Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency 2016, 2017 / An ambitious and absurdist series with a surprisingly humane touch


Dirk Gently is not an easy watch. Right from the get-go, it comes bursting with wild mysteries, supernatural elements, cartoonish developments, and very loose ends. But there’s something to be said about its inexplicability. It doesn’t dumb things down or mold itself into anything recognizable, and that ambitious feat alone makes it a standout in a sea of TV replicas. It is its own weird thing, and it’s hard not to like that about the show.

The characters seem random at first, but they will disarm you with their unexpected humanity. The titular Dirk Gently, for instance, initially comes off as a Doctor Who-like know-it-all, but underneath his chirpy facade is a hurt man who longs for connection. Inversely, his accomplice Todd Brotzman may seem like a typical nice guy, but his darker nature reveals itself incrementally and rather smartly. 

This is a show that requires you to trust the process, to believe in “holism” as they say (aka the interconnectedness of everything, even the most seemingly random thing), and the sooner you submit to that belief, the easier and ultimately enjoyable the show gets. 

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