RIP “Dirk Gently” – TV’s Smartest Comedy Has Been Killed Before Its Time

Matthew Loffhagen
BBC America
(Photo: BBC America)

Well, this sucks – “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” has been cancelled, and audiences everywhere have lost out on a wealth of possibilities for the future.

In fairness, this show was always going to be a hard sell. It’s a mystery series that involves supernatural elements and a complicated interconnected plot, and as such, all the story threads for both seasons don’t get tied together until the very last minute.

In other words, “Dirk Gently” is not designed to be a casual viewing experience; audiences need to invest time and energy trying to keep track of what’s going on, and in the modern era of instantly accessible media content that far outstrips the amount of free time anyone has available, this show was never going to catch much mainstream appeal.

Dirk Gently
Source: BBC America

This is a shame, as those who’ve really sunk some time into “Dirk Gently” have found it to be a wonderfully rewarding experience. The show’s complex plot is overshadowed only by its likeable, engaging characters, all of whom shine in their own special way.

Those who have been hooked on this show have found it first through the charming, bumbling Dirk, and his collection of flawed but ultimately relatable friends.

This isn’t a show which concerns itself with JJ Abrams-style Mystery Boxes; the kooky twists and turns of the plot are presented in a matter-of-fact way, rather than a deliberate attempt to trick the audience into trying to solve the mystery.

It’s also entirely possible to follow everything that’s going on, if you’re paying attention, as all the while, you’re entertained by the antics of the central cast.

Dirk Gently Farrah
Source: BBC America

Sadly, though, this show will reach its end with the conclusion of season two.

One can only hope that something equally bizarre will appear to fill the void. Certainly, audiences probably won’t get much joy from going back to the novels that the show is based upon, as much of the characterization of Dirk in the show differs wildly from his persona in “The Long, Dark Teatime of the Soul” and his other literary adventures.

Perhaps, one day, this iteration of “Dirk Gently” might get a revival. In the meantime, at least the first two seasons stand on their own, and it’s worth relishing the fact that this show never jumped the shark (apart from that time that there was literally a shark inside a kitten, because this show is weird).

Share on Twitter