Nothing screams marmite more than this show; by the eighth and last episode the show had lost almost half of it’s audience who originally watched the pilot.
It’s odd, weird and confusing. But also a kind of wonderful.
It starts with Todd (Elijah Wood) as a hotel porter having a day from hell as he first see’s himself in a blood stained fur coat on his way up to second, a hotel room massacre littered with burn and teeth marks. Promptly fired and unable to pay his rent or his sister’s medication bills, what better time to meet an annoying british guy breaking into his flat through the window so he can get Todd’s help in locating a missing girl.
I think this is the reason many viewers dropped this show quite quickly as it’s initial problem is having you put up with everything being quite annoying, unexplained and absurd at first.
Dirk is a holistic detective which means his method is genuinely just walking around and relying on bare luck and coincidence to feed him clues and areas of investigation through some kind of belief of the interconnectedness of the universe..
and to be completely honest it never gets old, as the thrill of the plot unravelling and everything link up is so satisfying. The show just needs the time to really get into it which sadly most people won’t have time for.
It doesn’t help that viewers soon find out that there are actually multiple storylines and characters to get used to and learn about.
Now I didn’t learn these character’s names so without further ado:
- We have Dirk and Todd joined by badass afro girl and occasionally by Todd’s sister who has a weird disease that causes her to experience vivid sensations such as burning, drowning and general pain when doing usually ordinary things.
- Two detectives with great chemistry who are trying to find the missing girl.
- Bart, a bloodthirsty holistic assassin who kills everyone, on a road trip to kill Dirk with a nice hacker forced to tag along at gunpoint.
- Two CIA agents surveilling Dirk, one with a close relationship with their target and the other probably the dumbest CIA agent ever put to screen.
- The Rowdy Three, four (yep four) punks who just show up, destroy things and leave.
- A cult leader with a league of bald headed henchmen.
and guys, that’s not including other supporting characters and one bit characters who drop in and out of the show from episode to episode.
I think for some people this, coupled with a crazy plot, was just too much.
For me it was great.
I’m a big lover of the weird and the wonderful, and once the whole roster of characters are introduced and established, the fun really begins. The big draw with this show is enjoying these characters and how the react to the events of the plot. Dirk and Todd are at odds with each other for most of the show and with Dirk’s annoying tone of voice and Todd’s relentless moaning, you start wishing for more of the support characters to appear as most have incredible chemistry.
My personal favourite is Bart the holistic assassin. Constantly dirty, bloodied and with long messy hair, she contorts and jerks as she moves, killing most people she comes across and with a low hoarse voice, makes her the most memorable.
When nice hacker guy plays off her lack of knowledge of the modern world and slowly builds a weird kind of friendship with her is when the show is firing on all cylinders.
There are some real emotion to be found with Todd’s attitude to life and himself and Dirk starts to get quite endearing towards the end.
This show will either click with you or it’s not. There is no in between.
All I know is I was glad for the ride and I look forward to Series 2.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: 8/10