A long time ago, we used to be big fans of the teen drama Veronica Mars... and we still are. The show aired for three seasons from 2004 until 2007. After a 2014 movie and the 2019 revival, it's safe to say that we're still living in Veronica's world.
Sometimes fans can go back and watch an old TV show and it's like absolutely no time has gone by at all. Other times, some parts are so obviously dated that it's tough to sink back into the world. When it comes to this TV drama starring Kristen Bell, both things are true. Here are five ways that Veronica Mars has aged poorly, along with five ways that the show is timeless.
10 Aged Poorly: The Clothing
It has to be said: Veronica Mars has aged poorly because the clothing that the characters wear is so bad. Veronica (Kristen Bell) in particular has to be mentioned here.
Sure, it was the early 2000s, but re-watching the show means wondering about the combination of clothing that she has on. She'll pair a brightly colored top or blazer with pants that don't match at all, or she'll wear a weird coat that a high schooler wouldn't really pick out. This can be kind of distracting from the story, even though, of course, fans will re-watch any episode numerous times because the show is so good.
9 Timeless: Veronica And Keith's Father/Daughter Relationship
One reason that Veronica Mars is timeless is because Veronica and her dad, Keith (Enrico Colantoni), have such a wonderful relationship. It's almost like the bond that Lorelai and Rory have on Gilmore Girls. Keith is a much more unique TV dad than you typically see and he's funny and real with his daughter.
The two of them even joke about their dating lives, which many people would find creepy and weird. With Veronica and Keith, though, it's not strange at all.
8 Aged Poorly: The Season One Episode "M.A.D."
In this particular episode of Veronica Mars, there are several things that don't hold up with time. For one thing, Veronica helps a classmate named Carmen (Natalia Baron) get revenge on her boyfriend, Tad (Jeff D'Agostino), by pretending that he's gay. They trick him so it looks like he's photographed with another guy (and they even get a recording of him saying some dirty things because he thought that he was talking to Carmen). The idea that this could be revenge is cringeworthy by today's standards (or by any standards, really).
This episode has aged badly for another (less serious) reason: Keith wants to have the opportunity to get divorced, so he puts an ad in the local newspaper saying that his wife should contact him because "legal proceedings" have begun. It's impossible to imagine anyone doing this now.
7 Timeless: The Film Noir Tone
One reason that Veronica Mars is timeless is the film noir tone. Every episode features Veronica helping her dad with a case (or, in the third season, investigating a mystery on her college campus). The way that the show is often shot reminds viewers of a detective movie from the old days.
Veronica is often sitting in a car and spying on someone, or sitting in her dad's office, and these scenes could have taken place in any day and age. Although the show is undeniably a teen drama, it's also got this cool, detective feel to it, and that sets it apart (and also makes it timeless).
6 Aged Poorly: Veronica's Season One Party Storyline
In the first season of the show, Veronica learns that she was given a date rape drug at a party that featured many of the popular classmates who she's not a big fan of. This is one of the mysteries that she tries to solve, especially in the season one episode "A Trip to the Dentist." Not only was she drugged but she woke up thinking that she had been raped.
This storyline is one reason that the show has aged poorly as it isn't handled very well. When Veronica asks around to learn what happened to her, no one seems that affected by what she's telling them. She's talking about a teenage girl being drugged, which is so dangerous, and the popular kids shrug and simply tell her their side of the story. It's hard to imagine this episode airing today, at least in this way.
5 Timeless: The Popular And Unpopular Kids
Unfortunately, high school will always feature kids who are beloved and popular... and others who don't quite fit into the conventional mold. This time in life is so tough for so many people because these four years are often one massive popularity contest.
Veronica Mars is timeless because of the fact that it features popular and unpopular teenagers. Veronica used to be popular but isn't anymore, although by the season two premiere, and she and Duncan have gotten back together and she's hanging with the "09ers" once again.
4 Aged Poorly: Veronica Doesn't Believe A Classmate
Thanks to the important "Me Too" movement, more and more survivors of sexaul assualt are sharing their stories. That's why it's so hard to believe a season one storyline on Veronica Mars.
In the episode "Mars vs Mars," Veronica doesn't actually believe a classmate, Carrie (Leighton Meester) who says that a teacher (Adam Scott) had an affair with her. This is so hard to fathom today because not believing victims is just so uncool. She doesn't have a legit reason, either. She just likes the teacher and thinks that he makes learning fun. It's only when she's at his house alone that she gets a creepy vibe and leaves, finally believing Carrie (and discovering that it was her friend who was in that situation).
3 Timeless: The Case Of The Week Formula
The X-Files followed the "Monster Of The Week" Formula that so many shows do, and Veronica Mars followed the "Case Of The Week" formula. She's always assisting her dad with something that's going on or a classmate approaches her at school and has a problem that they want help with.
This makes the series timeless. Fans can go back and re-watch any random episode and know what's going on. Whether it's a classmate who has joined a cult like in the season one episode "Drinking the Kool-Aid" or the season two premiere "Normal Is the Watchword" where athletes haven't passed their drug tests, there's always an interesting case.
2 Aged Poorly: The Technology
These days, everyone is pretty procificent when it comes to using the Internet and smartphones. In the first three seasons of Veronica Mars, everyone has a super old computer or cell phone, and the character Cindy "Mac" Mackenzie (Tina Majorino) is considered totally brilliant because she "knows her way around a computer" as Veronica says when Mac meets Keith.
This is another way that the show has aged poorly. Today, Mac's knowledge wouldn't be such a big deal, and no one would think twice about it.
1 Timeless: The Romance
The final reason that Veronica Mars is timeless: the romance is top-notch. Whether Veronica is with bad boy Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) or his best pal Duncan Kane (Teddy Dunn), her love stories are dramatic and compelling.
Sometimes Veronica's love life seems as busy as her detective case load, like in the first season when she's crushing on Logan, wondering if she still has feelings for Duncan, and also kind of dating the cop Leo (Max Greenfield). No matter what season it is, Veronica keeps fans guessing as to who she has chosen, and this is the best kind of teen drama around.