Veronica Mars (2004-2007)
Where to even begin with this week’s Woman Crush… I’m not going to lie, Veronica Mars is my favorite television character of all time. That makes this post the easiest and also the hardest to write. Doing justice to someone as big and important as Veronica Mars is quite an overwhelming task. Yet, I’m going to try.
There are so many things that people love about Veronica Mars. Something that’s so fantastic and draws people into this show is how complex this character truly is. She has sides, dimensions, emotions, reactions. She is a person and there is no way to condense her down to one thing.
That being said, there are specific and great aspects that really make her so lovable and iconic, I think. Veronica is SMART. She’s witty and she’s clever and those skills are what get her out of almost every tough spot. So much of the show is Veronica using her brain to outsmart any and everyone she comes across. The writers don’t pretend like it is realistic for Veronica to find herself in the situations she does and be able to get out of them with brute strength or just her trusty taser. She can pack a punch, but at the end of the day, when Veronica is in a life or death situation, it is consistently her quick thinking that saves her. She can talk her way into and out of everything and it is what makes her such an awesome detective and such an important female character.
Veronica uses people’s judgements and stereotypes against them. She uses their dismissal of her (based on her gender, age, socioeconomic status) to destroy them in the cleverest of ways. She is a champion for those who don’t fit into the “norm”. Veronica doesn’t back down and she stands up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Her moves are careful and calculated but also driven by Veronica’s marshmallow heart and deep compassion. Neptune thrives off social stratification and Veronica chips away at pieces of that system with every case she solves. Every rich kid she calls out, every bro she shuts down, every small justice she provides, puts cracks in the larger structure. This is so crucial when examining why Veronica Mars matters. She isn’t one to sit and let things happen. She sees a system that disadvantages so many and sets out with ways to dismantle it. The larger commentary and implications of Veronica’s actions aren’t things which are often talked about on tv, especially a show about a teenage girl and her life. Regardless, Veronica faced them head on.
Veronica Mars does not give a shit what people think about her. To me, (especially 13-year-old me who was just starting middle school when VMars first aired) one of the most important things about Veronica was her confidence. Being an outcast, being truly bullied by those around her, Veronica took things in stride. She stood up for herself and didn’t let people get away with being cruel to her or the people around her. She might not have handled things in the absolute best ways, but usually she at least made the bullies think twice about their next actions. Veronica’s confidence came from her decision to stop caring about what the people of Neptune thought of her. Not only would that leave her heartbroken, but Veronica saw how pointless and fake the lives of Neptune’s elite were. Her rejection from the ‘cool kids’ had nothing to do with her- she had not changed- but solely through the actions of her father. It showed Veronica just how artificial and futile fame, popularity, and wealth were. Her confidence, her worth, her capabilities had to come from herself or else the power to break her would always be with someone else. Veronica’s struggle to transform herself and gain the confidence to face those who tormented her was one of the strongest and most important storylines written.
I can’t emphasize enough that the most crucial aspect of Veronica’s character is her realness. She’s real! She’s a human being who acts and reacts through her experiences, background, and specific set of circumstances. This sounds obvious, but when it comes to female characters – especially teenage girls- that concept of a real and constantly evolving person is not always there. Something terrible (and also wonderful) about Veronica Mars is how much Veronica goes through in those 3 years we see. She’s consistently traumatized by the events unfolding around her. What’s so wonderful and brilliant about Veronica is that she is always reacting to these traumas. They affects every action she takes after that point. Be that emotionally or physically, we are always seeing the after affects of Veronica’s situations. This is so important when it comes to who and why Veronica Mars is the woman she is. It’s why people connected with her when the show was on and it is absolutely why the fans stuck around for 8 years holding out and giving their own money for more.
Veronica Mars is an incredible woman who will forever be hailed as one of the best television characters ever created. I (as I’m sure many people) could and have written pages upon pages praising the woman Veronica Mars is. The proof is in the fact that it’s been more than a decade since the show went on the air, and we’re all still continuing to talk about how Veronica Mars shaped the lives of so many. She’s one of those forever and ever woman crushes, and the character I love most in the world. So happy Woman Crush Wednesday and month of Love!
Although Veronica Mars is tragically not tv anymore… make sure to check out the Veronica Mars book series! Book #2, Mr. Kiss and Tell, is available now. Grab a copy and support this week’s amazing Woman Crush!