New on BBC America: Dirk Gently

The deeply strange BBC America series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency returned to the network on Saturday night. It’s important to note that if you haven’t seen the first season, you should look away. There’s too much backstory developed in it for you to just drop by and try to pick it up now. Even if you read the books. Especially if you read the books.

You see, Dirk Gently on BBC America bears no real resemblance to the books or the 2010 UK series. Whether that means you hate it or not would really depend on how you feel about Douglas Adams, British humor, adherence to source material and Max Landis. Side note: I find him insufferable. I am a huge Douglas Adams fan and prefer British funniness, and yet, I find myself entertained by the oddity of Dirk Gently. But I am able to completely separate this Dirk Gently from Adams’ Dirk Gently.

This Dirk appeals thanks to its visually arresting style and vivid insane erratic misfit characters. Everything is like a stream of consciousness that only later makes sense because of the show’s underlying current: everything is connected. It requires some patience to see how, Gentle Reader. To be clear though: it’s not great tv. It’s more fascination as to where on Earth (and we do leave it this season) this is all going… If you can forget the destination, the journey is charming.

Really, really short review: Dirk Gently is not like watching a train wreck but rather like seeing the video feed of a very violent, meandering, nonsensical mushroom-induced hipster vision quest. But, you know, fun.


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