A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
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?
- Premiere date: October 22, 2016
- Cast: Elijah Wood, Samuel Barnett, Hannah Marks, Fiona Dourif, Jade Eshete, Mpho Koaho, Michael Eklund, Dustin Milligan, Miguel Sandoval, Neil Brown Jr., Richard Schiff, Kaitlyn Dever
- Network: BBC America
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Book Characters, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- TV rating: TV-14
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love quirky sci-fi
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.