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"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on our hands...."
Acorn Media / 240 Minutes / 2010-2012 / Unrated / Street Date: April 2, 2013
Set your towels down for a moment, Douglas Adams fans, and behold the spritely idiosyncrasy of Dirk Gently. Based lightly on Adams’ 1987 novel Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, this collection of episodes – the only ones made before the show, alas, got cancelled – attempt to both follow the distinct rules of the crime mystery canon while upending as much genre cliché as it can along the way.
I mean, this is certainly Adams territory: those expecting Midsomer Murders can go ahead and change the channel now. As our pilot episode plays on, we find Dirk (Steven Mangan) and his partner Richard (Darren Boyd) embarking on a case neither of them expected. As the show begins, the hedonistic and self-centered Dirk is looking for a lost cast, and as it ends, he’s on the verge of solving one of the biggest endeavors of his professional career.
But the reliable plotlines here are not the reason to tune in to Dirk Gently. The filmmakers behind the show truly do their best to channel Adams’ plucky vision into this adaptation, and while it’s not a classic, I’d make the argument that it succeeds about as much as the Hitchhiker’s Guide movie did. Dirk Gently may not hold a candle to the prose that bore it, but Adams’ singular wit nevertheless finds its way onto the screen frequently on its DVD debut.
Okay, you can pick up your towels now.