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Why This ‘Veronica Mars’ Character Binges ‘Harlots’ on Hulu

Rob Thomas and Jason Dohring shed light on that surprising choice for TV viewing this season.

Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring, "Veronica Mars"

Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring, “Veronica Mars”

Hulu

“‘Harlots’?”

With that one word, “Veronica Mars” communicates volumes, most particularly its cheeky sense of humor. In the series’ revival, Veronica (Kristen Bell) returns home to find her current boyfriend Logan (Jason Dohring) has been hanging out awkwardly with her ex-boyfriend, Leo (Max Greenfield).

When the couple is alone, they relax to watch TV, but instead of Netflix and Chill, Logan suggests “Harlots.” This may not be the obvious viewing choice for a military intelligence officer. “Harlots” is Hulu’s period drama set in Georgian London and focuses on the war between two brothels. The series, which is created, written and directed by women, stars Samantha Morton, Jessica Brown Findlay, and Lesley Manville, among others.

On the surface, this may seem like streaming synergy. After all, “Veronica Mars” and “Harlots” are both Hulu series. But if an in-brand plug was the point, then why not call out the streamer’s most prestigious series, the Emmy-winning “Handmaid’s Tale”?

“‘Harlots’ is in itself a joke. He’s giving her a hard time about Leo being over there,” creator Rob Thomas told IndieWire. “And so ‘Harlots’ actually was meant to be funny, but I have seen a lot of reaction like, ‘Oh, you had to get a Hulu plug-in.'”

“We thought it was fun that it was a Hulu show. And sometimes the network doesn’t want you to mention other network shows. But it was only meant because that was a funny word, not because we were trying to plug Hulu.”

“That’s a very Rob Thomas thing,” said Dohring. “It plays on different levels, saying that to Veronica after a little bit of a disagreement, but there’s a tongue-in-cheek sort of vibe to it.

“I feel like that’s a lot of the show, even harking back to the scenes with Charisma Carpenter where there’s just dialogue that has other meanings, that can be very crude, but you know, which way it’s being taken,” he continued. “It’s done with a layer of intelligence on top and in all cases.”

Thomas added, “You also did get a scene in there from it. I didn’t know the director was going to build in a cut to the TV. Never thought we would see it. So it wasn’t until post[-production] when I was like, ‘Oh, we are actually going to see a clip of ‘Harlots.'”

“Veronica Mars” Seasons 1-4 are currently streaming on Hulu. Seasons 1 and 2 of “Harlots” are available to binge, with new episodes of Season 3 released on Wednesdays.

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