In case you temporarily stopped using social media for the past few days, you missed Veronica Mars fans, a.k.a. Marshmallows, freaking out when Hulu unexpectedly dropped the entire new 8-episode Veronica Mars season a week early. A whopping 15 years after the series premiered on UPN, private investigator Veronica is back with the main Veronica Mars cast (minus Piz and Mac, unfortunately). It's like being reunited with an old friend.
Veronica Mars, which ran on UPN and The CW From 2004 to 2007, was a teen drama and noir mystery warped into one show. (As fans who've seen the end of Veronica Mars season 4 know, the teen part has practically been looped off.) The series put Kristen Bell on Hollywood’s radar, and while she has certainly had many recognizable roles throughout her career (Anna from Frozen, anyone?) in a way, she will always be Veronica Mars. Like Veronica, the other characters in the series are partly so beloved by the show’s devoted fan base because of the talented actors who play them. All of the main, original actors returned for the 2014 Veronica Mars film, funded by fans, and thankfully, many of them returned again to reprise their roles in the Hulu revival.
Now that the series has returned to us again, with a much darker bent, it seems like a pretty good time to remember where it all started — Veronica Mars has always been dark, but things just got really real. Here's a look back at when everything was a little less, well, intense.
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Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) In Season 1
Arguably one of the greatest television heroines of all time and undeniably the female lead with the best banter and sense of human, Veronica Mars embodied the perfect edgy teenager in 2004. She paired her grunge style with a short bob and a don’t-mess-with-me-attitude that made audiences instantly root for her.
Prior to becoming the leading lady, Kristen Bell had a few one-episode roles in multiple TV shows. Landing the part of Veronica Mars was definitely the breakout moment of her career.
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Kristen Bell Now, In Season 4
How has it been 15 years since Bell introduced us to Veronica? All she needs is a wardrobe from Hot Topic and Bell could easily play the high school version of Veronica again. She is all grown up, but she is still as feisty and quick-witted as ever.
Of course when Bell is not playing a P.I., she is losing her forking shirt playing Eleanor Shellstrop on The Good Place. Oh, and she is also ready to help save the world when she returns as Anna in Frozen II.
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Logan (Jason Dohring) In Season 1
Who embodied the irresistible “bad boy” more than Jason Dohring as Logan Echolls in the early 2000s? Logan is introduced to the audience being ruthlessly cold toward Veronica and he continues to behave this way for most of the first season. Only Dohring’s charm and his ability to quickly switch his tone from playful to innocent could make a character like Logan become so supported by Veronica’s fans.
Like Bell, Dohring was practically unknown before making Marshmallows swoon. He had played only a few roles in TV series and TV movies.
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Logan (Jason Dohring) Now, In Season 4
Dohring somehow has maintained his boyish charm despite growing up to look like he could actually be an active-duty, insanely-in-shape Lieutenant in the United States Navy. Logan has clearly matured, but still can keep up with Veronica’s constant references and quips.
Dohring recently played a different type of officer on Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas’s other show iZombie. He also played a detective on The Originals, so he clearly has a knack for playing authoritative figures.
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Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni) In Season 1
Enrico Colantoni made his mark as one of the best TV dads with his portrayal of Keith Mars who can rival Veronica’s banter, but also enforce rules when he needs to. Keith is always supportive of his daughter and guiding her when she needs assistance.
Colantoni has the ability to match Bell’s comedic timing and humor which makes their dynamic as father-and-daughter so believable. Prior to becoming Keith Mars, Colantoni starred on the NBC comedy Just Shoot Me! for seven seasons. He's also known for his role as an alien leader in the cult comedy, Galaxy Quest.
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Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni) Now, In Season 4
If this were any other show, viewers might question why Veronica would still want to work with her father in crime-ridden Neptune after all these years. But since Keith and Veronica’s relationship is one of the many highlights of the series, there is no need to guess why Colantoni’s character is still a major part of the show.
Since the release of the film, Colantoni has had roles on multiple TV series include Adversity, The Good Fight, and Travelers.
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Wallace (Percy Daggs III) Now, In Season 4
Fifteen years later, Daggs brings a maturity to his portrayal of Wallace while still being adorable and reliable. Now, Wallace isn’t as present during Veronica crime solving excursions as he used to be in the earlier seasons. But, he still serves as her necessary support system that allows her to step away from her dangerous job.
Before the revival, Daggs continued to use his comedic chops as a version of Hook on the TV series The New Adventure of Peter and Wendy.
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Weevil (Francis Capra) In Season 1
Francis Capra is the only actor who could show the vulnerable side of Veronica’s frenemy and sometimes gang member Weevil. All the main characters on Veronica Mars have so much more to them than what society expects them to be. Weevil’s storylines always connected to the economic class disparities in Neptune that is a main theme in the series.
Before Veronica Mars, Capra had a guest arc on the short-lived series American Dreams. But prior to becoming Weevil, he was probably most known for playing the adorable little boy in A Bronx Tale.
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Weevil (Francis Capra) Now, In Season 4
Weevil hardens a little bit every time Veronica Mars returns, but his deep insecurities and his brief moments of vulnerability remain. Compared to the other characters, Weevil is the most inconsistent when it comes to making the morally sound decision. This makes his relationship with Veronica the most unstable and challenging.
Like the other Veronica Mars cast members, Capra has appeared for a few episodes on iZombie. He also reprised his role as Weevil for the Veronica Mars spinoff web series Play It Again, Dick.
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Dick Casablancas (Ryan Hansen) Now, In Season 4
Dick Casablancas is still around, and somehow he has stayed friends with Logan for all these years. But thank goodness he did, because Hansen’s presence helps break up the stressful moments of the series (like everything Veronica finds out about the Neptune bombings). Dick hasn’t had a storyline in quite a while, but he's grade A comic relief and it works.
Hansen headed a spinoff series called Play It Again, Dick for one season in 2014. More recently, Hansen led the YouTube series Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television.
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Leo (Max Greenfield) In Season 1
It is tricky to create a character that can rival the main love interest, but Max Greenfield pulls it off with Leo D’Amato. Leo is a 20-year-old police officer when he dates Veronica (then 17). Greenfield plays Leo as a character who is confident, but not all that smooth, which makes him endearing. When he pops up, you can’t help but smile as wide as Veronica does.
Out of everyone on this list, Max Greenfield had the least amount of experience when he landed a recurring role on Veronica Mars. It was the start of a very successful career filled with plenty of laughs.
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Leo (Max Greenfield) Now, In Season 4
Leo left Neptune back in season 2, but it’s still impossible not to get excited whenever Leo returns. Veronica has a more relaxed energy when she is around Leo, thanks in great part to Greenfield's blithe jokes and charming smile. Leo is undoubtedly Veronica’s best ex (Duncan and Piz don’t compare), so it’s also a treat to see how his relationship with Veronica has progressed.
Greenfield challenges Bell for the cast member with the most recognizable roles. Even if you haven’t watched an episode of New Girl, chances are you have seen an awkward, hilarious gif of Greenfield’s character Schmidt on Twitter at some point. Just last year, he became another funny leading man as he stars opposite Cedric the Entertainer on The Neighborhood.