Characters as crafty as Veronica Mars?
March 21, 2008 4:03 PM   Subscribe

Characters as crafty as Veronica Mars?

I'm unhealthily addicted to Veronica Mars and I can't get enough of her brilliant plans. Could anyone recommend a book/movie/show/game/whatever that features a character as crafty as she is? I especially enjoy the social engineering. So far I've come up with Hackers, Shooting Fish, Sneakers and Catch Me if You Can.

Thank you in advance!
posted by giggleknickers to Society & Culture (24 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Burn Notice
posted by awesomebrad at 4:07 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm with you 100% on Veronica Mars as well as the crafty planner stuff. For that reason, I really like heist movies like Ocean's 11. On the non-heist front, and in an odd way, Hard Candy delivers on that brilliantly crafty thing. But it's pretty twisted so beware.
posted by sneakin at 4:12 PM on March 21, 2008

I'm sure that this is specific enough, since it's more a group-cleverness, but Buffy comes to mind.
posted by desuetude at 4:12 PM on March 21, 2008

Best answer: Hustle is a British import about con artists that you might like.
posted by willnot at 4:15 PM on March 21, 2008

I've never seen Veronica Mars, but Columbo is about as crafty as they come.
posted by seldomfun at 4:18 PM on March 21, 2008

Yeah, Buffy was sort of the default comparison made by TWoP (Reading those recaps was what got me through the many droughts, haha.)

And I think Chloe Sullivan from Smallville got mentioned a lot as well, though from what I've seen of Smallville, she's not exactly "feature" character. I adore VM beyond believe, So I'll definitely be watching this thread closely.
posted by Phire at 4:23 PM on March 21, 2008

2nding Hustle. I love that show. The 3 seasons with Adrian Lester are better than the 4th though.
posted by juv3nal at 4:37 PM on March 21, 2008

I was watching the pilot of Remington Steele the other day on Hulu and found myself comparing Laura Holt to Veronica. Especially in the first episode, where she's weaving a web of lies about the non-existent Remington Steele. And then the fake Steele arrives and spins an even bigger web. The final chase scene was way too cheesy, but I'm planning to go back and watch more.
posted by saffry at 4:39 PM on March 21, 2008

There's the rich vein of con movies like The sting, The Spanish Prisoner, House of Games, etc.

The three protagonists of American Tabloid take craftiness and social engineering to a new level.

Prop Joe on The Wire is crafty.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:55 PM on March 21, 2008

Seconding Columbo. My personal favorite heist movie is a Spanish film called Nine Queens.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 5:01 PM on March 21, 2008

I love Veronica, but on a much broader basis, I am a huge fan of the art of the con.

On that basis, I 3rd Hustle, 2nd The Sting, and to a lesser extent, 2nd Oceans 11. It ain't The Sting but it is quite clever.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:17 PM on March 21, 2008

Best answer: I, too was a fan of Veronica Mars and would recommend The Riches, a show on the FX network (but can also be watched through other means). It's about a family of con artists that settles into a gated community, assuming the identity of a family that was meant to live there. The acting is excellent - Minnie Driver received an Emmy nomination for her performance in it, and the rest of the cast which includes Eddie Izzard and Margo Martindale are also top-notch.
posted by catburger at 5:20 PM on March 21, 2008

Seconding Burn Notice (on the USA network), which in addition to being crafty also features the awesome Bruce Campbell.
posted by brookedel at 6:02 PM on March 21, 2008

The Bank - I've only seen it once, a couple of years ago, but I still remember being utterly stunned.
posted by hgws at 6:30 PM on March 21, 2008

Check out the movie Brick. Like Veronica Mars, it's hard boiled High School but taken to the extreme.

And I'd like to give a hearty 3rding to Burn Notice, one of the coolest unwatched shows on television right now.
posted by eyeballkid at 6:41 PM on March 21, 2008

Macgyver, of course!

Inside Man? The Italian Job? The Thomas Crown Affair?
How to Steal a Million
Bottle Rocket
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
posted by mooza at 8:34 PM on March 21, 2008

Best answer: Jeeves, of Jeeves and Wooster, is among the most fiendishly ingenious literary creations ever, and does a lot of the social engineering you crave, albeit in the service of affable twit Bernie Wooster.
posted by Scoo at 10:33 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

The creator/writer of Veronica Mars, Rob Thomas, also wrote a '98-'99 ABC series called Cupid which starred Jeremy Piven as a man who was certain he was Cupid, exiled from Olympus, and Paula Marshall as a relationship shrink assigned to keep an eye on him. The two had a David-Maddie-Moonlighting kind of thing going on, and the writing was just as quippy and crafty as we'd later see with Veronica. The bad news: it's not on official DVD. The good news: it's on eBay, and evidently even Rob Thomas had to buy an eBay copy in order to get a copy on DVD. The best news: it's coming back to TV next year.
posted by WCityMike at 10:55 PM on March 21, 2008

Crafty? House of Games. The Spanish Prisoner. The Sting.
posted by filmgeek at 10:44 AM on March 22, 2008

The A-Team. Faceman is the master of social engineering, and Hannibal is crafty like Odysseus.
posted by jbrjake at 12:05 PM on March 22, 2008

As a kid I was hooked on the 'Encyclopedia' Brown books. Don't know how well those books have aged, but in my childhood I was mesmerized by them.
posted by papafrita at 6:15 PM on March 23, 2008

The Kiki Strike books by Kristen Miller.
posted by Messily at 12:34 PM on March 26, 2008

I just finished watching the BBC mini-series House of Cards, about the most scheming politician you'll ever see. Give it a watch.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:38 PM on March 26, 2008

Check out The Great Brain books, about a young, too-smart-for-his-own-good, con artist.
posted by zanni at 5:25 PM on March 26, 2008

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