Posted August 13, 2017 by Dani David in Movies/TV

IN RETROSPECT: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

Where to begin? This show is sort of about…a lot.  Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is a sci-fi/fantasy series created by Max Landis and (loosely) based on the Douglas Adams novel of the same name. The term “holistic” refers to the conviction about the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. In short: it’s the belief that everything is connected–and that describes the series.

When 30-something years old Todd Brotzman’s life is about to hit a dead end, he’s suddenly met with an acceleration of weirdness in his life: a missing teenage girl, her murdered billionaire father, a kitten and a dog which seem to be important to the crime, a cult, and an odd detective who goes by the name Dirk Gently who believes everything is connected. And that’s barely scratching the surface. There’s also a “holistic assassin” who’s out to hunt for Dirk Gently, a gang called the Rowdy 3 who are insanely overprotective of Todd’s sister, and the CIA surveilling all of these events. Yes, everything is connected.

Dirk Gently 104, "Watkin", Day 14 of 15, July 13, 2016, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Dirk Gently is one of the most satisfying and most rewarding series ever. Every question that was set up from the very first episode gets answered slowly and the best part is that the characters aren’t wiser than the audience. It’s a mystery series where everything is a mystery that not even the characters know what’s happening–they’re in the dark as much as the audience. The audience and the characters discover answers together. The series stresses out that “everything is connected” and one of the most exciting things about watching this show is seeing how everything connects. Everything is important, not a single line is wasted, every scene is meticulously written, and every character has something to contribute to the story.

And the characters? The characters are extremely well written and layered. Their personalities contradict who they are. Just to name a few, we have: Farah Black, a neurotic & anxious weapons expert who’s highly skilled and highly trained in combat; Bart Curlish, a holistic assassin/murderer who is actually very innocent herself; and Dirk Gently himself, a clueless detective who masks his trauma with energy and smiles; and they have so much more characters who aren’t the generic companion, who aren’t the generic everyman. These are characters with so much depth to them that the audience easily connects to them. The plot may be confusing (at first), but the characters are there, they have been established as to who they are and what they contribute to the plot. There’s an emotional truth to these characters, these characters are strong and courageous in their own way, but have weaknesses and they have fear to overcome and it’s satisfying seeing them overcome them and eventually be a better person.


The show also gives this sense of comfort about the world. There’s often talk about how the universe and everything that happens in it is organized chaos and with Dirk’s belief in the interconnectedness of all things, it’s oddly comforting just believing that you are where you need to be at any given time. Whatever happens may not make sense to you right now, but in the end, everything that has happened to you might help you grow as a person and eventually make you be the person you wanted to be. That’s what happened with the characters. Most of them followed the flow of the universe and it helped them grow and develop.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is a fun, mysterious, wild, and insane show with amazing characters and a rewatch value which makes watching the show worth it. Even if it’s confusing and doesn’t make sense in the beginning, I guarantee you, it will have a pay-off and you will get your answers. Just remember that “everything is connected. …but nothing is also connected.”

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency season one is currently streaming on Netflix.

Dani David

A 20 year old trying to figure out life.