Nerd Girls Save The World: 17 Of Pop Culture’s Greatest Female Geeks

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Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) (Image via Warner Brothers)

3. Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars)

Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) is a precocious character right out of the gate. As the series Veronica Mars begins, she’s only a high schooler. Yet, she’s started moonlighting as a private investigator thanks to the work of her detective father. Though she’s officially hired as his secretary, Veronica frequently solves cases before he does. She’s also an unofficial detective for her high school in Neptune, California, solving seemingly minor cases that may or may not be part of a larger picture.

Screenwriter Rob Thomas initially wrote Veronica Mars as a young adult novel featuring a male protagonist. However, he soon recognized that the noir genre lacked a distinct female voice. A noir drama told from a woman’s point of view would be an interesting and perhaps even groundbreaking addition to the genre.

Veronica herself is an interesting character. Following her best friend’s murder and a likely sexual assault at a party, her personality changes drastically. The formerly positive, even bubbly Veronica becomes cynical and is deeply disillusioned with the wealthy elite of her town. She also becomes more sharp-witted (and sharp-tongued) and becomes something of an outcast.

She doesn’t completely lose her humanity, however. Veronica uses her experience and intelligence to both help people in her community and exposes the rot at its heart. She also slowly begins to reenter the world by building new friendships and making a successful career for herself, first as an investigator and later as a lawyer.