I feel the need to drop at least two prefaces on this one - your patience, as ever, is appreciated.
Preface #1: I don't have a dog in this fight. At all. As far as I can recall, I never actually saw a full episode of Veronica Mars, and if I did it clearly left no meaningful impression on me. I was aware of it, in as much as I knew its basic premise (Nancy Drew: 2000 to save you the trouble of heading to Wikipedia) and that it was apparently the reason that I was supposed to somehow distinguish Kristen Bell from the thousands of other waifish blonde ingénues vying for next-big-thing-hood in the early 2000s. It never interested me (that it was a UPN/CW series is, frankly, a huge red flag) but it also never looked like something I'd actively dislike, its fanbase is clearly sincere and includes many friends of mine, so if they see something profound or even just tremendously likable in it that's good enough for me.
Preface #2: I have never myself been the direct beneficiary of or impetus for a Kickstarter campaign. But I have participated in, contributed to and been involved in (voluntarily) promoting several Kickstarters in the past. I've got nothing against Kickstarter as a business or so-called "crowdfunding" as a concept - in fact, I support it.
That having been said ...
So, this past Wednesday, Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and Veronica Mars performer Kristen Bell announced a Kickstarter campaign on behalf of a theoretical feature film spin off of the show. The pitch? If they met a certain financial goal regarding production budget, Warner Bros. (who had previously passed on the project as too "expensive" given its pedigree as a TV show canceled by a network whose name is synonymous with "Nobody is watching.") would agree to distribute and market it. That goal? $2 Million in 30 days.
They reached it in 11 hours.
Barring any unforeseen issues, the project is now a go. Fans of the series are celebrating. A whole gaggle of actors who (at least under cursory glance) don't appear to have gone on to do all that much else for the most part will be getting a fresh paycheck. And the Hollywood studio system will wake up tomorrow to a world where the audience/filmmaker power dynamic may have shifted just a tiny bit from where it was before ...
... and to be honest, the whole thing makes me just a little bit uncomfortable.
Again, see above: I've got nothing against Veronica Mars, Kickstarter or any of the other attendant parts of this. Nothing at all. I get fandom, in all of its extremes and passions. I understand feeling like something ended too soon. I can relate to signing petitions to revive/continue this or that series, or buying DVDs hoping that the sales numbers would help spur a sequel. And I can even relate to the feeling of wishing there was a way to throw money at a property's holder if it would make them do whatever it is I wanted them to do. Hell, it's such a common thing in fandom we have whole memes for it - "I'm shoving money at the screen and nothing's happening!", or "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!"
Here's the thing, though - as sincere as the emotion in those concepts was, the actual things they described were always couched in a certain level of fan self-mockery ("Shut up and take my money" is a direct reference to a Futurama episode making fun of overzealous consumerism, after all) and the impossibility of the transaction itself. I want this thing so badly I would do something as extreme and sort of pathetic as thrusting my dollars at an already obscenely wealthy corporation in an act of hopeful financial fealty: "Please, sirs, I've brought my whole piggybank. I know it's not much, but if you could just find it in your hearts to spare Gravity Falls for another season ..." And this was okay to joke about, because the mechanism to do such a thing didn't actually exist. There was no actual altar upon which to make your sacrifice - ritualistically emptying your wallet as a show of sincerity to The Greenlight Gods.
But now, thanks to Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell, there is.