Well, no wonder I like Terriers
Proposal: Terriers is a buddy cop version of Veronica Mars.
Setting: Sleazy, sunny Southern California. Potent combination of both the very rich and lower-class criminal, navigated by protagonist(s) capable of communicating with and traveling through both sides of society, despite noticeable distain for the rich.
Protagonist(s): Scrappy, fearless, close relationship with some family, motivated by moral action regardless of legality. Formerly working on the side of the law, now turned to a less above-board career as a private eye. Grudge against the privileged plus a need for money fuels risky, intricately plotted schemes, occasionally accompanied by a revenge motive.
Plot design: Small episodic mysteries and private eye jobs become entangled with larger season arc mystery, initially spurred on by the investigation of a good friend’s death.
Dialogue: Jokes and snark sporadically pierced by sincerity, often when expressing anger at the forces that be.
Tropes and gags: Uses old police access to aid investigation, occasional appearance of adorable dog, prominent ex-significant other, mad skillz as burglar, car thief, impersonator, all-purpose criminal, foul-mouthed lawyer brings in business and advises in case of trouble, personal lives play a prominent role in plot development.
Obvious differences: While Veronica Mars’s first season long plot is clearly driven by personal vindication (restoring her family’s reputation and identifying her own rapist), Terriers’s Mickey Gosney/Robert Lindus plotline has less direct impact on Hank and Britt, allowing them to step back and consider how involved they want to be. Because it doesn’t have the “high school sucks” agenda, Terriers can be looser and less stereotypical in its representations of minor characters, but its lack of a strong underlying scheme also deprives it of the consistent, coherent force of Veronica Mars’s neo-noir aesthetic.
Still, I think the broad similarities outweigh the specific stylistic differences, although I’m willing to consider opposing arguments.