"You know what they say about bringing a knife to a gun fight..."
"Oh, bloody hell, is that what that means?" - Dirk and Todd
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency was an adorably quirky little show with an adorably quirky array of characters. It was about a man named Dirk Gently who self described himself as a holistic detective, meaning that he was really just a guy going around solving cases by stumbling around as the universe pointed him in the right direction, since everything is interconnected. The overarching mysteries of each season were well crafted, interesting, and much different than what you'd see on a normal procedural detective show. The first season started off as the universe pointed Dirk towards his new best friend and assistant Todd while he was working on a case that ended up involving body switching, time travel, and a holistic assassin out to get Dirk while season two just upped the crazy factor even more. Dirk himself was a ray of sunlight who was just so enamoured with how the universe unfolded in mysterious ways for him. While it may not have always been expected or good, it was always interesting and generally worked out in the end. Seeing him struggle with balancing out his joie de vie and go with the flow nature against the very real consequences of the people he loved potentially getting hurt due to their proximity to him in season two really helped to ground his character more in reality and made him more well-rounded while not undercutting his enthusiasm and inquisitive nature.
The aformentioned holistic assassin Bart is hands down one of the best characters out there and one of my favorite female characters of all time. It was the perfect combination of actor, character, and writing coming together to make something truly unique and memorable. What could have been a completely one note character (or even worse: a cliche weirdo/wild girl being tamed i.e. a "Born Sexy Yesterday" character), was totally original and nuanced. She was allowed to be weird, she was allowed to be messy, and she was allowed to be funny and sweet, while only being linked to a male character in completely platonic way. Bart was awesome and the show would have been much less rich without her amazingly oddball presence popping up at exactly the right moment in any given episode.
Romantic relationships in general were completely glossed over in favor of showcasing an array of platonic relationships- most completely unexpected and out of the ordinary, yet they worked perfectly. Amanda and the Rowdy 3 was adorable in ways that it shouldn't have been, and Hobbs and Tina befriending their prisoners, while quite unbelievable, was played so earnestly and cutely that it worked. Now, I'm not one to turn my nose up at romantic relationships, but it's so refreshing to see a show where they weren't the main focus at all. Panto and his boyfriend, two minor characters who showed up in season two, were only true relationship we saw, and that is just completely unheard of. Todd and Farrah had an attraction and apparently made out when they were on the run between seasons, but we never saw it on screen because there were always way more interesting things going on in their world to focus on instead. One great thing that came out of this decision to favor platonic rather than romantic relationships is that all of the female characters, not just Bart, were given a lot more to work with than they would have on most other shows. This shouldn't be a noval concept in the slightest in this age of television, but it's still noteworthy when you come across a show where every character has a purpose and enriches the overall story, so it's a shame that this gem was cancelled after just two amazingly weird seasons.
||Lost & Found, Fix Everything, That Is Not Miami
||Bart and Ken, Dirk and Todd, Amanda and The Rowdy 3