I watch a lot of detective shows, and while I love all my mystery babs, Dirk Gently from the 2016 show is such a refreshing reversal of the typical archetypes. Detectives like Morse, Sherlock, George Gently (I JUST realized they have the same surnames…), Hardy, Wallander, Lewis once he gets his own show, they’re all very pessimistic, broken by personal tragedy, socially avoidant, and oftentimes smugly superior about their intellect even towards those they care about. Their shows do everything possible to convince you that these men are Just Better by showing off their admirable personal tastes (either refined or salt-of-the-earth in a very dignified way) and their almost complete mastery of their jobs.
Then there’s Dirk Gently. Dirk, who listens to the trashiest pop music outside of a SoCal club from 2004. Who pairs a ice cream cone patterned tie with a bright yellow leather jacket. Who briefly mistook a map for a picture of a woman, and then spent another few seconds completely baffled as to what it could actually be. Who does his job by stumbling into clues rather than actually searching for them. Who greets everyone like they’ve genuinely made his day. Who wants friends, as many as will have him. Who is esctatic when someone else figures out part of the case before him. Who sees the good in everyone and doesn’t hesitate in telling them about it as many times as they need it. Who doesn’t always really understand how to relate to people, but tries so hard to keep them happy. Who has seen some shit, but tries not to let it get him down. Who gets scared sometimes and wears his heart on his sleeve. Who really does listen to the worst fucking pop I’ve heard in my life, and it’s great, and he’s great, and I’d like to see more characters like him in this genre.