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October 21, 2014

Dirt: In Lieu of Flowers (season finale)

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 13th 2008 11:02PM

Will McCormack (Leo) and Courteney Cox (Lucy) in the season two finale of 'Dirt.'
(S02E07) "Death. I get it. It's guaranteed. I understand that. But why does it seem that everybody is so oblivious to the fact that they're swimming in deep water until they drown?" - Lucy

That's a really unfortunate quote. And to be dropped in the middle of the season (and potential series) finale? Ouch. Dirt really could be so much better and unfortunately, it just isn't. The problem is, I'm not so sure the writers, producers, and execs at FX realize it. Think about it. This was supposed to a normal 13 episode season. In my opinion, only one out of the seven episodes that got made was worth my time. At that rate, the second half of the season wouldn't have been much better. But no one stepped in and nothing changed. You would think, that after the mediocrity of the first couple of episodes, things would have started to look up. They never did.

With that being said, perhaps it's better that the strike cut production short. As a finale, this wasn't the worst episode and it wasn't the best. But, it was a logical ending that wrapped up some loose ends. Not all, but some. Had the season gone on, who knows what sort of train wreck the actual finale would have been. If FX is smart, Dirt is done.

Let's break it down:

  • Brent Barrow is dead - Lucy's number one nemesis at DirtNow croaked at the end of last week's episode, when a drugged up Brent parked his new car in the garage and then fell asleep without killing the engine. With Brent gone, and Lucy's understanding with the magazine's new owner, Adam, her position as editor-in-chief is secure. So there's no room for conflict there. (After landing a role on 24, I imagine Jeffrey Nordling asked to be written out of the show.)
  • Lucy's family troubles have hit a stalemate - In a Kayne-esque twist, Lucy's mother died during a botched plastic surgery operation. If you recall, Lucy and her mother didn't get along so well in season one. With her passing, Lucy no longer has to worry about any judgmental maternal presence. Plus, Leo is back! Not so fast. The fact that he killed Julia Mallory wasn't addressed once. To top it off, he now seems to get along great with his sister. Poor choices on both accounts. I'm willing forgive the new "best buds" dynamic between the siblings. But c'mon -- he killed a major season one character when he ran her over. You can't ignore that. Well you can, but you shouldn't.
  • Farber and Willa are history - You knew it was coming. She stabbed him in the back, dug through his phone, and ran a story that got him in trouble with a friend. He has morals and she doesn't. Based on Brent's sex tape, we know Willa has no problem "playing" Lucy and this was definitely a Lucy move. I'm not so sure that them getting back together is the payoff though. I think the break-up was. The business is cut-throat, there will always be casualties, and we move on. Not much else to say.
  • Don is better - Half the fun of season one was seeing what crazy shit Don would do next because of his illness. Talking cats, words floating through the air, and his zany episode re-caps. Now that he's on medication, he's normal. He's developed values, stands up for himself, and took an interest in his brother's life. He knows what's right and wrong, understands feelings, and puts the interests of other people (like Sharlee) before Lucy's. Plus, Lucy admitted that she's glad Don is now well enough to stand up to her. So what else is there to tell?
  • Lucy and Holt are happy together - This one is simple. Half the tension of this show surrounded their awkward courtship. Now they're an item and Lucy is willing to go public with it at Holt's request. Besides the expected backlash ("I can't believe he'd date that tabloid bitch!"), this just became a non-story.

If the show does go on, it won't be because of the characters. It'll be because there's an endless supply of celebrity hijinks to play with. Everyday there are new stories to tweak. This episode had a take on Kirstie Alley and child stars who are in the closet. We know these stories. The reason season one was so good is the celeb spoofs were secondary to the superb main plot, most of which has now been resolved. So unless there's something else we don't know about Lucy, Don, and the DirtNow gang, I'm not so sure I want US Weekly and InTouch just regurgitated to me.

If Dirt gets renewed for a third season, will you be tuning in?
Yes448 (89.2%)
No54 (10.8%)

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debbie

The end of this season was actually really dissapointing to me. Nothing really eventful happend like, last season, when Julia Mallory stabbed lucy. Now that was big, and it made you want to watch the next season to see what is going to happen. But the last episode of season two was really dissapointing, they should have had something greater than what it was. I will end up watching the next season, if they air it. But lets just hope they don't do a half assed job with that one too!

April 23 2008 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tamra

To my embarrassment, I didn't even realise this was the season finale. Last night when my TiVo didn't record an episode of Dirt I was disappointed, but this morning I was surprized to find out that it WAS the season finale. It just didn't seem like a season finale! I hope the show comes back next season. I've always enjoyed watching Courtney Cox, and this character is such a departure from "Monica".

April 21 2008 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Caroline

I think the next season will be very exciting :
- What will happen when Lucy will be not anymore the scoop hunter but the hunted celeb' ? How will the Holt/Lucy couple manage the situation ? What will be the effect on the Holt's career ? And Lucy's ?
- who will be the next "Brent" ? Will Lucy have to fight or to cope with him/her ?
- The mother is died, OK. But maybe, the mysterious death of the Lucy's father will be explained...
- And Don : is the medicine he takes so secure ?
Imagine all the various directions the serie could go...

April 16 2008 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sarah

this was the worst episode. halfway through, i remembered this was the season ender and got soooo mad!

April 14 2008 at 9:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kaitlin

I agree with most of what you posted. However I was more interested in the character development than I was the horribly written celeb spoofs. I've seen all that on The Soup already. It seemed to me like this season was written during the writers strike. The only other thing I really disagree with is the Lucy/Holt thing. There are more unresolved issues with that. Such as the fact that when they bring their relationship into the media it's going to look like Julia stabbed Lucy over Holt. Which is going to bring up more questions about Julia's death. Such as who killed her. Which could be why they brought the brother back into the picture.

April 14 2008 at 9:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matt

I have this feeling that they decided to take a slightly different direction with this season, putting the celeb stories front and center, rather than secondary. It's kind of like the sophomore slump in music, where the second album isn't as great as the first, and the third brings the artist back in favor. I think they should give it one more season, read up on what people think about this season, and realize that they need to make some fixes.

I kind of could see the Lucy/Holt thing putting too much stress on Holt, and as Lucy finally begins to love someone, he dumps her, breaks her heart, but ends up needing her for PR down the road.

I'd just hate to see them cancel this when they have such rich characters on this show, but they just weren't using them this season.

April 14 2008 at 1:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jennifer

I love the show, it's a show I can get wrapped up in and forget about my problems and realize how ridiculous some celebrities are and Dirt shows this through their storylines. I will definitely watch the 3rd season!!

April 13 2008 at 11:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matt

This post makes me glad I didn't bother sticking with the series. I really enjoyed the first season, but the second season lost me after two episodes.

It became less serialized and more "let's make fun of the celebrity train wreck of the week by changing their name slightly". That's dreadfully boring to me, as I now feel I've heard that story twice ("I'm not so sure I want US Weekly and InTouch just regurgitated to me." is a great way to put it).

It's too bad Dirt turned out this way. Every other original FX does is just so wonderful (though, I missed Damages). The Riches has gotten even better, and I'm confident The Shield will come back and end with not only a bang, but a tactical airstrike.

Oh well. You can't win em all. Unless you're AMC's recently added originals.

April 13 2008 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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