(S02E05) "Does Dr. Seuss know you're plagiarizing him?" - Farber
I know I ragged on Dirt last week for the direction it was taking this season, and while most of that complaining is still deserved, I have to admit -- this episode deserves a certain level of respect.
Britney Spears is everywhere. Every tabloid, every TV news magazine, and every gossip blog. The writers and producers behind Dirt were pretty much obligated to tackle her story in some way, shape, or form. It would have been awkward if a show like this didn't include it. That being said, they really could have screwed it up and made it painful to watch. But... I don't think they did.
(S01E13) That was... interesting. The writers definitely kicked it up a notch with this episode as things certainly felt more dramatic than they have throughout most of the freshman season of Dirt. A lot of that feel was do in part to simple things that were used very effectively. Numerous times in the episode, the power of silence coupled with the rhythmic sounds of a beating heart helped to cut together some very cool scenes unlike anything this show has tried before.
Add to that a rather off-beat cameo from Jennifer Aniston as well as the proper outcome for some of the show's minor characters, and we had ourselves a pretty decent finale. Savor it though, because unless FX is feeling brave (Starved and Over*There tells me they aren't), then I don't think we'll find out what happens next. Dirt may very well be the latest FX one-hit wonder.
(S01E12) Not bad. Not bad at all. Actually, it's unfortunate. Last week was a great episode and so was this one. Now the finale is next week. Why do shows always seem to get better when there's fewer episodes left?
Lots of stuff going on, especially the leak of the Julia/Johnny sex tape. It was bound to happen, but I truly didn't see it turning out the way it did. I suppose all signs pointed to Julia being behind the leak. When I first considered that it could have been her, it felt too convenient and I let the idea pass. Had me fooled.
(S01E11) Whoa... we got a live one here. It took eleven episodes, but we finally got a really good one from Dirt. It was tense, had a cool twist, and none of the dependence on crappy character history that had been a trend as of late.
Using the whole "36 Hours Earlier" technique, we got a cool re-telling of a day in the life of Don. It was a little hard to swallow at some points, but more than anything else we found out that Don is ridiculously smart. From his "3 P's," to the "always carry empty rolls" rule, this guy has his job down to a science. I know a lot of people have suggested that he get his own show, and while I was against it, this episode made a pretty good argument in favor of it.
(S01E10) I'm officially in a love/hate relationship with this show. I've realized that I'm just about 50/50 on every episode. There's plenty I like, but lately there's been an equal amount of material that just makes no sense whatsoever to me.
I think a lot of this stems from the way the stories have developed and changed so drastically from where they started. Take Willa for example. Initially, she was being portrayed as a young Lucy, obsessed with her job and furthering her career with the magazine. Now, when she first started sleeping with Brent, I thought she was using him for her purposes. Now it seems that she's his perfect match. Obsessed with sex (butt-plugs and threesomes, oh my!), she seems less interested in her job and more concerned with where she can screw Brent next. Her character is just in a very different place right now than I originally expected.
(S01E07) Well it's about time, but this was finally the first episode where I really started to get into Don's character and storyline.
Before I get into that though, I have to talk about the "Previously on Dirt" montage again. This is the second or third time that I've mentioned it and if you don't bother watching it, then you need to. It's freakin' hilarious. Don narrates it and this week he essentially insulted us viewers since he had to recap all this for those of us "with a worse attention span than he has." Moreover, he's not trying to offend us, but we "should really be up on this sh*t by now." The stuff is laugh out loud funny and really helps to separate the show from anything else on TV.
Alright, back to Don in the episode. I don't think I'm alone, but I actually felt bad for the guy this time around.
(S01E06) This was a bit of a departure for the freshman drama. It's the first episode in which Lucy and her team weren't focused on digging up the story behind a celebrity. The target was a murdered high-school cheerleader and Lucy was convinced that there had to be more to it. After all, she was murdered for a reason.
The story itself didn't impress me too much. It felt very much like something you'd see on an episode of Law & Order: SVU. However, it brought in another spectacular cameo to round out the episode. Last week, Wayne Brady stole the show as Tweety McDaniel's trusted enforcer and this time around Paul Reubens stepped in as washed up criminal reporter Chuck Lafoon. Reubens really is a terrific actor. He's got lots of range and really has played some varied roles. Blow comes to mind and even just last week he was hilarious in 30 Rock. His Dirt persona was fantastic though. I'd love to see him around for the rest of the season.
(S01E02) I think people need to appreciate this show for what it is. Similar to CSI: Miami, Dirt is over the top. It's cheesy and campy. Drama is played up for maximum effect. It's supposed to be like that. Dirt is definitely not a program for people who like to nit-pick about how true to life or realistic a show is. This is the TV version of a gossip rag. You don't take those things seriously, do you? It's fun to not care for an hour once a week. This show is a good excuse for doing just that.
One of the things I'm loving about the show is how real celebrity stories that we're all familiar with are being used to fuel the storylines of Dirt's celeb-fakes. The show is drawing from the antics of Britney Spears, Denise Richards, and numerous other recognizable names. It's not exactly a revolutionary idea but it's funny stuff.
(S01E01) I think I may be the minority here. I've read a handful of other reviews for Dirt and I think I'm one of the few who actually thinks it's worth watching. I realize it isn't the best show but realistically it'll follow in the footsteps of Over*There and Starved -- two other very well done FX series that just didn't seem to find the viewers. Look on the bright side though: FX could have aired nothing new on Tuesday nights. At least there's something fresh until The Shield returns.
Rather than just repeat myself, most of my thoughts about the pilot are laid out in this preview post I put up a few weeks ago. Dirt has potential if it's done right but my guess is that it won't be handled properly. Brian Lowry over at Variety makes some excellent points about what's wrong and if certain things change then Dirt will definitely climb higher on my list. He suggests that if Don weren't so far out there as a character and if publicists had a larger role on the show, it would feel a lot different. Better? Hard to say, but definitely different.
There are certainly far worse things on television and Tuesdays are sparse for me anyway. So I'll be posting about Dirt every week. I want to know what other TV viewers think though. Will you stick with it or is this something you won't waste your time on? I'd suggest at least sticking it out until the third episode. If you weren't impressed with tonight's pilot, it definitely picks up after that. Let me know what you think in the comments.
Premise: FX's new drama Dirt stars Courteney Cox as Lucy Spiller, a ruthless editor in charge of two celebrity gossip rags, "Dirt" and "Now." Her successes are unrivaled but her methods have made her one of the most hated women in all of Hollywood. Spiller completely ignores the old adage of "keep your friends close but your enemies closer." She keeps everyone at a distance, only deciding to turn on her charm and offer an open ear when it may lead to the next juicy bit on a tinsel-town starlet or sports icon. To assuage her own insecurities, she's convinced herself that Hollywood needs her when the reality is quite the opposite.
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