Alyson Hannigan may be better known for her light-hearted food, but she showed a penchant for darker material on Veronica Mars. Like Buffy, Veronica (Kristen Bell) is a high school student with the world on her shoulders. Instead of fighting demons, her superpower is her intelligence, which she uses to solve mysteries. Drawing inspiration from the darker elements of film noir, Veronica Mars explores mature themes such as murder, sexual harassment and domestic violence.
While this is a high school show, some elements are more explicit, including Hannigan’s portrayal of Logan Echolls’ (Jason Dohring) sister Trina. She first appears as an aspiring actor, trying to get her father Aaron (Harry Hamlin) to appear in her boyfriend’s film. Things take a turn for the worse when Logan discovers that Trina is being abused because of Aaron’s unwillingness to be in the movie. Violence has been a destructive undercurrent in the Echoll family from the start, and Aaron uses it against Trina’s boyfriend. Aaron beating up Trina’s abuser shows his bloodlust and heralds an unexpected end to the first season. The thoroughness with which “Veronica Mars” tells these stories elevates it above the school show and makes it a huge re-watch value.
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. You can also find additional information, resources and support at their website.