Dirk Gentley: the detective who solves cases without any idea of what is going on around him

settembre 14th, 2017 | by Joe Condor
Dirk Gentley: the detective who solves cases without any idea of what is going on around him
Birdmen

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If you are fond of logic, adulators of cause-effect mechanisms, lovers of the rational or fans of cases solved thanks to an obsessive attention to detail or investigative acumen, then keep away from Dirk Gentley’s holistic detective Agency, the 2016 TV series produced by BBC America and written by Max Landis. The central character is loosely based on the eccentric detective Dirk Gentley, created by the brilliant Douglas Adams, best known for The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.

On the contrary, if you love nonsense, if you find paradoxical circumstances irresistible and you do not feel very confident about the concept of scepticism, then this may well be the show for you. The investigative approach adopted by this bizarre character does not follow any obvious logic and departs quite clearly from the methods that are generally considered as effective or at least “normal”. However, it would be wrong to deem Mr. Gentley’s (Samuel Barnett) method completely reckless, even if he never knows what is exactly going on or where is going to and despite the fact that he has selected his assistant Todd (Elijah Wood, the actor who has been looking 25 for the past 25 years) completely random: in fact, he was never asked whether he agreed or not to be Gentley’s assistant during his investigative adventures. 
What drives the detective’s modus operandi is referred to as holism, that is the understanding that everything in the universe is connected, and that destiny can lead us exactly where we wish to go if we are ready to listen to it and accept it. This allows the series, which centres around a mysterious case with paranormal overtones, to interweave two main elements: an incoherent fabula with no obvious sense, which leaves the spectator dumbstruck at the end of each episode, and a narration fraught withnonsense, tending towards sci-fi and supported by brilliant comedy. The whole package is completed by a number of abnormal secondary characters, from the Riggins-Friedkin duo (a pair of policemen, one old and wise, the other young and irremediably dumb) to the Zimmerfield-Estevez duo, two seemingly normal investigators whoare, however, extremely stupid.Viewers will also come across the charming Fiona Dourif, an immortal assassin who says she is acting according to the universe’s will. All of these characters are inserted in plots that at a first glance seem distant and unrelated to each other, yet, needless to say, are destined to merge.
Lastly, he would be totally pointless to try to describe the group of punks – the sort of people you would expect to see in A clockwork orange – who roam around an old and not really eco-friendly van equipped with bats and charged with wickednessExplaining the importance of a black kitty within the story would also be useless. The only concrete advice that can be given in order to understand what we are talking about is to sit down and watch the eight episodes of the first season, which deal with what we have discussed before and much more. It is only in this way that viewers can be prepared for the second season, which is currently in production.