Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

TV review by
Edie Nugent, Common Sense Media
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency TV Poster Image
Quirky sci-fi comedy is fun but can be violent.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series is a mixed bag of positive and negative themes. Dirk seems somewhat called to his brand of detecting, and judging by his enemies, he's on the side of good. Mostly. Themes of responsibility for others and trying to protect the innocent are present, but they're pretty well muddied by all the violence the and malicious intentions of the bad guys.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Todd cares deeply for the well-being of his sister, putting himself at risk to help her as she struggles with illness. But when strapped for cash he deceives his violent and angry landlord, resulting in the man's accidental death. Dirk shows compassion for Todd's sister, but also steals cars when he needs to and is somewhat indifferent to the suffering of others. The law enforcement investigating the strange events act professionally and exhibit dedication and perseverance. 

Violence

A blood splattered scene of multiple homicides and dismembered corpses is shown several times. There are many scenes of hand-to-hand combat, bats are brandished and used. Multiple instances of people threatened with guns, murdered. A kidnapped woman is restrained to a bed, while an accidental killing happens in front of her. Two men use a tazer shot from a crossbow to murder a hotel worker. An unhinged "holistic" assassin pursues targets with a machete, and kills them savagely. 

Sex

A crying woman in a bra and pantyhose wearing a robe that hangs open is shown for a few minutes. A character's "boring sex life" is mentioned. 

Language

Many flavors of lower end swear words like "sucks," "screwed," and "hell" are present. screwed both of us," "screw this," are present, as well as "goddamn,"  Also, "holy s--t," "s--t,"and, "a--hole." 

Consumerism

The show is based on a series of books written by a well-known author who has written for both television, film and radio. 

What parents need to know

Parent's need to know that Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency is a funny but violent show that follows the unconventional investigations of its titular detective. Dirk calls himself a detective who, as the series puts it, "doesn't find clues." There's repeated instances of murder and mayhem, generally surrounded by a healthy dose of dark humor. While the main characters are basically decent people, they do lie and manipulate to advance their causes. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byUsername101 February 6, 2018

Weird, addicting and very re-watchable sci-fi series.

This series is great, it may seem really weird and random at the start but it get progressively better, more interesting and the conclusion where everything com... Continue reading
Adult Written byAislinn C. October 20, 2017
Teen, 15 years old Written byXander Funk December 13, 2016

Violence may throw some off

Having read the books, the show is nothing like it, but just as good. The show has jokes, drama, sci-fi, and many other great things. The language is nothing mo... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byTeenFilmScholar December 13, 2016

One of the most fantastic television series ever made.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency is an adaptation of the beloved Douglas Adams novel which I loved very much. Made by the BBC, it takes place in Ame... Continue reading

What's the story?

Based on the comedic novel by British writer Douglas Adams, DIRK GENTLY'S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY introduces a new kind of detective-sideick relationship. Todd Brotzman (Elijah Wood) lives alone and works for a hotel where his boss doesn't appreciate him. At the end of a bizarre work day that sees Todd fired for discovering a multiple homicide in one of the guest rooms, Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett) drops into his life. Claiming to be a "holistic detective," Dirk explains that his methods hinge on the "fundamental interconnectedness of all things" which are more complex than normal people might understand. Confused? So is Todd. But with his life in tatters, broke, and implicated in murders he didn't commit, Todd's reluctance to act as Dirk's sidekick wears down. Strange happenings and coincidences start piling up around him, and Todd begins to believe Dirk's claim that he is "meant" to assist the zany detective in solving the murders he's suspected of. Dirk assures him that as Todd takes control of his life, "interesting things will happen." And they do. 

Is it any good?

This series has all the energy and intrigue of Douglas Adams' original stories, and is bolstered by strong performances from Wood and Barnett.  

Wood has appeal to kids and teens for his high-profile role in the Lord of the Rings series. The mystery and eccentric adventures of Dirk and Todd are engaging, fast-paced, and intermittently terrifying. A large cast of strange and well-acted characters populate this world, and they, along with a dash of time-travel and otherworldliness make this a compelling series for fans of smart, verbal, science fiction.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about funny science fiction like Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. Why do you think this combination is popular? 

  • Families can talk about characters that seem to get away with violent deeds with no consequences. Does this happen in real life? Is it fair? Why or why not? 

Themes & Topics

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