Veronica Mars arrives in theaters this weekend, and if you haven't watched the series, you may be wondering if you'll be able to follow the movie at all. Having seen the film, I feel confident in saying that it shouldn't be a problem, as the movie is structured to reintroduce us all to Kristen Bell's persnickety once-teen detective and her Southern California hometown of Neptune. However there are some things you might want to be familiar with going into this story, which is why we compiled this handy sheet sheet to give you some basic background information about the characters and the story.

This article contains no spoilers from the film, but it obviously includes spoilers from the series.

Kristen Bell's character is introduced to us as a teen from Neptune, California, where there's barely a middle class. Veronica once mingled with the wealthy "09er" kids, until her best friend Lily Kane was murdered. When Veronica's Sheriff-dad Keith (Enrico Colantoni) blamed Lily's wealthy father Jake Kane for the murder, everything spiraled out of control. Keith lost his job, Veronica's alcoholic mother (who was having an affair with Jake) took off, Veronica's boyfriend Duncan (Lily's brother) broke up with her, and Veronica ended up getting drugged and raped at a party. Some of that is out of order but the point is, she lost everything but her father and her dog after Lily died, and when her father started working as a private detective, Veronica did too.

That's where Season 1 picks up, with Veronica on the fringes of the social scene at Neptune High, working as a private eye for her disgraced father, occasionally taking jobs solving mysteries for her peers at school while trying to solver her best friend's murder -- which she does. Over the course of its three-season run, Veronica steadily builds herself a small group of friends, but she's much more guarded when it comes to people than she was in her pre-Lily years, which we see through flashbacks. And her quick wit, bravery and tenacity makes her a great fit as a private detective, though it tends to get her into trouble. She's tough, but deep down, she's a marshmallow.

One of the best reasons to watch the series is Veronica's relationship with her father, Keith Mars. Keith's tasked with being the sole parent to Veronica after his wife leaves, and with mentoring her as a private eye. That mixture makes for an interesting dynamic between the two characters. She's a chip off the old block in terms of her detective skills in the series, but she's still growing up and doesn't always make the best calls, which has resulted in some conflict between Veronica and her father. But the chemistry between Enrico Colantoni and Kristen Bell on screen is as undeniable as their characters' love for one another. Keith Mars is one of the better utilized parental figures in teen drama history.

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