Veronica Mars

Common Sense Media says

Strong female teen private eye digs into serious topics.

Age(i)

2
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The idea of standing up for the vulnerable, the poor, the bullied is prominent. The idea that wealthy people are often corrupt and can get away with things is a central idea. Issues of race and class are integral to the show's premise.

Positive role models

Veronica is strong, independent, has a great relationship with her dad, and makes it a priority to stand up for the little people. But she often gets carried away in her quest to punish wrongdoers by lying, cheating, and/or breaking the law to get to the truth.

Violence

Fights, gang violence, destruction of property. The main character is seemingly a victim of date rape. The initial storyline revolves around the mysterious death of a teen.

Sex

Frank sexual innuendo, images of teenagers making out in cars.

Language

Some profanity -- "ass," "hell," etc.

Consumerism

Macintosh products are featured prominently.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Flashback scenes feature teens drinking without consequences. Drug use is treated with negative consequences. The main character is unknowingly given GHB. Her mother is an alcoholic.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Set in the wealthy California town of Neptune, VERONICA MARS is the story of a plucky 17-year-old detective (Kristin 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?

QUALITY
 

On the surface, Veronica Mars may appear to be yet another rich-kids-gone-bad 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, the show's storylines can often be dark, complicated, and scary for young viewers; one episode features a bus of school kids that goes off a cliff.)

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about 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?

  • Is Veronica Mars a role model? Do you think her ability to stand up against the rich and popular kids is realistic?

TV details

Cast:Enrico Colantoni, Kristen Bell
Network:CW
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Veronica Mars was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old April 7, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

I think buffy the vampire slayer meets nacy drew.

Im 12 (almost 13) and i have watching this show with my mom and we are on the last disc of season one and it is so good! The only thing to be concerned about is maybe about some of the cases like some things have things to do with drugs,porn, violence. But its not bad and its not going to scar you for life or anything. I'm only 12 and i can handle it. But wow i love this show and that's to bad it was canceled
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Adult Written bydeschanel April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Teen, 16 years old Written bysunnysideup7685 July 10, 2012
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Sexual Second Season

I was really getting into this show, until they showed an up close shot of Veronica's ex boyfriend having sex with his best friend's mom. The show has been relatively clean, and there has only a little bit of language and references made, but nothing like this. The review for Veronica Mars says frank sexual innuendo and teenagers making out in cars. After only watching the first two episodes of season two and seeing this, makes me wonder whether Common Sense Media is really watching all the tv shows they are reviewing. I think they should be constantly updating what is going on throughout each season. Had I known there would have been more sex than described in the show I wouldn't have watched it. There is a difference between watching people making out (kissing a lot) and having sex with someone's mom. It's inappropiate and not okay to watch.
What other families should know
Too much sex

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