You can view the pilot episode by clicking here for US residents and here for Canadian residents.
If any other options become available, I will update. :)
A Show Within a Show About Another Show. Anyway, It’s Complicated.
The online-only curiosity “Play It Again, Dick” is billed as a “Veronica Mars” spinoff, but it doesn’t do that description justice. The most interesting thing about it is that a project featuring so many of the actors and characters from an existing series could feel so little like the original.
The online series, which begins with two episodes on Tuesday on CW Seed, the CW network’s digital content site, packs a lot of concept into its short running times. It stars Ryan Hansen, who played the supporting character Dick Casablancas, a mostly creepy rich kid, during the three seasons of “Mars” a decade ago on CW. In “Play It Again, Dick,” a fictionalized, slightly Casablancas-like Hansen plots to advance his career by creating and starring in a “Mars” spinoff. He’ll once again play Dick, who will now be a private eye — just like Veronica Mars, except he’ll be an ’80s-style tough guy rather than a bright, compassionate high school student.
For a short-form digital series, “Play It Again, Dick” is fairly amusing, as “Mars” stars like Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring, playing themselves, are sucked into Hansen’s scheme and CW executives put up money for a pilot. It’s also an all-around opportunity for self-promotion. Ms. Bell gets in a mention of her singing-and-dancing chops (in “Hair” at the Hollywood Bowl). And reinforcing the online show’s funhouse-mirror quality, Rob Thomas, who created both “Mars” and “Dick,” comes on to deny the existence of his own creation — “They wouldn’t go and make that show without me” — while inserting a plug for his next TV project, “iZombie.”
Mr. Thomas, who wrote “Play It Again, Dick” with Bob Dearden, also has fun with the main character’s first name (actually, the main character’s character’s first name) as often as possible. As when Ms. Bell says to Mr. Hansen, “Rob always had a blind spot for” said character.
“Dick” is the second significant extension of the “Mars” brand this year, following Mr. Thomas’s “Veronica Mars” feature film in March. The film was in tune with the mood of the original series, which blended knowing jokiness and teenage-soap-opera sincerity. The online series trades that in for a broader, coarser, self-mocking style (maybe a better fit short episodes). Fervent fans of the franchise, given the chance to see Ms. Bell, Mr. Dohring and a number of other “Mars” actors together again, won’t complain either way.
Created by Rob Thomas; written by Mr. Thomas and Bob Dearden; directed by Viet Ngyuen; Mr. Thomas, executive producer; Danielle Stokdyk, producer.
WITH: Ryan Hansen (himself and Dick Casablancas), Kristen Bell (herself and Veronica Mars), Robert Buckley (Gaston), Francis Capra (Eli Navarro), Enrico Colantoni (himself), Percy Daggs III (himself), Ryan Devlin (Duncan Kane), Jason Dohring (himself and Logan Echolls) and Christopher B. Duncan (himself).