This continues to be an eventful year for Veronica Mars fans. First we get a long-awaited movie, then the launch of a series of novels co-written by series creator Rob Thomas, and now…a digital series about a fake spinoff.
Yeah, that last one is especially random, but it’s also kind of fun, judging by the first episode, which was released recently on the CW Seed.
Play It Again, Dick features actor Ryan Hansen playing a fictional version of himself trying to create a spinoff series for his Veronica Mars, character Dick Casablancas. Most of the VM cast members are set to play themselves as well as their characters. It’s all very meta, tongue-in-cheek, and perhaps even a bit self-deprecating.
The first episode runs less than eight minutes. Hansen discusses his idea with an extremely skeptical Kristen Bell and then pitches to the CW. We also see a potential theme song.
The idea for this Dick series—the self-centered, one-dimensional comic relief of Veronica Mars deciding to become a private eye in the vein of Magnum or Rockford—is terrible. But that’s what will make this series so much fun. Rather than getting a bad spinoff, we get a show about a bad spinoff, during which we’ll get to see off-kilter versions of beloved characters played by the original actors. It’s like fanfiction on steroids, or would be if Rob Thomas himself wasn’t behind it.
It’s perfect for the digital medium. This series would never fly on network television. Veronica Mars itself barely did, and the movie’s box office performance wasn’t too impressive either. Veronica Mars is not a show that gets a spinoff of any kind, not under the traditional business models of network television.
But with the Internet opening newer and less expensive doors…why not play around and have fun?
And Play It Again, Dick pretty much is a bunch of actors having fun with a show they clearly loved working on and creating something new in the process.
If it turns out to be good, great. If not, it’ll at least have been an amusing experiment.