What Veronica Mars could have been
Luckily for all of us, I've got a very reliable anonymous source who has seen a copy of the retooled Veronica Mars, and I have to say I'm in agreement with this person's assessment of the new show. It's only a matter of time before the episode leaks to YouTube, but for those who can't wait for that moment, here's my source's description of the episode with some commentary.
SYNOPSIS: We start out with Veronica on her first day of work at the Los Angeles FBI offices. She has just graduated from the Academy, already with her snappy little suit. Her voice-over sounds competitive, and we get the sense that she's not always going to be the smartest person in the room here. There's also lots of sexism for her to overcome. We're introduced to another hot-shot female rookie and a guy named Sean, who Veronica either slept with at some point or embarrassed at the FBI Academy through her superior sleuthing skills. He tells her that everything is OK, that they are both adults in the professional world now, yadda yadda.
Veronica goes into a staff briefing where she's essentially given the option of going undercover as a pole dancer or a high school student. Much to her dismay, she ends up with the high school assignment. She goes undercover as a juvenile delinquent to catch the principal who's a sex predator. It's a funny but kinda gross scene, where the guy unzips his pants and tells her to give him a blowjob to get ahead. Once Veronica gets him to state that aloud, she tells him that she's with the FBI. The guy flees but is caught by the other FBI officer on the stake-out -- some hot guy who thinks Veronica is an idiot rookie.
Back at FBI headquarters, Veronica's boss tells her she did a good job, but asks why she wasn't at drinks last night with the rest of the team. "Hot shot" was supposed to spread the word among the rookies. Veronica assumes the other hot girl agent didn't tell her.
Cut to Veronica and the hot guy on a stake-out later that night where we find out that he didn't want to be paired with Veronica, who he refers to as "Barbie." They're staking out a mail bomber, a college professor, but hot guy says that they're staking out the wrong guy. He explains that the mail bomber would be more "meticulous, patient, etc." We learn that hot guy is a very talented profiler.
Cut to a scene where Veronica and said hot-shot girl rookie are questioning one of the professor's students in his apartment. The student leaves the room for a minute, and Veronica confronts hot-shot girl rookie about not relaying the "drinks with the boss" information to her. It turns out it wasn't her. Sean - the guy who told Veronica that they're "professional adults" now - neglected to tell her; apparently he's still hurting. Veronica then starts poking around this kid's apartment, when she notices how "meticulous and patient" this guy is. It dawns on her that this the kid is the mail bomber. We hear a noise, and when Veronica turns around with her gun withdrawn, we see that the kid has a knife to hot shot rookie girl's throat. The end
COMMENTS: The reason I disliked the promo so much was because it was a complete and total ctrl-alt-del reboot. The network was looking for the cheapest possible way to essentially keep Kristin Bell and jettison everything else. There wasn't a single character other than Veronica that came over to the FBI version of the show. Seriously, not even her dad, Keith, on a phone call. The writing was still top-notch, Veronica's wit was still intact and Rob Thomas set up the new world really quickly and completely, but the whole thing was just surreal. It turned the show into a standard-issue procedural about rookie FBI agents. It was way more charming than your average FBI procedural because Veronica was in it, but everything else that was great about the show was gone.
I should say that it wasn't a rough cut at all. It looked great. It looked like a show that could easily be on the air and be pretty decent, too. I just felt like they ripped the heart out because basically her dad wasn't there. It was clear that the show's emotional center was gone - replaced by an "episodic" engine that would require Veronica to go undercover in a different hot outfit every week. Basically just another procedural fed show.