men. She mistakes that for power, and maybe it was power, at least for a little while. But not when dealing with someone as frightening as Aaron. Even when he shows up looking for the tape she’s dismissive - she doesn’t see the storm coming. She’s too used to winning.

But her friendship with Veronica has its own special category in her life. It’s important to her in a way nothing else is - and she’s aware she could potentially lose it. That’s why she keeps things from Veronica - her cheating on Logan, etc - because Veronica’s opinion matters. And what is so lovely to me about their friendship is that there is nothing competitive about it. Lilly wants Veronica to be the best and boldest Veronica that she can be, and she wants everyone to see Veronica the way she does. For all of Lilly’s selfishness she isn’t catty, and that keeps her from being the rich bitch stereotype that she is sometimes accused of being. She deserved the chance to grow out of her own bullshit, and it is a tragedy that she never got that.

(Source: amandaseyfried, via lightsaboveyouglowing)

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