Did you know they made a TV series based on Dirk Gently, the internationally beloved holistic detective created by Douglas Adams? Because I sure didn’t!
I’m a pretty big Douglas Adams fan, so I was sorta miffed the universe hadn’t given me so much as a memo about this thing until after it’d started airing. And then I go and find out that it isn’t even the first Dirk Gently TV series they’ve made. I mean, what the heck, universe! Get your act together!
Anyway, I gave it a look-see and I have some thoughts on it that I will now share with you:
- It’s weird. It’s a weird show. I mean that mostly in a good way. It’s not really like anything else I’ve seen on TV recently. It has a manic energy that I find refreshing, even exhilarating.
- It’s very unlike the Douglas Adams book. Any of the books. Just way totally 100% different. I mean, look, Doug was never very concerned with keeping the different media incarnations of his stories particularly consistent, but tonally speaking this show’s quite a stretch. I don’t think that’s bad per se, but it could make for mismatched expectations and the concomitant disappointment that often follows thus.
- I overdid it with the previous point. The fundamental hallmark of any Dirk Gently story is: a bafflingly complex plot involving some kind of supernatural and/or science-fictional chicanery that makes absolutely zero sense until all of a sudden it does and then the end. The show has clearly been cast in that mold. It doesn’t hit the trope as totally out of the park as does, say, the first Dirk Gently book, but it does a good job and has other things to recommend it to boot.
- Regarding Dirk, the character: the writers seem perfectly content to give you nothing to grip on to, character-wise, for the first several episodes. We’re talking the exact opposite of say that advanced polymer scientists have extracted from the fingerpads of geckos. He’s a very non-grippy character, is what I’m saying.
- There is a really quite spectacular costume in the penultimate episode and the series is possibly worth watching for that alone.
- The series is also possibly worth watching solely for Jade Eshete because she is awesome as the character Farah Black, which character is rad as all get-out and if people only watched this show they would know what I’m talking about.
- It took me like four episodes before I finally put my finger on it and realized that the bad guy is Chief from BSG.
So anyway, in a world where half the friggin’ conversations I have are about television shows, why isn’t anyone talking about this one? It’s maybe not the bestest show in the world, but it’s pretty good and different to boot. I mean, I can’t even give you a solid show to compare it to because it defies comparison so fundamentally. I guess Doctor Who, that’s a thing to compare it to.
Worth chattin’ about, anyway, that’s what I say. Chat-a-tat.