Can you believe it’s been over 10 years since Veronica Mars first premiered on TV? The clever teen detective neo-noir, which garnered lackluster ratings but became a cult hit afterward (especially once it was available to stream on Netflix), launched on September 22, 2004, and aired for two seasons on UPN and one season on The CW (which was formed from UPN and The WB). After a highly visible fan crowdfunding campaign, it was even spun off into a movie that hit select theaters and the internet in 2014. It’s hard not to be obsessed with sassy, smart Veronica, her love interests Logan and Duncan, her best friends Wallace and Mac, her lovable dad Keith and the rest of the goofy characters that populated the fictional Southern California town of Neptune. But which episodes were the most memorable? It’s hard to pick, but here are the ten episodes that have stuck with us the most:
10. Pilot (Season 1, Episode 1)
The very first episode of Veronica Mars is one of its best, perhaps because it was just so different from everything else on TV. It introduces us to the clever, complicated heroine (played by Kristen Bell) and the world of Neptune, a backdrop which allows for discussions of class and income disparity. We also learn that Veronica is trying to solve the mystery of who raped her at a party, a mystery that is a serialized arc for the whole first season. Although there is a lot of voiceover narration in the pilot, this also establishes the tone of the show, which was heavily influenced by retro noir crime stories. We also see flashbacks, a style that helps us get to know Veronica’s late best friend, Lilly (Amanda Seyfried). Fun fact: the opening sequence that originally aired is different from the one creator Rob Thomas wanted; the network wanted to show Veronica arriving at school so that viewers would understand that it was a high school show. But the opening you’ll see on DVD or on online streaming is the one that Rob intended.