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October 10, 2015

Dirt: Ties That (Don't) Bind

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Mar 24th 2008 9:22AM

Courteney Cox as Lucy Spiller on 'Dirt.'(S02E04) "What? We got two great stories and Holt's Dad is a Nazi. What could be better?" - Lucy

Alright, it's official. I'm jumping on the bandwagon. Let's be honest -- this episode was not good. I was first in line to defend the creative changes that Dirt went through in-between seasons, but it's reached a point where issues that absolutely need to be addressed are being pushed aside for irrelevant new characters and pointless scenes. I can accept the fact that the serial format of the show has been ditched. As someone who watches a boatload of TV, I actually appreciate the fact that Dirt is now a show which no longer requires absolute attention for fear of missing something important. Self-contained episodes aren't necessarily a bad thing. But you can't just forget about the past.

Part of me doesn't even want to go on this rant because there still are a lot of things that I love about this show. It's the definition of a guilty pleasure and it's light years ahead of similar fare on network TV. That being said, it is on basic cable, and as a result I demand more.

First off, I'm done with there being no resolution to Leo hitting Julia with his car. He killed her! His name hasn't been dropped once this season! Leo was a main character in season one. He killed another main character with his car and we get nothing? The police haven't come knocking? Lucy hasn't wondered where her brother is? Remember how worried and protective she was of him? Where did that go?

Instead we get a scene with Don visiting his brother in the hospital after a car accident. This matters because...? We've never met Don's brother. He has no relevance to the story. So why bother? It could have been used as a moment to trigger something in Don's mind, despite being on the anti-psychotic meds. Even that wasn't considered. It was a pointless scene.

Then there's Lucy and Holt. The "it made the viewers uncomfortable" romance of season one. Any semblance of a relationship between the two of them ended for a reason -- they didn't work together. However, the powers that be seem to think it smart to continually push them back into awkward, "they almost kiss" moments.

The unfortunate thing about it is that there is absolutely no chemistry between the two of them. So artificial storylines need to be created to get them in the same room. Holt has a white supremacist father. The only saving grace here was that Al from Tool Time playing a Nazi is pretty funny. Beyond that? Waste of time. Why continue to push Lucy and Holt together if the intention is to just pull them apart? I'd love to see more of her and that Ted guy, the studio exec. As he proved in this episode, the guy could be a huge source for Lucy. Why not run with that?

The other thing I didn't like about this episode was Adam the billionaire. He went from being this huge potential thorn in Lucy's side to her best friend over the span of one episode. Why waste our time if someone like that isn't going to turn into a solid conflicting presence? Brent went to Adam so he'd buy Dirt Now and make some changes. So why not put Lucy in a position where her job is at risk? Yes, that happened last season with Gibson... but you knew she wouldn't get fired then. Now, there's potential for it. Why the avoidance of conflict?

The only enjoyable factor right now is Willa and Farber. For the most part, they've been pretty separate from the rest of the show this season and their side-kick efforts as they work with each other can be funny. They're the ones actually digging up the dirt, meeting with contacts, and brokering deals. The whole Chris Hansen spoof with "To Snare a Cyber Predator" was funny stuff. I'd like to think that more team Willa/Farber would help the show, but we are getting more of them. And it isn't helping. I'm not saying going back to the serial format is the right move. After all, due to the strike, there are only 3 eps left. But with that in mind, something needs to change. Make my jaw drop or else season three is never going to happen.

We're 4 episodes in. How does this season of Dirt stack up to the last?
better29 (20.4%)
no difference32 (22.5%)
worse81 (57.0%)

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Personally, i believe that this season of Dirt is really great. Sure, its not as dark as season 1, but this is what needs to happen. Further depth into the lives of the characters need to be explored and after an attempted murder, this season needs a little change, especially for Lucy.

I think that the chemistry between Lucy and Holt is fabulous and Courteney and Josh pull it off really well. I can see where you get a little put off by the type of chemistry though. Usually the woman is incredibly vulnerable and this makes for great chemistry, but Lucy is such a strong character so it's just played out in a different way.

This show is great and i hope it will stick around for a third season.


March 27 2008 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike m

i look at this season of Dirt like a relaunch of the show...and i am kinda glad. I don't need dark. I want light. I want fun. and thusfar, this season has been that. I'm not saying the story matches to last season, but that's ok. I like that it isn't such a drama, and it's less intense. I also like the Willa/Farber thing. To be fair though, if Willa was flirting with a rock, I'd like the Willa-rock thing...as long as it's alexandra breckenridge, i am a happy guy.

March 24 2008 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm suffering through mixed feelings with this season of Dirt. Lucy was nice enough to get involved and basically kill Tweetie based on her guilt? That's NOT the Lucy we were seeing in season one! A lot of the storylines are useless, providing no payoff in the end.

Keep the "unexpected" guest stars coming. My favorite of last season was WAYNE BRADY - whoda thunk him as a ruthless heavy? Seeing Richard Karn as Holt's racist dad was yet another stroke of genius!

March 24 2008 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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