By Dave B.
A word to the wise: if you haven’t seen the first season of Dirk Gently, watch it. It’s great and is required for making sense of much of season two. That said, for those who aren’t familiar with Dirk Gently, he’s a holistic detective. That basically means that he solves cases by seeing the fundamental interconnectedness of everything, instead of relying on more traditional techniques such as evidence and procedures. The second season of Dirk Gently (BBC America, currently on Hulu) finds Dirk caught up in a case where he’s imprisoned, but needs to fulfill a prophecy of finding a missing boy in order to save a medieval fantasy dimension from destruction at the hands of an evil wizard. Yes, it’s a weird show. It’s also arguably the best show on television.
The most important thing to understand about Dirk Gently is it’s central theme: everything is connected. This simple fact helps it to avoid the “weirdness just to be weird” flaws in shows like FX’s Legion. The weirdness in Dirk Gently is almost always relevant, necessary, and comprehensible (eventually). A secondary theme from this season addresses what it means to take control of one’s own life. This theme is one that I personally find extremely compelling and I’ll admit that I’m biased in favor of the show’s answer: taking control of one’s life can’t be done through quick fixes. Instead, it requires changing yourself, not everything and everyone else. Even more appealing than the content of these themes is that their delivery never feels heavy-handed, preachy, or tacky.
If Dirk Gently was only strong thematically, I’d say it was a good show and leave it at that. But it excels in every other measurable aspect as well. It’s as creative as Legion without seeming to be as impressed with itself by that fact. The acting performances are phenomenal. Not some of the performances. All of them. If every actor and actress on the show could be nominated for an Emmy, I would be all for it. It's funny and moving and at no point during any of the 10 episodes was I the least bit bored. In fact, I wish that the season had been twenty episodes long so that I could still be watching it right now.
There aren’t even many unanswered questions at the end of the season. I’ve been wracking my brain for something negative to say about this show and I honestly can’t think of anything. The one (almost) criticism that I can think of is that this is a show that needs to be binge-watched. Waiting a week for the next episode would torture. I give the second season of Dirk Gently my highest possible recommendation for anyone who likes television even the tiniest bit.
PS. I love this show, so it should come as no surprise that it was cancelled. You should still check it out, however. You won't regret it. I promise.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.