Veronica Mars Returns: Get the Backstory Before the Snarky Sleuth's Hulu Comeback

More than a decade after its premiere, the Kristen Bell-fronted drama returns to life July 2019

By Chris Harnick Jun 28, 2019 4:30 PMTags
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It's been 15 years since viewers first entered the world of Veronica Mars. Ready to dive back in again?

The UPN/The CW series starring Kristen Bell lasted just three seasons, but developed a loyal fandom, a fandom that rallied together to help finance the 2014 movie revival (also titled Veronica Mars). Now, Veronica Mars is back where it belongs, the small screen, but this time on streaming service Hulu. But you don't have to have watched the three seasons and movie, or read the two books of that followed the big screen revival, because we're here to help. That and the new season is easily accessible to viewers.

Kristen Bell Warns "Veronica Mars" Revival Is Controversial

Ready for your Veronica Mars refresher (or 101 if you never got on board with TV's snarkiest sleuth)?

The Backstory

Veronica Mars first premiered in 2004. Created by Rob Thomas, the series follows the titular character, a high schooler who becomes ostracized from her rich friend group following the death of her best friend. Her father, Keith (Enrico Colantoni) was the sheriff and was ran out of office following the bungled case. Veronica was raped at a high school party following the murder of her friend, Lily Kane. Throughout her time in high school, she worked as a private eye for fellow pupils and assisted her father on cases.

Who Killed Lily Kane?

The central mystery of the first season was the murder of Lily Kane (Amanda Seyfried). After many twists and turns, including one where she thought her ex-boyfriend was really her half-brother, Veronica solved the case: Aaron Echolls (Harry Hamlin) killed Lily. Who's Aaron? Why he was the movie star dad to Logan Echolls, Lily's ex-boyfriend who became the epic love of Veronica's life.


Throughout the three seasons, Veronica and Logan, LoVe to fans, had an epic romance. They were together, they were apart, they were together, they were apart…

"I thought our story was epic, you know, you and me," Logan told Veronica in season two.

"Epic how?" she responded.

"Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined, bloodshed. Epic," he said.

"Come on. Ruined lives? Bloodshed? You really think a relationship should be that hard?" she said.

"No one writes songs about the ones that come easy," Logan told her.

In the original series finale, Veronica was with Piz (Chris Lowell) and a sex tape of the two leaked. Logan confronted—and beat—Piz, and the whole ordeal, coupled with Keith tampering with evidence that showed Veronica breaking into Jake Kane's home, sent Veronica packing. She left Hearst College and Logan behind…until the events of the movie. Veronica was once again dating Piz, although not for the whole time between the series ending and the movie, but Veronica and Logan, they're epic…

The Haves and The Have Nots

Much of the conflict within Veronica Mars has to do with the class system. The town of Neptune is divided, there's the rich, elite upper class and those that don't fall into that category. And the elite very much want to do away with "the other."

Veronica, who once socialized with the elite, is very much an underdog throughout the series, books and movie.

The Movie

In 2014, Veronica Mars returned to life—on the big screen—seven years after it was canceled. The movie was partially funded by fans via Kickstarter. The events of the movie revolved around Veronica's 10-year high school reunion. Veronica returns home to Neptune to help clear Logan's name and investigate the death of his girlfriend and her former classmate. There, she uncovered the truth, a conspiracy involving the police, and reconnected with Logan. But Logan, now an active member of the Navy, was called back into service. The movie ended with Veronica, giving up life as a lawyer, returning to Neptune to work as a private investigator.

The Books

Following the movie, two books were published and according to series creator Thomas, they are canon. The first book included the return of Veronica's estranged mother and was also set during spring break, as is the Hulu series. Logan returned in the second book, which was about a sexual assault, and Veronica finally got her pony…a dog named Pony.

Papa Mars

Keith, once the sheriff, was voted out of office following the Lily Kane murder. He became one of Neptune's go-to private eyes. At one point, he was close to becoming the top officer once again, but he tampered with evidence to save Veronica. In the movie, Keith was still working as a detective, and was disapproving of Veronica's choice to forgo a career as a lawyer. Despite not wanting her to waste her life as a private eye, Keith is fiercely protective of Veronica. In the movie, Keith was involved in an attempt on his life via a car accident, now he's still having mobility issues.

Wallace, Weevil, Mac

In the very first episode, Veronica rescued Wallace (Percy Daggs III) from new kid hazing. From that moment on, their friendship flourished. Wallace remained in Neptune and started teaching and coaching at the high school. They're still in contact. Veronica's other high school friend Mac (Tina Majorino) is an expert hacker. She was in the movie, but is only mentioned in the miniseries revival. And then there's Weevil (Francis Capra), the leader of the local motorcycle gang throughout the series. In the movie, Weevil has gotten out of the gang life. He's a dad and married, but after he's set up for a crime involving Celeste Kane, he returns to his old way, throwing away all the work on the case Keith helped with. In the revival, he's still rolling with his old gang and involved in some unsavory activities.

What's Ahead?

It's spring break in Neptune and somebody's setting off bombs, murdering the partiers. Enter Mars Investigations. Veronica and Keith are hired to find the person terrorizing the city (the police force is attempting to do the same). What the Mars family finds is a twisted mystery involving the wealthy elites, the working class, politicians and new and old foes and friends.

Veronica Mars returns with all eight episodes dropping July 26 on Hulu.