COVID-19 No. 17: Being Able to Spot a ‘That Guy’ Has Never Been More Important

WHEN YOU’VE BEEN CONFINED to your house for six weeks, you take your victories where you can get ’em.

We’re bingeing our way through Veronica Mars, having plowed through the original three seasons, which aired in the mid-2000s, the Kickstarter-funded film from 2014, and a handful of episodes of the relaunched series, which began last year. Kristen Bell, Enrico Colantoni, and Jason Dohring reprise their roles as Veronica, her father, and her boyfriend, respectively, and with the exception of Doering’s leaner, ripped physique, the three look largely unchanged from a dozen or so years ago. Some of the regulars from those first three seasons are popping up here and there, too, and are also easily recognizable.

Veronica_mars_intro

In the episode we watched the other night, Veronica met with a new character. He was completely unremarkable, a “Guy No. 2” in the credits, until he began speaking and a growing familiarity took hold in me.

I don’t know if it’s like this with your family and friends, but among my set, the bragging rights conferred by being the first to spot a relatively obscure actor in a new setting are exquisite.

“Pause!” I said. “PAUSE! It’s that guy!”

Q. grabbed the remote and hit the button, and the screen froze. Isn’t that, I asked, the [name of a tertiary character who had appeared in maybe a third of the episodes from season 3]? He was hardly recognizable. In the ensuing decade-plus, he had gained a fair amount of weight (no judgy!) and gotten a hell of a lot shaggier. But I spotted him! And when I mentioned the character’s name, my family lauded me as if I were Nick Foles after the Philly Special.

When I came down the next morning, I told Mrs. D, “I still can’t believe I was able to pick out [the character’s name] from the show last night.”

“You’re still riding that?” she said — completely correctly. “That’s what we’re celebrating these days?”

Okay, point taken. My exultation may have been disproportionate to my announcement. Still, six weeks into isolation, yup, that’s what we’re celebrating. A win is a win, even if it’s utterly meaningless. | DL

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