Frodo Baggins, Psychic’s Sidekick

What if Sherlock Holmes wasn’t actually a brilliant deductionist and was just really lucky? What if Watson didn’t want to be the sidekick and was dragged along because he didn’t have anything else going on? That’s pretty much the premise of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams. I’ve seen Season 1 of the new TV adaptation, and now I want to read the book. (I mean, it’s Douglas Adams. Of course I want to read it.)

“Holistic” refers to the inter-connectedness of all things. Butterflies can start hurricanes and you’re never six degrees away from Kevin Bacon. Things have a way of working out. In most fiction, this would be called The Plot, but on this show certain characters are aware of it. Even if you know about it, though, there’s no way to make these connections work for you; all you can do is follow your hunches and let the “stream of creation” take you where it will.
For Dirk Gently, the universe makes him stumble upon mysteries he needs to solve. He doesn’t look for clues or even formulate theories. He just finds the first thread that seems interesting and gives it a good yank. Sometimes this makes people shoot at him. Sometimes they think he’s psychic. Usually they just think he’s weird, but he’s right a remarkable amount of the time.
If any show needed a “Watson” type for the weird stuff going on, it would be this one. But Douglas Adams does that thing he does with tropes; he makes Todd a bit of a loser whose latest string of bad luck is Dirk Gently choosing him as a best friend.
Then there’s Bart. Bart is a female with no fan service to speak of; Christians like Isaac will appreciate that. She’s an assassin who kills people in messy fashions; that’s less cool for some Christians. Nevertheless, she is my favorite, because *spoilers redacted.*
The one mystery the show will probably never answer is “everything is connected by ____.” But at one point a character says, “I don’t know what it is, and I can’t name it, but I’ve seen it. That’s more than understanding. I believe.” Christians would like to insert God for that blank. The real God would want people to know him more personally, but if this show encourages that thought process, good on them.

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