After portraying a stylized version of Diplo in a promotion
for the musician’s 2016 Mad Decent Block Party, the internet took notice and
soon, Viceland suggested that the video could be turned into a series. “All of
us said no. How are we going to make a series out of this?” Van Der Beek
recalls. “Then I put on some headphones that night and listened to some Diplo,
and then it hit me: This is a series.”
The concept the actor soon came up with was that Diplo, a
musical genius, “sucks at life.” “The guy is amazing in front of 85,000 people
but struggles a lot one-on-one,” Van Der Beek says, noting that they were
careful to get Diplo’s approval to make him look completely ridiculous.
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Taking on the role of showrunner and writer as well as
executive producer (“It’s been crazy wearing all the different hats”), the
actor came up with a show that takes big swings as it lampoons the musician. Each
episode, which he says “takes a different swing,” goes in an unexpected
direction. The premiere sees Diplo trying to make a dying fan’s dream come
true and get into a Twitter feud with Calvin Harris, while the second episode sees the DJ pretending to be a baseball player.
The finale is probably the most absurd, with Diplo making a
film. “The Diplo movie is the worst, most overly sincere interpretation of
making a DJ a hero that you could possibly do,” Van Der Beek says. “So he’s
dealing with the ramifications of that, which leads to a whole existential
“The meta worlds are collapsing in on themselves,” the actor continues, perhaps bringing the whole crazy experiment to an end in one short