TV to DVD
DVD Review: 'Veronica Mars, Season Three'
Set includes a tantalizing look at what might have been
A partial answer arrives in the form of a 12-minute presentation for a never-realized fourth season that's included on the show's third-season DVD collection. It won't make it any easier for die-hards to let go.
The presentation is unquestionably the highlight of the DVD extras, which as a whole provide a little bit of closure for fans left hanging by the show's downbeat and open-ended conclusion. That ending, creator Rob Thomas says on another of the extras, was purposefully constructed to allow for the future of the show.
"We knew it could be the end, and it's a pretty melancholy way to go out," Thomas acknowledges. "But we didn't want to give [the network] the easy way out."
Though it wasn't easy to watch, the final scene somehow fits "Veronica Mars," which was never quite the sunny show The CW (and before that, UPN) seemed to want it to be. The third season, rejiggered for smaller mystery arcs in the hopes of attracting more viewers, had its rough patches, but when it was on its game -- in such episodes as "Of Vice and Men," "Poughkeepsie, Tramps and Thieves" and "Postgame Mortem" -- the show crackled with the cynical wit that made people fall in love in the first place.
The bonus material, all gathered on the last of the six discs in the DVD set, serve as a way for Thomas to give a big thank you to the show's ardent fans, as well as offer insight into the way he, his cast and crew did everything they could to make the series as efficient as possible.
The most in-depth feature is "Going Undercover with Rob Thomas," which in lieu of individual episode commentaries features Thomas and supervising producer Dan Etheridge discussing numerous episodes grouped into categories like "Veronica Mars, Mean Girl," "Favorite Veronica/Keith Moments" and "Do-Overs." Thomas also sets up each deleted or unused scene and explains the thinking behind the season-four presentation in a featurette called "Pitching Season Four."
And from the looks of things, it was a pretty good pitch. The show jumps ahead several years to find Veronica (Kristen Bell) as a rookie FBI agent in Los Angeles, partnered with an agent who's not thrilled to be working with the new girl, ducking a guy she had a fling with and trying to impress her new boss (played by Walton Goggins of "The Shield").
It's not all great -- Keith (Enrico Colantoni) is nowhere to be found in the presentation, for instance -- but it feels true to the spirit of the series: Veronica is still her smart, tough, competitive self, and there's a sense that by making it through the FBI academy she's actually gotten what she wanted.
That still may not be enough to mend the broken hearts of the "VM" faithful, but it's nice to know that our girl turned out OK.
EXTRAS: Season four presentation, featurette "Pitching Season Four," "Going Undercover with Rob Thomas" commentary, unaired scenes, gag reel, webisodes.