Dirt: Welcome to Normal (season premiere)
(S02E01) "No honey, I love the pudding. You can have the applesauce." - Lucy
Lucy Spiller is back! Hold your breath though because those stab wounds she received from Julia Mallory in last season's Dirt finale must've taken away some of her trademark bitchiness. Lucy, while still 100% dedicated and obsessed with her job as editor of Dirt Now magazine, is a lot nicer than I remember her to be. Is that a bad thing though?
Gallery: Dirt - Season Two
Not necessarily. Since only seven episodes were completed before the writers' strike, this season has essentially been cut in half with the remaining six on FX's "let's wait and see" list. That being said, the show has abandoned the serial format that it adopted during the first season and if you think about it, this proved to be a smart move considering how things have turned out. Had a giant, season long plot been implemented, it's pretty unlikely that episode seven (the default finale) would have provided any sort of cliffhanger or closure.
So now we have a nicer, more understanding Lucy Spiller and believe it or not -- it works. The difference? She's workin' it day by day. I had the opportunity to speak with Courteney Cox a few weeks ago and she assured fans that all seven episodes are self-contained.
I like what that means for this season. What better way to address the notion of a supermarket tabloid rag than by having a show based on one implement individual episodes that feel more like individual issues. If you ask me, this is what the show was originally intended to be and it ended up straying as far as possible from that idea.
So what does unify the season? Well there are still plenty of celebrity headlines to spearhead and the premiere tackled some recent ones via the introductions of Sharlee Cates (think Britney Spears) and Martina Lynn (think Anna Nicole Smith). While I think we can expect to see both characters in future episodes, don't think of it as being serial, but rather the latest headline for their most recent boneheaded antics. I'm curious to see how true Martina follows the actual events of Smith's life. If so, she won't be around much longer.
One of the more interesting choices this season is to have Don Konkey on medication. It would seem that his schizophrenic personality is being toned down a bit. As much as I enjoyed his freak-outs and conversations with cats in season one, you still have to admit that it was frequently out of place. I'm all for Don being more normal as long as it doesn't affect the humor when he does the "previously on Dirt" recaps. Those were great last season.
More thoughts on the premiere...
So it's official: Julia Mallory is dead. Leo killed her when he drove into Lucy's driveway. I wonder how long it will be before he shows back up though? I'm sure he's seen the news and knows that Julia made an attempt on his sister's life. Plus, what he did was an accident. I'm sure that can be proven. So the real question is how much he values his anonymity. He probably does realize he can get off, but if he returns, Lucy and everyone else is going to want an exclusive with the man who killed Julia Mallory.
I'm glad "Don Konkey" vs. "Donkey Kong" was addressed finally. It was hilarious that Don was almost prepared to say that his name was missing the G.
I'm not sure how I feel about Farber Kauffman. Was a new writer really required? Ignoring the fact that his introduction and subsequent hiring in Lucy's hospital room was really forced, what's he going to bring to the show? So far, he's just someone for Willa to bounce ideas off of.
And speaking of Willa, she's nicer too! She even conceded to Lucy that the job of editor is harder than it looks. I'm not sure I agree with this direction though. If Lucy is nicer, then make Willa more ruthless! Those two are supposed to be at each others necks as Willa tries to undermine Lucy and gun for her job. Now they're buddies?
I like the role reversal between Don and Lucy. He's taking care of her now. I'm not sure that'll last long though.
One moment really stood out for me though and it's paramount to the success of this season. Remember that scene where Farber and Willa were talking and he was going on and on about proper writing style and Willa was trying to explain how to write something for the Dirt readers... or something like that? The point she was making is that it had to be dumbed down. Now you could make the argument that this is precisely what was happened to the show, dropping the serial format. Personally, I think this was a good choice. The show is about a tabloid after all. As much as I enjoyed last season, why continue to try and make Dirt something that it's not?
|Totally. Now it really feels like a sleazy tabloid!||85 (61.2%)|
|Now way! Bring back the serial format and season long plot!||54 (38.8%)|