YouTube Red goes on a crime spree with ‘Ryan Hansen’ as a funny TV cop
By Rob Lowman
Dropping today on YouTube Red is the eight-episode comedy “Ryan Hansen Solves Crime on Television,” and it’s pretty funny.
In case you aren’t sure what YouTube Red is, it’s the video site’s paid streaming service, and like everyone else in the streaming game, they are rolling out their own original shows.
At heart, the new series works as a crime procedural with the premise being: The actor Ryan Hansen (“Veronica Mars” and “Party Down”) – playing a warped version of himself – has been allowed to follow tough LAPD detective Jessica Mathers (Samira Wiley) to create a TV show.
When Ryan tells Jessica he’s doing the show for YouTube Red, her response is “You mean the porn site?” (There are indeed two porn sites with similar names.)
“It seems like somebody would have checked on that,” he shrugs, but the confusion becomes a running joke in the series, which no one believes they are really shooting anyway.
Hansen is amusing as the self-absorbed, preening actor, always rethinking lines or wondering where the music should come in. There are lots of references to the entertainment biz since Hollywood is Jessica’s beat and the show includes drop-ins from real celebs like Kristen Bell and Joel McHale.
When the first case takes them to the Roosevelt Hotel, Hansen runs into “NCIS: Los Angeles” star Eric Christian Olsen who crows about beating him out for the role on the show.
While all the Tinseltown silliness is going on, the duo still manages to solve crimes, but this isn’t exactly a crime show parody. When a bad guy is killed in the first episode, it’s fairly graphic. The Emmy-nominated Wiley is terrific; she plays Jessica like she’s back in “Orange Is the New Black,” giving the show some edge.
Then in a bizarre turn, when the case is over, Ryan goes home to […]