If you always secretly wished for a Dick Casablancas spin-off show from Veronica Mars, then your wish may have just been granted. Sort of. The first Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television trailer has just been released, and not only does it look hilarious but the actor is also giving off some of that signature Casablancas flavor. Starring in the show as a version of himself, the meta-comedy, which will be available to stream on YouTube Red, casts Hansen as a member of an LAPD homicide task force that pairs actors up with detectives in order to help solve murders. Which means that, yes, there's a Veronica Mars reunion when Kristen Bell shows up.
Adding onto that premise is also a bevy of other phenomenal guest stars also playing themselves, such as Joel McHale, Eric Christian Olsen, and Donald Faison. Judging from some of the fourth wall breaks in the trailer, Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television looks like it may be something of a show within a show, like The Office or Parks And Recreation. And it also seems to be brimming with self-awareness and meta-humor.
So far, the show also appears to be similar to Play It Again, Dick, another meta-comedy web series in which Hansen starred as himself. As Marshmallows will remember, the eight-episode series was released after the Veronica Mars movie and centered around Hansen trying to get a Dick Casablancas spin-off show made.
There were guest appearances by most of the original starring cast of Veronica Mars, as Hansen spent much of the show attempting to convince his old-cast mates that Dick should totally get his own spinoff where he's the new, big private detective in town. Well, that, and he also played a lot of X-Box and laid down a music video.
So, technically, Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television could be considered to be the fruits of the Play It Again, Dick canon. Except instead of making Dick a Private Detective, someone decided to make Hansen one instead. Which, from the looks of the trailer, was a great call.
One thing that was particularly great about that mini-series, and that also looks terrific in Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television, is seeing both Hansen and Bell back on screen together and having fun with their celebrity identities. The two have been friends since ever since Veronica Mars (Hansen married one of Bell's best friends,) and their chemistry together was always evident in the fun repartee between Veronica and Dick on the show.
So, it's always a delight to see the two still taking cheap shots at each other and themselves in the name of comedy. You have Samira Wiley confidently informing Hansen that nobody even knows that he's famous, Bell quipping that the producers of Hansen's show must be "fans of unaired pilots" to have hired him, and Wiley pointing a gun at Bell while she placidly retorts, "you're not going to shoot Kristen Bell." It's basically self-referential heaven. Can we also talk about the fact that Bell is dressed as Elsa from Frozen?
With his juvenile humor, dumb asides, and self-obsessed bragging, Hansen is still giving everyone Casablancas feels — the good times, anyway, when he was more plucky comic relief than gross frat boy.
Though a Dick Casablancas spin-off show may never have been something that was taken seriously by fans or the makers of Veronica Mars, and rightfully so, Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television will at least give us everything we love about that original idea: Hansen's cheeky sense of humor combined with some kind of badge of authority, plenty of special guest stars and Veronica Mars nods. What more could anyone possibly want?