Dirk Gently puts new meaning to the words weird and bizarre and is having a blast doing it.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is a fantasy, comedy, science fiction, adventure series, full with weird characters, even weirder events, a creepy cult, a missing girl, a dog, time travel and lots more bizarre and weird occurrences. It’s a very chaotic rollercoaster full of hilarious fun, with a unique voice that doesn’t compare easily to other series.
It combines different genres with great panache and charisma and the playfulness doesn’t intervene with an excellently told and well-crafted story, that in the end will all make sense. I promise.
This first season consists of 8 episodes each with a duration of 41-53 minutes. It has one big continuous storyline, that is mostly chaotic but eventually very understandable and highly original, creative and imaginative.
Todd Brotzman is a good-for-nothing egotistical coward working as a bellboy in a hotel. When he stumbles upon a gruesome but very strange crime scene in one of the rooms, his life gets totally jumbled up, even more so when a man called Dirk Gently shows up at his apartment and drags him into a world of weirdness.
Dirk, a holistic detective, asks him to assist him on a case and because his ill sister Amanda who suffers from pararibulitis needs money for medication he agrees. The case involves finding Lydia the daughter of Patrick Spring, a rich inventor. Dirk and Todd are soon accompanied by Farah Black who as Patrick’s personal bodyguard was also to look after the girl.
In the meantime a group of men the Rowdy Three, consisting of four men, has escaped a secret government facility. And then there is Bart, a holistic serial killer who stumbles upon Ken and drags him along on her mission: kill Dirk Gently.
Why you should watch it
If you are into some bizarre, weird and crazy stuff that watches like a rollercoaster ride that is chaotic, but highly imaginative, creative, original and fun, well, look no further. It has an acquired taste and some specific absurd dark and surreal-like humor.
This series is one big strange adventure that keeps getting weirder and weirder and more confusing while delivering great fun. Logic is tested and with a fast pace you’ll speed through the bizarre adventures alongside Dirk and Todd, when they stumble upon one strange event after another. But there is more to it than just the absurd and weird adventures. It all leads to something much bigger and maybe even stranger, turning everything upside down.
There are quite a lot of different parties to the big party. At first this can be confusing, but they are all connected. It’s holistic you see. Floating like a leave in the river letting the stream take your wherever you need to be, being one with creation, letting the cosmos aka coincidence guide you, because in the end everything is connected and will reveal itself to Dirk. It can be that easy. Also it brings others around Dirk a lot of times in most imminent danger.
Although it is a series that can be overwhelming, you just have to let it wash over you, enjoy the ride and everything will explain itself and all will be revealed. It’s not a mysterious series that stays elusive, but in the end it all makes sense, or at least some of it does.
The characters are greatly crafted into the most unique individuals. Bart and Dirk are the most stand-out characters, as are the Rowdy Three. They are so unique and different then you normally see, it is a joy to watch.
Todd might be normal, but who is really normal? honestly. Amanda suffers from pararibulitis, a nerve disease that is initiated by stress and plays a trick on her brains, hallucinating really badly, and even the psychical pain can be real.
Farah is a badass. She’s strong, smart and a great addition to the series and to Dirk and Todd. They make a great team together.
Mix all this with excellent cinematography, great editing, a fast pace, outstanding creative storytelling that keeps interesting due to several twists and turns, likable characters and a unique voice and story and you’ll get a one of a kind series.
Especially with a time machine, multiple actually but it still is the same device, a machine that can swap brains, even that of a human with a dog, a time traveler in steampunk armor, a kitten-shark, a crazy cult with bald guys and Project Blackwing, a special secret department of the CIA without any scruples, and all kinds of other crazy inventive stuff.
Asides from the action, violence, the humor, the bizarre and weird events, there is also room for some serious stuff, real human tragedies, fleshed-out real characters and a philosophical take on life resulting in a fresh series that is well-balanced and highly addictive and entertaining.
My favorite part
In short, Everything. Why? Because it’s all connected. All of this crazy and bizarre weird stuff is all connected in one way or another and the way this unravels and plays out is absolutely magnificently done. Without any plot devices, or illogical stuff or characters, or things or events that came out of nowhere just to explain something. It really all does connect in a most wonderful way.
I can’t go into details, because that would be spoilers, but the two costumed guys in the beginning of the series prove to be a great absurd and comical twist. As is everything, from the missing girl, the cult, time travel and well, everything. It’s a series that you just have to watch for yourself.
I also like Dirk very much, because he is a bit weird and fun and in-your-face-present, but also a very tragic figure, almost a tormented superhero figure, with the weight of the world on his shoulders because he is the one who has to fix everything. To emphasize this, the series isn’t just all about the weird and the bizarre, but also about real people and it gives the story more depth and profundity. As does Todd’s character and the way he grows into a more selfless man.
Fun factor: ★★★★★
Originality factor: ★★★★★
Entertainment factor: ★★★★★
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Cast and crew
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is based on the book of the same name (1987) and the book The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988) by Douglas Adams. It is created by Max Landis. It stars Samuel Barnett (Dirk), Elijah Wood (Todd), Hannah Marks (Amanda), Fiona Dourif (Bart), Jade Eshete (Farah), Mpho Koaho (Ken), Michael Eklund (Martin), Osric Chau (Vogel) Aaron Douglas (Gordon Zimmer) and Dustin Milligan (Friedkin).
Music: Cristobal Tapia de Veer. Cinematography: John Pardue, Samy Inayeh. Production companies: AMC Studios, BBC America, Circle of Confusion, IDW Entertainment, Ideate Media, Netflix. Distributed by: BBC America, Netflix.