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The frightening power of the Veronica Mars fandom proves it's the most enduring TV show.

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If you want something done right, get a fan of Veronica Mars involved.

Fans of the critically acclaimed and witty crime drama about a high-school P.I. played by Kristen Bell are dogged in their determination to protect their idols and are also very adept at playing the long game.

Which is why well over a decade after Veronica Mars left the small screen it’s now back for a fourth season (now streaming only on Stan in Australia) thanks to vocal and loyal support of the show’s fandom. And more impressively, by the fact that they’ve been willing to fork out their own hard-earned cash dollars over the years to keep the franchise afloat.

For a series that initially aired for three seasons, from 2004 to 2007, the fandom of Veronica Mars has had an incredibly long lifespan.

When the teen noir mystery first premiered, it was unlike anything else we had seen on screen before.

Take a look at the trailer for Veronica Mars season four, dropping in full on July 20 on Stan:

It was one of those TV shows that had the power to switch effortlessly from broad humour to darkly tinged drama that offered up social commentary on everything from the class system to rape culture and small-town politics. It also gave us a look at what it’s like to be an outsider during your high school years and gifted us of TV’s most fascinating romances between Bell’s Veronica and Jason Dohring’s Logan Echolls.

So while Veronica Mars launched the careers of several future stars, including Kristen Bell, Amanda Seyfried, Tessa Thompson and Ryan Hansen, most importantly it launched a community of fans who are still to this day known as ‘Marshmallows’.

The fandom name was coined from a phrase that Veronica’s best friend Wallace Fennel (Percy Daggs III), says to her during the closing scenes of the pilot episode. “You’re a marshmallow, Veronica Mars – a real Twinkie,” he quips, in reference to the softer side she had for protecting people, even in a world when her whole town had turned against her.

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Disaster struck in 2007 for Marshmallows when, despite consistent ratings for a show that was never considered a blockbuster by the network, it was cancelled at the conclusion of season three. Despite the news of its demise, fan conventions, petitions and support continued to mount until leading lady Kristen Bell and series creator Rob Thomas finally found a way to grant viewers their wish.

On March 13, 2013, Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise the $2 million they would need to fund the making of Veronica Mars: The Movie, a film that would pick up well after Veronica’s college years when she returned to her hometown of Neptune, which you can now watch on Stan.

Cast members including Bell, Enrico Colantoni (who played Veronica’s P.I dad Keith Mars), Ryan Hansen, and Jason Dohring all appeared in a viral video promoting the campaign and asking fans for their support, but the Marshmallows needed no extra incentive to reach for their wallets.

The fundraising goal, which was meant to stretch across weeks, was met within hours of the campaign being launched and the project then broke several Kickstarter records, including being the largest successful film project ever on Kickstarter.

“More than a decade after Veronica Mars left the small screen it’s now returning thanks to the fans.” Source: Stan.

So, what is it about story of this quippy blonde passing out sassy one-liners and solving crimes in an elite seaside town that has adults still weeping at the anticipation of the long-awaited fourth season and ready to hand over a blank cheque whenever necessary?

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For Kristen Bell, who has gone on to be a bankable movie and TV star thanks to roles in The Good Place, Bad Moms and of course the juggernaut that is Frozen, fans are forever drawn to Veronica Mars because they feel at home in the community that’s been created.

“There’s nothing stronger than a community, in my mind. We created a community, the show and fans,” Bell told Vanity Fair in June. “The main feedback I receive from fans is, ‘I had a tough time in high school. This got me through it.’ There’s not a better feeling on the planet. The appreciation is a two-way street. None of us take that for granted."

I was just out of high school when Veronica Mars first aired in Australia and I can still remember that enthralling feeling of seeing these characters on screen for the first time, and even to this day I still maintain that no other story arc has been executed as well as the one Veronica Mars managed to pull off in season one.

While speaking to other fans of the series, they all have wildly different reasons for calling themselves Marshmallows and are just as devoted to Veronica whether they discovered her in their teen years or as an adult.

"I had a really hard time in high school and watching Veronica Mars made me feel less alone," Elizabeth told me. "I'd tape the episodes off the TV and watch them over and over again until a new one aired, and I made friends online talking to other fans on a fan site. I think watching season four will be like going home."

"I was about 10,000 years late to the Veronica Mars party but even watching in 2019, I could relate so deeply to the characters and being a teenager," said Amy. "Veronica is everything I want to be when I grow up. I admire her tenacity, strength, and gumption!"

"My older sister and I are five years apart and when she was 18 she moved overseas to go to uni," Jess said. "Veronica Mars was the only TV show we both loved and since all the seasons were out by then we used to send each other quotes to from the show as an in-joke and to keep in touch. When the movie was announced we'd speak daily about the developments - it saved our relationship."

"I first watched Veronica Mars at a sleepover in Year 9. [I] was immediately hooked and so I went out and rented the rest of the series," Melody said. "It was the first time I saw a completely kick-arse female teenage lead - Veronica was confident, smart and brave. To this day, I credit Veronica Mars for providing me that amazing female role model I didn't realise I needed until I watched it."

While other TV shows may come and go, the Marshmallows of Veronica Mars are here to stay.

Season four of Veronica Mars drops today, July 20 at 6PM, AEST.
But while you wait, you can watch seasons one to three of Veronica Mars and Veronica Mars: The Movie right now on Stan.
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Don’t miss the brand new season of Veronica Mars, premiering July 20 – only on Stan. Watch the trailer now.

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