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From the moment that the Hulu revival of Veronica Mars was announced, fans of the series have wondered when the streaming service would make the first three seasons of the Kristen Bell-headlined series available. Now we know: July 1 is when both newbies and “Marshmallows” (aka the show’s diehard fans) can start catching up in time for the July 26 premiere of the fourth season.

In announcing the date that the older seasons would begin streaming, Hulu released a trailer that gives a sense of some of the ground that the show covered during its original UPN-to-the-CW run from 2004-2007, when fans fell in love with hard-boiled teen detective Mars and the nefarious goings on in Neptune, Calif.

From the investigations– the murder of her best friend Lilly Kane (Amanda Seyfried) in season one, the bus crash of season two, the rape storyline of season three– to highlights of her volatile relationship with on/off boyfriend Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) and the tight bond with her dad and fellow PI Keith (Enrico Colantoni), the roughly 3 minute clip gives an overview of creator Rob Thomas’s trademark combination of noir-ish drama and light-hearted humor. (That tonal balance continued with the 2014 Kickstartered Veronica Mars feature film and in two novels Thomas penned in the interim.)

“I spent my first nineteen years trying to escape my hometown, made it out, then after a decade away, decided Neptune needed me and I needed it,” intones Bell as Mars in a voiceover summing things up.

Bell, Thomas, Colantoni, and Dohring all attested to needing more Veronica Mars in their lives in a recent interview with EW In which they shared their excitement at the prospect of returning to Neptune for the eight-episode revival, which will revolve around the mystery of who is killing spring breakers in the seaside town.

“The reality is we know these characters, these characters love each other, we as human beings adored each other from the moment we met,” said Colantoni. “Over time, you just get more and more comfortable. Everything is better than it was five years ago, and twice as better as it was 15 years ago.”

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Veronica Mars
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  • Rob Thomas