Veronica Mars was a teen show, yes, but when it came to making serious statements about race and class relations in rich coastal communities like Neptune, the show's setting, it did more work than most shows geared towards adults. The class divide in Neptune is something viewers are introduced to from the jump—because Veronica's experienced it firsthand. As the daughter of the town’s sheriff, she’d lived comfortably most of her life, and was best friends with the daughter of the richest man in town. She was even dating his son.
After her father lost his position, however, Veronica’s financial situation took a dip, and Keith moved the two of them into a small two-bedroom apartment in a slightly run-down part of town. It was then that Veronica really noticed how her former friends—called the "09ers" because they all resided in the affluent 90909 zip code—treated the Neptune residents that weren't white WASPs.
In every episode of the series, viewers are reminded that the lives of the rich kids have been built on the backs of the poor citizens. One specific example: Veronica is in desperate need of a scholarship if she wants to even consider attending the school of her dreams, Stanford, but the competition for the specific award is made up mostly of 09ers whose parents can very easily afford to send them to school without any assistance.
Additionally, there are countless scenes depicting the rivalry between the 09ers and the other kids; the 09ers believe that they’re meant to own the school because of their money, and this gives them license to do whatever they desire, while the other kids are resentful of this.
Most network TV is content to imagine a world of middle class people who don't have any interclass contact. And it's cowardly. Veronica Mars bucked the trend. —TG