1. She is a heroine on par with Buffy. If you’ve been avoiding Veronica on the grounds that it couldn’t possibly be as good as Buffy, I would strongly urge you to check yourself before you Trebek yourself. What she lacks in physical strength she makes up for with tech savvy and sheer determination. Veronica is complicated; she’s stubborn, intelligent, fiercely loyal, distrusting, calculating, brutal, witty, courageous, unapologetic, and deeply empathetic. She is flawed. Equal parts caring and cut-throat. She solves crimes, and she snarks. She’s just a marshmallow.
2. It has the greatest non-romantic relationships. Be still, my shipper soul. While Logan/Veronica is my OTP of the century, it’s still not my favorite ship on the show. The father-daughter relationship between Keith and Veronica is more heartbreaking and heartwarming and dedicated and loving and perfect than anything else I’ve seen on TV. On top of that, you’ve got Veronica’s friendships with Wallace and Mac and Weevil and Meg, and I just want to smoosh all of their faces. The thing about Veronica is that she has these deeply ingrained (and totally justified) trust issues, so it’s hard for her to connect with people. So when she does, you know it means something.
3. And the greatest romantic relationship. Of course, Logan/Veronica is so great that it gets its own number on the list. The show begins with Veronica and Logan hating each other — and I don’t mean that they “hate” each other in the way that TV couples do. I mean, he bashes in her headlights with a crowbar and she plants a bong in his locker. But by the end of the first season, they’re 100% making out. I don’t want to spoil anything else, so I’ll just say, “they don’t write songs about the ones that come easy.” (That is a real line of dialogue.)
4. It actually addresses victim blaming and rape culture. This is not a spoiler: in the first episode, Veronica reveals that she was drugged and raped at a party while her fellow students looked on, and when she went to the local authorities to report it the next day, they laughed in her face. Sound familiar? She spends the whole first season searching for the identity of her rapist, and the incident is rehashed and referenced throughout the entire run of the show. Unlike other shows, Veronica does not let rape or rape culture take a backseat to other issues; it puts them at the forefront. Later, in seasons 2 and 3, they push the proverbial envelope even further when Veronica deals with a serial rapist at Hearst College and the resulting clash of the slut-shaming frat brothers with the quasi-militant campus feminists. (Note that this show first aired almost 10 years ago — but these are issues we’re only now beginning to address in the mainstream.)
5. And racism. And classism. I’m not going to say that this show about a 16-year-old white girl presents the most sophisticated dialogue on racism and classism that exists. But what it does do is not shy away from these issues, and that puts it lightyears ahead of most of the other stuff on TV. The show takes place in the fictional town of Neptune, CA, which Veronica calls “a town without a middle class.” At Neptune High, it’s a constant battle between the privileged, mostly white 09ers and those who live in less affluent zip codes. (You’ll have to suspend your disbelief and just accept that the children of billionaires would attend public school with gangsters.) It is this tension that drives the show and fuels the majority of Veronica’s cases. And if you get nothing else out of it, know that it makes for some really compelling storytelling.
6. The guest stars will blow your mind. Leighton Meester accuses Adam Scott of statutory rape. Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat are hanging at Hearst College. So are Paul Rudd and Dianna Agron. Max Greenfield plays a charming young deputy. Charisma Carpenter and Alyson Hannigan have recurring roles. Joss Whedon himself pops in for a cameo. And then we have Krysten Ritter, Jessica Chastain, Steve Guttenberg, Aaron Paul, Aaron Ashmore, Armie Hammer, Jane Lynch… This is just the tip of the iceberg, y’all. Expect to livetweet “whAT OmG” every time the guest star credits roll.
7. Genuinely intriguing mysteries! The first season is dedicated to solving the murder of Veronica’s best friend and Neptune’s most notorious party girl, Lilly Kane (that’s Amanda Seyfried). And I was completely and totally surprised when I found out who it was, even though it made sense to me when I rewatched the season. The show will definitely keep you guessing, so if all you’re looking for is a case-of-the-week show, VMars will still satisfy. There are a few odd one-off episodes, but on the whole, the weekly cases are fun and engaging and difficult to figure out, as are the season-long ones.
8. This is the part where I talk about the actors. Did you know that there are people in this world who don’t like Kristen Bell? She brings so much subtlety and energy and fire to Veronica, who has quickly sprinted past every other role model in my life and taken the first place spot. Same goes for Enrico Colatoni as the conflicted Keith Mars. Jason Dohring’s psychotic jackass is as chilling as his blubbering bad boy is endearing, and he has these mannerisms that reduce me to incoherency and button smashing. Know that “WB teen drama” does not equal Secret Life of the American Teenager. These actors are hardcore.
9. “Vibes.” This might not be an important factor for you, but as someone who will listen exclusively to the OC soundtracks when the weather is nice, I definitely give soundtrack and tone a lot of weight, and the music and the general tone on this show tug at my li’l heartstrings in a way that few things can. The soundtrack is an even blend of early 2000s alternative / emo with classic rock, so in a given episode, you’ll get everyone from the Postal Service to Hall & Oates. Also, the color scheme is definitely worth nothing: jewel tones against dark backgrounds, oranges, blues, greens, yellows…You could show me a random screenshot from a random episode and I would be able to identify it as part of Veronica Mars. So when I’ve been away from the show for a while, it still leaves an impression on my daily life.
10. And now they’re getting a movie! Which you should know about by now. You’re reading this, so I assume you have regular access to the internet, yeah? Well, in case you get all of your news from your grandmother, let me be the first to tell you that VM creator Rob Thomas launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a movie, and it reached its goal in just a day. They’re filming it this summer. (I donated $35 and I’m really, really excited about it.) The show was cancelled after only three seasons, and it ends on a less than satisfying note. But now, after about 6 years off the air, we are going to find out what happened to Veronica and the gang. Do you not understand how exciting this is? (It’s really exciting, FYI.) And if you think I’m crazy, just watch the damn show already. You’ll get it.