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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Veronica Mars centers on a smart, independent teen girl who stands up for victims, but who often resorts to breaking rules to accomplish this. The series features violence and sexual references. Although the program is set in high school, it deals with very adult themes -- including murder, greed, infidelity, gang violence, and date rape -- and should be prescreened before allowing teens to tune in.
What's the story?
Set in the wealthy California town of Neptune, VERONICA MARS is the story of a plucky 17-year-old detective (Kristen Bell) whose picture-perfect popular existence is cut short when her best friend/boyfriend's sister, Lilly Kane, is murdered. After a lowlife is arrested and convicted of the crime, Veronica's dad, town sheriff Keith (Enrico Colantoni), becomes convinced that Lilly's much-admired father is the real murderer. While Keith is deposed from office for his unpopular opinions and abandoned by his wife, Veronica remains steadfastly by his side. To support himself and his daughter, Keith sets up shop as a private eye. While he investigates crimes, a now-hardened Veronica does her own work on the sly for students falsely accused of crimes.
Is it any good?
On the surface, this may appear to be yet another teen melodrama, but thanks to witty dialogue, unique direction, and exceptional acting, this unpredictable neo-noir sets itself a cut above the rest. That said, Veronica Mars' storylines can often be dark, complicated, and scary for young viewers; one episode features a bus of school kids that goes off a cliff.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether they think Veronica Mars is a role model. Do you think her ability to stand up against the rich and popular kids is realistic?
What are the positives and negatives of high school popularity? How does Veronica's change in status affect her actions? They can also talk about the race and class issues that the show raises -- do teens see these types of problems in their own community?
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