#CurrentlyWatching: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

You all seemed really happy that the #CurrentlyWatching feature is back, so in return I am more than happy to provide you with even more shows to watch/binge. Those of you who know me, know that I mostly only feature shows that I really love, but this one is especially near and dear to my heart. More about that later, here are the basics first.

Currently, there are two seasons of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency available. It’s very difficult to describe what kind of show it is, because it’s definitely not like anything out there. It’s a science-fiction, supernatural, fantasy, detective comic series based on the books by the same title written by Douglas Adams (yes, the Douglas Adams who also wrote The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, although it is nothing like the books). It originally aired on BBC America, but is available worldwide on Netflix (except in the US, where you can watch it on the BBC America website … I think?). Anyway, if you follow me on Twitter, you will have seen me running a little campaign to #SaveDirkGently, because BBC America cancelled the show without even waiting on the international numbers from Netflix. Show creator Max Landis said that not all hope is lost, if enough people watch it on Netflix, they might take over the show as a whole. So, please, please, please, watch it on Netflix!

Dirk Gently centers around the titular character has he tries to solve one of his curious cases. His new assistant Todd alongside with Todd’s sister Amanda and kick-ass Farah get dragged along the adventure as everything seems to be connected.

Dirk Gently (which is what I will call the show for simplification) is one of those series that doesn’t really fit in any kind of category. It’s the underdog that no one even expected to actually be produced, but once it was out there, it really shone bright … if people actually watched it. That’s one of the things with Dirk Gently, since it’s so hard to put into words what it’s actually about, it’s also extremely difficult to convince people to watch it. So, I am going to try my best at convincing you today!

As I’ve mentioned above, the show is nothing like the books by Douglas Adams. They took the core concept but then made it completely their own and that was probably way better than trying to replicate it exactly. It is extremely quirky, witty, funny, confusing and well acted. I am usually quick to guess where a plot may go, but whether you’ll like Dirk Gently or not, I can promise you it never gets boring. Thinking back to season 1, I didn’t even know what was happening for the most part of it, but I still adored every second of it. It’s like an intricate jigsaw puzzle and neither the characters nor you know what’s going to happen next, but in the end everything is connected and that’s the whole point.

There are a couple of reasons I enjoy this show so much. One of the most important ones is definitely the cast and the characters they represent. They are not afraid to be unconventional or ugly, which makes them feel real and complex even in the most unreal of settings. Whenever I am asked who I like best, I couldn’t possibly chose. Everyone has their own qualities and traits I love, but I have a real soft spot for the Rowdy 3 (who I can only describe as energy-sucking vampires?) and Amanda. Without giving away what will happen, there’s some great character development happening there.

Another thing I adore is the overall theme of everything being connected (which I have said quite a lot in this post already). When everything is chaos, it makes me feel comforted to know that there is a reason/purpose behind things. Yet, it isn’t just accepted as this all-powerful entity, but instead everyone questions it and tries to figure out their place and job in the scheme of things.

Lastly, I really enjoyed how different the second season was in comparison to the first, but how true it stayed to its core nonetheless. It was like we got a weird and eventful season one to introduce us to the players and then took it up a notch when the next season came around. Everything got a lot more personal, we got a hint at Dirk Gently’s sexuality and saw some (romantic and otherwise) relationships deepen and change.

I, personally, would love many more seasons, although I feel like it could be neatly tied up with one final third season. If you have the time and if I have persuaded you to give this show a shot, I would really love it if you watched it soon-ish on Netflix.

Did you know of Dirk Gently before this post? Have you already watched it? Let’s talk about it!

#CurrentlyWatching: Class

My love for Doctor Who is no secret and if you’ve known me for a while, you are probably also aware of my adoration for its spin-off series Class! The show premiered in October last year in the UK, however, there is a reason why I chose to talk about it just now. Despite having been really well-received (from what I heard at least), the show just started on BBC America now. The first episode aired last week and from now on it airs every Saturday after the new Season 10 episodes of Doctor Who. The fate of its future and a possible Season 2 (which I NEED) now depends on the American ratings. I am really unhappy with that, because why on earth does it depend on US ratings now to renew a perfectly British show, but whatever. This post is a plea for you to watch it and ensure that Class definitely gets another season!

I want to start off by saying that a lot of small references or certain villains will probably make more sense if you have watched Doctor Who, but it is not strictly necessary to have watched the “parent show” beforehand. The Doctor makes a short appearance in the first episode, but thus far that’s all in terms of crossovers.

The students of Coal Hill Academy once more have to deal with extra-terrestrial threats and the stressful fact of being a teenager at the same time.

Class was created and written by Patrick Ness, a name you will probably have heard in the world of YA books before. I’ve only reviewed one of his books, which you can read here, but when I got news that he would be involved I was excited from the start. Class is a fast-paced show, yet it still manages to get you utterly invested in the fate of everyone. There are so many reasons why I love the show and it’s difficult to wrap my head around where I should even start. So, I am going to do this old-school and make a list:

  • A super diverse cast: We have POCs and people of different nationalities as main characters, we get to see different religions, disabled characters who are not defined by their disability and a canon gay relationship established in the first episode. There’s not just inter-racial but actual inter-species love because of our cinnamon roll alien prince, Charlie. Doesn’t that all sound swoonworthy amazing already?
  • Girls and boys can be friends – and JUST friends at that! The relationship between Ram and Tanya was one of my favourites, because they were so close but it never crossed over in the romantic world. It’s sad how rare that is on TV.
  • Boys get to be vulnerable and girls get to be badass. (I think this is self explanatory. Yay for defying stereotypes!)
  • Family matters! All too often when the teens get to go on adventures, the parents are just sort of … I don’t know, forgotten? Here the parents don’t hinder the action, but they worry and fret for their children. Their presence is at least always there in the back of your mind.
  • It tackles heavy topics with grace, such as homophobia, grief and complex moral questions.
  • Not one character is ignored. They each get their time to shine and it’s so worth it, because there is not a single character I don’t like. The relationships and the group dynamic is just amazing. While the romantic ships feel a bit rushed sometimes, due to the fast pace in general, I never once doubted the friendship and closeness. It just really fits the tone of the show.
  • Pop culture references! Wohooo!
  • Best one-liners on TV! *cough* I don’t like knives *cough*
  • Actually scary villains and a surprise return of an old foe in the end.

See, I am just in love with that show! Please, please tell me what’s not to like about it? I am waiting! Because here I am sitting and just enjoying it all and really hoping that I will get to see more of all those fantastic people. So, go and get caught up on that episode from last week and then tune in live or via the BBC America website for the rest of the season.

Class definitely felt a lot more adult to me than Doctor Who sometimes does. This is not exactly a show for kids, but Patrick Ness himself said that if you are into YA books and can deal with what’s going on there, you will be able to handle the show as well. There’s a LOT more blood and naked skin than in Doctor Who for sure.

Did you watch Class? Are you hoping for another season as much as I do?