I completely missed Veronica Mars during its original network run. I can’t help but think that I might have saved it if I had made more of an effort to find and watch it. Some people like to say that one vote doesn’t really matter, but maybe one more viewer would have gotten Veronica Mars that elusive fourth season.

Alas I didn’t actually watch it until December when I finally caved to the demands of three fellow YA writers and picked up the first season. It didn’t take me long to pick up seasons two and three, or to watch more than sixty episodes.

I could tell you about the snappy dialogue, the witty pop culture references, the fact that someone who picked out the music liked Stereophonics, or that Logan bears a stunning resemblance to everything I want one of my own characters to be. I could, but I won’t.

Instead, I’d like to draw your attention to the opening credits of Season One because they are, in a word, genius. And they are genius for one particular reason: seconds 18 & 19. Every time I’ve watched an episode from the first season, I’ve been blown away by the producer’s sly addition of these two seconds of film. Tinted in blue, they show Veronica pre-season one.

With long hair and a sweet, shy smile, this isn’t the Veronica we’re greeted with in each episode. It’s the ghost of Veronica’s past. She’s not jaded and street smart; she’s sweet and a little naïve. She’s six months away from having her world collapse.

The theme song for the opening is “We Used to Be Friends” by the Dandy Warhols and the inclusion of those two seconds drives one point home: Veronica didn’t just lose Lily or Duncan or her place at the center table in the cafeteria. The girl she used to be is a stranger to her now, a friend she left behind in the past.

Then again, it’s possible that they just needed two more seconds of credits and I’m reading entirely too much into things. It wouldn’t be the first time.