The body count tells me I may have lied slightly about the ‘wholesome’ part. But the show is an excellent pick-me-up if you’re feeling down. There’s a lot of murder and some intimately depressing moral bankruptcy, but really you’re looking at Douglas Adams absurdity at its most brain-breakingly hilarious.
Full disclosure: I did not like the first episode. I did not like Dirk Gently (initially). Nor did I appreciate the wild, devil-may-care attitude that the writers seemed to have toward introducing their show. The goal seemed to be to throw every vaguely confusing concept into a single script to convince me that THINGS WERE HAPPENING so I would KEEP WATCHING.
And I’m very glad I did because I BEAR GLAD TIDINGS: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is not really about Dirk Gently. It’s about his friend (who doesn’t want to be his friend), Todd, who is an ex-lobby boy on an adventure he doesn’t want to be a part of but is forced into anyway because a) he just saw…himself…in a giant fur coat on one of the hotel floors on the way up to a room that was b) the scene of an excessively violent homicide that preceded c) a very odd English man named, of all things, Dirk Gently climbing through his apartment window in hopes of becoming his best friend and partner in solving crime…
Dirk Gently is a show that is, at its core, crazy in the most open, honest, encouraging, uplifting way. Its characters are deeply flawed, particularly its protagonist; its side-characters are unbelievable; and its plot is, quite frankly, bamboozling – until you get to the end and realize all this madness can be explained. Simply. (Mostly.)
And that is what makes this show good: For all its wild plot threads, it doesn’t forget to treat its audience like thinking, feeling humans who like things to make sense. So, trust this absurdity. Have faith in the Dirk Gently writing team, for they do indeed have a plan.
Season 1 is available on Netflix (picture is courtesy of BBC America and Variety)