4. VERONICA MARS (UPN, 2004–2006; THE CW, 2006–2007)
Mystery: Who killed Lilly Kane?
Veronica Mars was such a smart, charming breath of fresh air when it debuted in 2004 that most people assumed it would become the next big hit. Unfortunately low ratings and a lack of network support led to the show getting canned after just three seasons, but that doesn’t change the fact that its first season was simply superb.
In the show, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) is a high school student who is also a private investigator who solves mysteries with the help of her father. The overarching story line from the first season is Mars’ attempts to solve the murder of her friend, Lilly Kane (Amanda Seyfried). Along the way we’re given false-leads, a wrongfully imprisoned suspect, and plenty of tantalizing clues before the season finale left us with a shocking and tremendously satisfying conclusion.