(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.
(S02E06) "Exhaustion? Isn't that "Hollywood" for shit-faced?" - Willa
I remember when I spoke with Courteney Cox a few months ago about the upcoming season of Dirt, she said something about every episode being self-contained. Well, I beg to differ. If you missed last week's installment, then you were almost completely in the dark last night. This was a direct continuation of the previous hour and while I loved it last week, Dirt did was it does best and took another nosedive.
There have just been so many opportunities to really make this show more than it is and every time something with potential makes a splash, it gets killed. Literally this time.
(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.
(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.
(S02E03) "Alright, I'll ice up a nipple and start chatting." - Willa
Well that episode was out there. It brought back some old faces, introduced a few new ones, and split off into two wildly different tangents. On one side we saw a new side of Lucy as she aimed to bring down a past Dirt Now target while at the same time we saw Don placed in a situation that would have bee much more amusing had he stopped taking his medication.
(S02E02) "Let's just figure out how her Daddy's gonna use his money to get his little girl off... did I just say that? Huh, oddly aroused." - Lucy
At first glance, Dirt may not look all that original to a new viewer. Granted we're only two episodes into the new season, but bear with me for a second. In the most noticeable departure from last season, these first two installments have relied heavily on recent tabloid headlines. It was something we saw in season one (such as Rick Fox's portrayal of a basketball star based loosely on his former teammate Kobe Bryant), but not as much. The fun this season comes from seeing where the tabloid headlines end and the creativity of Dirt's writers begins.
(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?
With the season two premiere of FX's Dirt just around the corner (this coming Sunday, March 2nd, at 10:00PM), you may have noticed that the ad campaign is in full effect. The image to the right has been adorning everything from billboards in Times Square to magazine pages.
For those that weren't familiar with season one, you might have thought that this was an entirely new show altogether. If you recall the ad campaign for season one, at first glance the show looked much more darker, and it was. The ads depicted Courtney Cox (as ruthless tabloid editor Lucy Spiller) pale faced, in a blood red dress, overlooking Hollywood -- the breeding ground for her next headline. Not the case this season as you can see by the much more jovial, comic book feel of the new ads. As much as I loved the first season, it was nothing that I expected it to be. Trust me when I say that season two very quickly makes up for that deception.
I've now had the chance to screen the first two episodes and even got the opportunity to sit in on a conference call with Cox last week. Read on for my thoughts on season two, some quotes from the mouth of the woman who plays Lucy Spiller, and a sneak peek of the premiere episode. Be warned though -- this does contain spoilers.
(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.
(S01E09) Hmm... not sure how I feel about this episode. It didn't really relate to anything else. Actually, it felt like the type of episode you'd normally see as a ratings stunt. Only problem is that it wasn't all that tense and when something shocking (I say that loosely) did finally happen, it felt forced. Almost as if it got added in because... well, I don't know. It was added for the sake of being added it seemed. If you saw the episode, then you definitely know what I'm talking about. We'll get to that later though.
Centered around a former child star who took Lucy and the DirtNow offices hostage, the episode looked at the "forgotten celebrity." That's kind of an interesting phenomenon if you think about it because they're all over the place and I suppose every now and then, some of them flip out a little. This, however, seemed a little over the top.
(S01E08) Alright, this is starting to get a little ridiculous. Dirt is reaching the point where I think people are going to stop watching. This show
is supposed needs to be about the gossip and the scandal that comes from Hollywood's elite. That's how this show had to have been pitched. An hour-long drama that takes a fictitious look at the world of tabloid journalism. Knowing that, explain to me how Lucy's daddy issues play into this series at all.
I think the problem probably stems from a desire to make this show bigger than it is. I don't think it needs to be that to be a success. It just needs to continue giving us the over-the-top stories that we've been getting all season. Dirt isn't a show that's going to win Emmys and Golden Globes. It is, however, meant to be an escape. So why not stick with what's simple?
(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.
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