By The Collectress
I binge-watched the entirety of the newest season of Veronica Mars in about two days, and as soon as I semi-recovered from the ending, I thought: how the hell am I going to review this without spoilers??? So I’m not going to. Instead, I want to share with you all a few things that I’ve learned from Veronica over the last 16 years.
Don’t Hide Your Smarts
I was 16 and had been very recently dumped when Veronica first showed up on-screen. What started as a distraction from my broken heart turned into something a lot more profound. It was refreshing to see a protagonist my age who didn’t try to hide her intelligence in order to get a boyfriend. While society has (thankfully) moved past the trend of pretending your stupider than you are to get a boy to like you (Mean Girls showcased this beautifully), Veronica took it a step further than pretty much any other teen heroine on television. She uses her intelligence and wit to solve crimes and survive high school.
Veronica is smart, and she’s a smart ass, and she doesn’t care who knows it.
Your Socioeconomic Standing Doesn’t Define Who You Are
Culture clashes are a strong theme in the show, since the fictional town of Neptune is set where some of the richest (fictional) people in America are said to live. Veronica and her dad are not wealthy, and many of Veronica’s friends come from low-income households. The show specifically dwells on themes of racism and white privilege. Eli “Weevil” Navarro is, I would argue, a good friend to Veronica during the original run of the show, and the depiction of their friendship is one of my favorite things about the show. While the audience knows Weevil to be a loyal and caring friend, other characters in the shop (specifically upper class white characters) underestimate him and write him off because of his background. He and Veronica both prove, however, that even if life puts you in a tough spot, you are worth more than what society labels you. And hey, every character on this show breaks the law at some point or another, so why is the blame always put on them? (Oh wait…I think I know the answer to this one… *cough* rich white people *cough*).
There’s A Good Chance Someone Else Knows What You’re Going Through
Being a teenager pretty much means you feel isolated and alone for 6-7 years of your life (no? was that just me?). After the death of her best friend, Veronica was ostracized by her peers and left on outskirts of all high school social circles. Even though her circumstances were pretty unusual (best friend murdered…), she still connected with others who also existed outside the oppressive high school social sphere.
Mac is a technical genius that Veronica befriends in season 1. Eventually, Mac asks Veronica to dig up the dirt on her parents, and the results that Veronica uncovers are truly heartbreaking: Mac was accidentally switched at birth and is not being raised by her biological family.
At this same time, Veronica is going through some questions of biological v. chosen family, and even though she and Mac never discuss the similarities in their two situations, we get the distinct impression that Veronica finds comfort in the fact that she is not alone.
So many themes revolve around this idea of connecting with someone: loneliness (Veronica + Logan), sexual assault (all of season 3), not fitting in (Wallace + Veronica), etc. When Veronica Mars came on television, teenaged me knew that she would find hope in Veronica’s ability to find friends.
Veronica came into my life at a time when I really needed an example of a female protagonist who could go through hell and come out the other side with really awesome friends and a hella fantastic dad. Now that she’s back for another season, I can only hope that the next generation of teenage girls responds to the show the same way that I did. Hell, I may be the same age as Veronica, but I still need her.
All seasons of Veronica Mars are now streaming on Hulu.