Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars.

Name: Veronica Mars

Occupation: High school student and part-time private investigator

Location: Neptune, CA

As seen in: Veronica Mars (TV series, 2004-2007), Veronica Mars (2014 film), and the Veronica Mars book series, published as a continuation of the film in 2014 by Rob Thomas

Veronica Mars is a high school student and private investigator living in Neptune, California in the mid-2000s. She works under her father, the former sheriff of Neptune, who lost his job in a blunder over an unsolved murder case that put the city’s most famous family under scrutiny. Veronica is increbdily intelligent, kind, but with a rough exterior ‚Äì she is the epitome of sass and always knows what to say to diffuse a situation and come out on top. Created by Rob Thomas for a TV series that aired on the CW in 2004, Veronica Mars was incredibly well-received and is still beloved by fans all over the world.

I think the most beloved thing about Veronica Mars is her strength ‚Äì she is independent, and the men in her life admire her for it despite being eternally frustrated that she won’t stay out of trouble. In the pilot episode for the series, Veronica gives the backstory to her father’s downfall ‚Äì he investigated the murder of Veronica’s best friend Lilly, the sister of her ex-boyfriend Duncan Kane. When Veronica’s father Keith Mars goes after Jay Kane, Duncan and Lilly’s father and the richest and most influential man in Neptune, he is shunned by the community and resorts to becoming a private investigator. Veronica is depicted in this backstory to the series as fun-loving, happy, and popular ‚Äì this contrasts sharply with her bobbed haircut, boyish clothing, and hard exterior. The only people who manage to break down her walls are her father, Keith Mars, who tries desperately to keep Veronica care-free and happy, Wallace Fennel, who Veronica saves from a motorcycle gang in the pilot, and Back Up, Veronica and Keith’s bull dog.

Veronica is a sensational character for a number of reasons: she is an advocate for justice and the truth, she stands up for the underdog time and time again, she is capable, intelligent, and a complicated character, which makes her relatable and real. Rob Thomas didn’t shy away from difficult subjects when he created Veronica ‚Äì she says in the pilot episode that she lost her virginity when she was raped at a party, and she has a complicated relationship with her mother who is a heavy drinker and abandoned the family after Keith Mars lost his job. Veronica’s strength in the face of adversity is incredbile to see and rare in female television characters, and the way the show grapples with difficult subject matter makes it stand out against surface level television that relies on easy solutions. Plus, Veronica is hilarious, which just makes her even more lovable.

-Rebecca Valley
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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