‘Veronica Mars’ returns with Kristen Bell in new Hulu episodes

Enrico Colantoni also is back as title character’s fellow-sleuth father

Enrico Colantoni and Kristen Bell return in new episodes of “Veronica Mars” now streaming on Hulu.

It’s never really over until it’s over … and it still isn’t over yet for “Veronica Mars.”

The cult-favorite mystery series that made Kristen Bell a star followed its three-season UPN/CW run with a Kickstarter-funded movie seven years later, and now – 15 years after it first appeared – it has returned with new episodes that started streaming on Hulu a week earlier than planned. In what effectively is Season 4 of the show, Veronica probes lethal attacks in her California town of Neptune during spring break, complicated by the area’s social classes’ struggle between profit and safety.

As was the case with the movie, creator and executive producer Rob Thomas has regathered much of the original cast including Enrico Colantoni (alias Veronica’s private-eye father Keith), Jason Dohring (Logan), Percy Daggs III (Wallace), Francis Capra (Weevil), Max Greenfield (Leo), Ken Marino (Vinnie Van Lowe) and Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas). Oscar winner J.K. Simmons, Patton Oswalt, Dawnn Lewis and Mary McDonnell (“Major Crimes”) are newcomers to the saga.

“I’m grateful for this longevity,” co-star Colantoni reflects. “I always say that the more time you spend with a character, the better you are at playing that character. Knowing and revisiting these people, it just makes going to work so much better and so much richer. I’m sure that if someone had told us 15 years ago this would be happening, it would be really hard to believe. Well, maybe not for Rob; he’s the perpetual optimist.”

Kristen Bell returns in new episodes of “Veronica Mars” now streaming on Hulu.

Much as Veronica remains who she’s always been, the pleasant Colantoni takes pride in being able to apply the same view to the actress who plays her: “There’s nothing apathetic or lazy about Kristen Bell. She comes to work and she’s ready to dance, and her life is so much bigger than it was 15 years ago … not only with her celebrity and her fame, but with her family life, managing two children. She is a busy, busy person, but she has all the energy in the world. I don’t know how she does it, but I’ve never seen her with her eyes closed between set-ups.”

Also a director now (with “iZombie” episodes among his credits), former “Flashpoint” star Colantoni admits that he can’t predict whether more “Veronica Mars” is in the cards, especially given the franchise’s history.

“Rob Thomas has a vision for this woman,” he says, “and as long as females can exist as the way of the world, I believe him. Rob always thought the father-daughter relationship was the heart of the show. I can reference things like ‘Frasier,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah! I’ll do that. Give me an old chair to sit on, and I’ll live the rest of my life playing that guy.”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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