Ryan Hansen on Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television, Landing Samira Wiley & More!

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For those of you worried about the upcoming hiatus for traditional television, fear not.

If you have yet to scour the non-traditional sites for your viewing pleasure, there is a lot out there to entertain you.

One of the best new shows is found on YouTube Red. Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television is one of the funniest comedies to air in a long time and features an incredibly talented cast.

The aforementioned Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars, Party Down, 2 Broke Girls) partners up with Samira Wiley (Orange is the New Black, Handmaid's Tale), and touts a version of his family featuring wife Amy (iZombie's Aly Michalka), in this hilarious ode to Dick Wolf poking fun at his best dramas.

Ryan Hansen & Samira Wiley

You'll be grinning from ear to ear the entire time you watch Ryan Hansen as an exaggerated version of himself teaming up with Wiley as Jessica, a bona fide LAPD detective who is getting a little help from Hansen, using his special "actor skills" to solve crimes.

Hansen is just as delightful in real life, and speaking with him about the program proved he's not only a good sport but a good guy, too. The conversation was a family affair, as Hansen had his wife and two daughters in the car with him as they drove to a family engagement.

It made my questions seem all the sillier while asking them, but also a lot more engaging. In fact, they highlighted the differences between Hansen the character and the man, providing contrast to the characters he's known to play.

Hansen on Hansen

He didn't waver when asked to choose whether his on-screen persona or the man on the phone was the better guy. Instead, he laughed, "I would say Ryan Hansen not solving crimes is probably a better guy. I would like to think that! That's really funny."

Having become such a lovable and funny persona in his on-screen life, it's not always easy to break out of character though. "What's it like to be myself," he asked. "Wait. How do I break the impression of being a douche bag? Is that what it is?"

After suggesting not being a douchebag was his best bet and admitting sometimes he does slip back to the exaggerated version of himself in his daily life, Hansen realized it was a much harder question that he was ready to tackle.

The truth of the matter is the interview was a suitable proving ground that Hansen is anything but the exaggerated version he plays of himself on screen. He's charming, affable, and accepts praise as if it's the first time he's heard it. 

A Tale of Two Hansens

Joel McHale had the opportunity to become Ryan Hansen during one episode of Solves Crimes and seemed up to the task. 

"Well, thankfully, Joel is one of the coolest guys in the world, and he was so fun and game for being, for playing me," Hansen said. "It was pretty cool. To see how much fun he had with it and to be able to play off him because I've loved him for so long. We had a lot of fun with it."

Working alongside another version of himself didn't phase Hansen, either. "I do think my physique is a little more muscular than his. So physically I don't think he pulled it off. But emotionally, I think he kind of nailed it," Hansen enthused.

Hansen Selfie

It seems like Samira Wiley is one of the hottest properties in Hollywood right now. Hansen agrees, giving Wiley's wife credit for watching some of his work and encouraging Wiley to give the project a look.

"I think she thought this is a good opportunity for her to finally be able to be a little silly. Although she is the straight man, it is very silly. And I think she had a lot of trust in Rawson [creator Rawson Marshall Thurber] and his track record with his comedies. She had not heard of me, which is not shocking."

He said he is so amazed that they got her for the project, and it "makes our show so legit,"

Hansen continued, "It was so fun to be able to work with her and be able to play off her. I learned so much from her. She's just so good and so real that me being a goofy idiot really was fun, and it's fun to watch. I enjoyed it because I watched it the other day for the first time, and she's just so awesome, and I love her so much."

Hansen Guest Stars

Eric Christian Olsen plays the perfect fellow TV cop and foe to Ryan's TV cop on the series. He'd love to see Dax Shepard as a guest star, and when forced to come up with two actor/cop pairings to join the program in competition with Ryan and Jessica, his choices were LL Cool J/Peter Dinklage and Mark Harmon/Halle Berry.

Those are some great choices that would bring a lot of heat and hilarity to the streets of LA!

Picking the counterpart for Wiley was a lot easier for him. Dax Shepard, Halle Berry, and Peter Dinklage. If someone in casting can start drawing up the guest starring roster for next season, we have some winners here! They all have the comedic chops for it, too.

Hansen Phone Case

A fun surprise of Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television, includes Hansen returning home to his "family," including his wife, Amy. His real wife, Amy, was originally asked if she might like the role.

Hansen explained, "Oh Rawson, the director [and creator of the show], Rawson asked me and asked Amy. I think it was more out of respect, like, 'Hey do you want to play you?'

And she thought about it for a minute, but then she also thought that was like her worst nightmare to be an actress like that. And I don't think we could keep it together. I don't think I'm a good enough actor to act with my wife. I think we would just laugh so hard, and it would be pretty funny."

At the beginning of a lot of Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes episodes, Hansen uses his phone to record personal vignettes because, well, his character likes to talk to his people. He's usually doing an activity, and the videos are real! He's taking them on his phone, the real Ryan's phone.

Hansen and Wiley In Action

Hansen said, "Those are all on the phone. Those are all really on a phone, yes. The hardest one, the hardest opening monologue I had to shoot was when I had to be on that hoverboard cruising down Hollywood Boulevard."

You'll have to watch to catch Hansen in action. It's worth it, I promise. If for some odd reason, you're just not into Ryan Hansen, he assures you there are other reasons to watch, "Samira Wiley. Boom. ... Kristen Bell, bam."

And if you're really lucky, maybe they'll roll out a line of matching merchandise, too, like Ryan Hansen phone cases and hoverboards. 

But really, run, don't walk, to YouTube, sign up for YouTube Red and watch the whole series. It's funny from start to finish, and whether it's real life or reel life, Ryan Hansen is worth the effort.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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