Veronica Mars can teach other TV shows a thing or two when it comes to longevity.
10 years after Rob Thomas' WB series about a snarky teen private eye starring Kristen Bell premiered, we're still talking about it, marathoning it, funding a huge blockbuster sequel movie for it, breaking Kickstarter records for it...and now, we're flocking to the CW's online network, CW Seed, to watch a meta spinoff series starring fan-favorite character, the lovable douchebag Dick Casablancas.
Play It Again, Dick premiered last week, and we loved the first episode so much that we had to get star Ryan Hansen on the phone to gush to him over just how much we're digging it. Plus, he promised us some Logan and Piz nudity in episode two, so you can bet we'll be watching the shiz out of that!
E! News: What has the fan response been like now that the first episode has premiered?
Ryan Hansen: As far as I know from Twitter and all that, I think everyone has really enjoyed it. I'm so thankful because it's obviously not Veronica Mars and it's a weird, wacky comedy with all the characters from the show, so it's cool that the Veronica Mars fans let that happen.
I loved how meta the premiere was, where you pitched Play It Again, Dick to real, actual CW execs. Amazing. What is the balance going to be like going forward? How much of the show will be you trying to launch the show vs. us getting to see the actual show within a show?
The first four episodes are me trying to convince everyone to be a part of the show and pitch them the idea. And then the last four-ish episodes are you getting to actually see the show within the show. It's so awesomely bad. It's really ridiculous and fun. So yeah, you'll get to see a lot of the show within the show.
How would you describe how everyone is going to be playing themselves on the show? Would you say that it's pretty realistic or is anyone going to play an extreme parody of themselves?
It's like a heightened version of themselves, but some of them are more extreme than others. [laughs] Like Percy [Daggs III, who plays Wallace] is ridiculous. He plays himself almost like a gangster. And Francis [Capra, who plays Weevil], not that he's not a thespian, but he really wants to show his acting chops. Everyone is playing it heightened. And then the show within a show, they're even more so. They're the person that I want them to be, which is ridiculous. Percy is going to be the badass he's always wanted to do and Francis is finally getting these really long, dramatic monologues that he's always wanted.
So what's coming up in episode two?
Jason Dohring shirtless, Chris Lowell pantless.
Um, that's the perfect tease. Pleases both Logan and Piz fans at the same time. I know what my headline is going to be!
Exactly, you're welcome!
What can you tease about any big musical or dance numbers that are coming up down the line?
Oh yeah, there's one big dance number with Dick and all the dancers. And then each character that I worked with on the show, I do a dance with every single person. Kristin and I dance together, Jason and I, every single person. We do our own little weird dance together. Even Mark Pedowitz and Thom Sherman, the CW executives, I dance with them!
I have to say, it was so amazing seeing them onscreen in the first episode playing themselves. How did you convince them to come on the show?
CW was very excited to have us on their new Seed channel, which by the way, that's very fitting for our Dick show. I think Thom was an actor back in the day, and he's actually pretty good. They were both great. I don't know how we actually convinced them but I'm so excited that they did it. They were so funny. And we get to see them again later, too!
The web series has been described as the ultimate love letter to Marshmallows, but what can viewers get out of Play It Again, Dick if they haven't seen Veronica Mars?
Wow, that's a great question. I have no idea. I'm wondering that myself! I'm like, "Will people like this season if they haven't seen the show?" It's pretty weird. [laughs] Maybe they'll want to go back and watch the show? I don't know! What do you think?
I agree, I think it's definitely going to pique some people's interests. The characters you created are just absolutely hilarious.
But I think if you haven't seen the show, it will still be kind of fun to watch this one guy who was on the show, try to get a spinoff for the show that has nothing to do with the show that he came from, you know? It's still really fun for people to see this kind of hilarious yet sad journey of this guy trying to bank on this old show he was on.
What are you most excited for fans to see from Play It Again, Dick?
Honestly, seeing this awful show within the show. It's so, so bad. The continuity is off, the shots are bad, it's filled with wannabe action sequences. It's ridiculous.
Back when Veronica Mars first premiered 10 years ago, did you ever imagine that the franchise would come this far and you'd be the star of your own spinoff?
For me, no way! I was basically just an extra back then. The fact that I even got to do 10 episodes the first season and then I was a regular in seasons two and three and then people still wanted Dick around and Rob wanted Dick—everyone wanted Dick!—it was really nice. Dick has always been in and out in a lot of episodes, so for this, it's mostly Dick, and it's just enough Dick. It's only eight minutes per episode which is about all the Dick people can handle. But just the fact that we were able to do this series is pretty crazy.
So do you just have a plethora of Dick puns at your disposal by now?
There's a million ways that you can spin Dick. There's a full arsenal. Dick is endless! Dick puns! Woo!
New episodes of Play It Again, Dick debut every Tuesday on CW Seed.