First, my review will be full of the spoilers, so do take a gander at the actual video first, found here on CW Seed.
We get to see three new familiar faces in the second episode of Play It Again, Dick: Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas, Jason Dohring (Logan), and Chris Lowell (Piz). Each of them respond to the news of the spin-off series in different but amusing ways.
Thomas doesn’t believe the studio would green-light a Mars spin-off without his knowledge or involvement. He states he’s a big producer for them, like Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals). The joke here is that Thomas has been jerked around by plenty of studio execs in his time–it’s a “gotta laugh to keep from crying” kind of thing.
Jason hears about the micro-budget new show while playing video games at Ryan’s house. This is smoothly edited out of the “Previously on…” to match cut with the clip from last week where Ryan gets the sum of $50,000 to make the pilot. Jason, not concerned about Rob’s non-involvement, immediately sees the possibility for a buddy detective show, like Starsky and Hutch. Ryan passive-aggressively tries to deflate Jason’s wide-eyed aspirations by countering with Batman and Robin. Much of the comedy of this show thus far has been derived from the lack of understanding characters have. Jason remains clueless to Ryan’s subtle hints that it will not be a dual-star show. Instead, once he realizes the film crew is there to capture footage for the DVD special features, the muscle shirt comes off. We get a cut to Jason doing shirtless pull-ups while Ryan does arm curls on the couch. Young hot people forgetting to put their shirts on! Jason comes up with a new name: Joker and the Ace. He even comes up with a billboard motto: Joker and the Ace, cruising for a couple of Queens! Then he realizes the malapropism and decides they’ll re-shoot that with the crew cracking up for the blooper real. The meta is strong in this one.
Continuing the lack of awareness of homosexual innuendo, Ryan bridges the Jason and Chris Lowell scenes with a discussion of Team Logan and Team Piz shirts saying that the winning t-shirt by sales were the ones that read Team Dick. Many were men’s size L, but that there was plenty of him for the larger ladies. This is only funny because Dick’s character was so chauvinistically homophobic and clueless.
But the true beauty of this episode is Chris Lowell’s appearance. Ryan gets him on Skype to tell him about the project and Chris is in detached dismay at the prospect. He is living in a modern New York loft and radiates disdain for Ryan and his “ptorpedo” username and far-too-revealing avatar. There are many dick jokes, as one would expect. When Ryan asks him once again to play Piz, Chris uses the spare, comedic f-word to refuse and then gets up to storm away from the computer. Turns out: no pants. The gross implications clash hilariously with the do-gooder character of Piz. Meta-zing!
So all in all, a humorous episode that builds to the end. I was disappointed to not see any shots from the show, but since Ryan is still “getting the band back together,” it probably makes more sense to expect those in later episodes.