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.
Over nearly two hours, WTJU veteran Aaron Margosis and Ian MacKaye spin some tunes and talk dischord history, straight edge, L.A.’s punk scene, Henry Rollins, Nazi skinheads, Fugazi’s record sales, getting courted by major labels and all sorts of subjects that would excite even a casual fan of MacKaye’s now-legendary bands and record label.