Dirt (TV Series 2007–2008) Poster

(2007–2008)

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10/10
Original, Daring, and Funny
McBitter9 January 2007
'Dirt' is about a woman, Lucy Spiller (Cox), who works at the tabloid magazines, 'Drrt' and 'Now'. It focuses on the life of Lucy and those around her. The characters of the show are different, outrageous, and hilarious-all with their own personality. Lucy the bitchy, rude, and bitter boss of evil is set out on a goal-HER WORK. Cox's character is struggling with trying to develop an actual social life. The only "friend" Lucy basically has is Don, her schizophrenic paparazzi.

The camera shots are amazing on 'Dirt', along with the writing. The music used is perfect for the show and perfect to listen to when you are in the mood for something fun. The acting is all really good from everybody in this wonderful show.

So watch 'Dirt' and let the dark comedy cheer your day up!
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10/10
Bitchy, Scandalous Fun
iheart_ny9 January 2007
The very first scene in the pilot of Dirt shows Courtney Cox as Lucy Spiller, a Friend-less tabloid editor who basically spits on everyone. Now, that is the role I like to see Courtney Cox in. I hate to see her in the role of cutesy charming girl-next-door. She's stupid and annoying in those kind of roles.

Lucy runs "Dirt" and "Now" Magazines, and she'll do anything to get her story, including blackmail, betrayal, maybe even someday, she'll resort to murder. That would be fun to see.

What I like about Dirt is the way it's shot, it's just beautiful. I also like how Cox's character makes every pathetic little excuse for a human being cry. Her performance is to die for. And, even though I've only seen the pilot, I see no signs of slowing. It looks like it will keep getting better and better. The people on IMDb who have given this a "1" need to go out and watch some truly horrible programing. Because this is far from it. It's terrific and you should definitely watch it.
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6/10
There is potential...just potential...
Spoonmore2 January 2007
The endless previews for the show got me interested. And I found it interesting that I was interested because when a network advertises the crap out of a show, I'm easily bored. I thought I would give the show a chance because FX always seems to give us racy, dramatic, unique shows. And I wanted to see Courtney Cox as a bitchy, lost editor in a hot red dress. I'll admit it.

The pilot was a little rocky, but most pilots are. I try to never judge a television show by the first episode because it takes time to develop the story lines and characters. This show could easily find a groove if it wanted to.

Courtney was fitting in her roll. She's got the tough, commanding demeanor about her. But it still seems as though she hasn't completely found the character. But maybe that's how it is supposed to be right now in the show. I think her character has many places to go in time.

I found that the real star was Josh Stewart who plays a failing actor who finds himself sucked into the world of a "celebrity". Stewart is that smirky, doomed, lovable rebel that Jason Dohring recently made a career out of on "Veronica Mars." As I mentioned before, the show is on FX, so obviously there is a lot of sex. A lot. I think this is one of the weaknesses of the show. The softcore porn distracts from the plot and the sweet camera shots that are accompanied by great music. I doubt that will go away.

The show has a message. We live in a messed up world. We are all awful. But has the world become so despicable that there is no humanity left? I have hope for this show but it could easily suck. I'll give it a few more chances, though.
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8/10
Courtney Cox is still Gail Weathers
ryanbramhart33 January 2007
I loved Dirt, Basically because Courtney got to be the ruthless story hungry b*ch I'd come to love through the Scream Series. And the character of Lucy Spiller is like Gail divorced Dewy in order to run 2 magazines.

Lucy sets up pratfalls for the celebrity community around her. A community she navigates in and out of with an uncommon ease. She also is very aware of her place among them. She runs the PEOPLE magazine rip off called Now - in which she has the power to build a career for stars and starlets with heartwarming pieces on them. But she also runs Drrt the STAR ripoff - that has the ability to break them.

And she's more concerned with the breaking. Using the leverage she has she employs a young talent who made a few bombs and got dropped by the industry to tattle on his friends. And when he does consequences arise.

But what makes Lucy one of the coolest maneaters on television is that she does have a heart albeit, a very small one. Or at least a warm spot for her photographer who's got some heavy duty mental problems. Also she shows the cracks in her tightly glossed veneer after taking a new love interest home and then tasering him the next morning when she thinks he only slept with her to get a foot in the door. All in all, this might be a nice follow up to the Nip/Tuck dark sadonic tone.
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10/10
Best show I have seen in a long time!
Jamie Bonner23 December 2012
Wow, an excellent cast and an original, gritty hardcore plot...kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Up there with Dexter and Breaking Bad. Very upset that it was canceled. Courtney Cox was great and her side-kick photographer is brilliant. The special effects and the way they present the story is unique and very well done. Great, great acting! Good job Courtney! Why on earth would something like this be taken off the air. One of the best shows I have seen in a long time. I was not going to watch it as the cover was pretty lame, but what lay inside the watch it now on Netflix was a treasure. They should bring something like this back or something similar to it. It uncovers the world we live in today and the lengths we will go to to expose people and their private lives.
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9/10
Cox and Hart-Magic!!
beresfordjd8 October 2007
Along with Heroes one of the best series to come out of America in a long while. Courteney Cox has proved herself an extremely good actress, leaving Monica from Friends way behind. She plays a total bitch with only one redeeming feature, her loyalty to Don, played by Ian Hart. The chemistry between them works so well ,I was hooked from the first episode. The first series has just ended in UK and I could not miss any of it. The performances were uniformly great and the story lines pulled no punches given the strictures of TV. I for one cannot wait fro the second series. I am not sure how it has gone down with the great British public as I can hardly find anyone else that has watched it!! It has been shown on little-watched channel 5 so it must have been difficult to garner a big audience. It certainly deserves to be seen by a wider viewing public. BTW check out Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip if you get the chance. Matthew Perry shows he too can shake off Friends (also a terrific series)
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5/10
Something's Missing...
landress6 January 2007
I wasn't planning on watching this show. Don't get me wrong, I like Courteney Cox, but it just didn't feel like my type of show, based on the previews. However, after coming down with the flu, I was left to a few sick days and I happened across the pilot. First the good, it drew me in. I was just flipping through and it caught me and made me want to watch. It was dark, it was edgy, it felt different from most other things on television. However, it also felt like either something was missing from the show or that I was the kid at the far end of the table left out of the joke. I liked the characters, quite a bit more than I probably should have, but something was not right with the story. I'm not sure whether it was the intentional choppiness to try and represent the story of the schizophrenic photographer, or the fact that it bounced back and forth too much between story lines.

I don't think I'm going to give up on this show. But, for it to stick, it needs a little bit of re-working and making the show something more than simply edgy.
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1/10
The worst thing I have seen in a long time...
PHeath603 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This show doesn't know if it wants to be a drama, a soap opera, or a porn movie. Just the worst thing I have seen in a long time.

I hate to see Courtney Cox and David Arquette, who have vocally come out against the "stalkarazzi" before, turn around and glorify them. It's almost as if they are thinking "if you can't beat them, join them". That is the least of the problems with this show though. There is no direction, the plot is weak at best, and the acting...well everyone seemed to have either a stony expression or the look of shock the whole way through.

Definitely not going to tune into this one again.
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5/10
Behind the scenes of a tabloid
blanche-23 January 2007
It's too early to really judge "Dirt" yet. Based on the pilot, it's sleazy as hell and has no likable characters. Of course, F/X is an expert at this kind of thing and just might make it a go.

The star is Courtney Cox as Lucy, the editor of "Dirt" and "Now" magazines. She's a cold bitch who wants whatever slime she can get on celebrities - all of whom are painted as young, on drugs, having sex in restaurants, and cheating on their spouses and significant others. Frankly, when Don the schizophrenic (the only character I actually liked and felt sorry for) gets their revealing photos, it's kind of hard to have pity on any of them. At the end of the show, the writers tried to flesh out the Lucy character a bit, showing her as a lonely woman who seems to care about Don the schizophrenic. Not sure I bought it, since I'd just seen her use a stun gun on someone she slept with, as she suspects he only went to bed with her because he knows who she is and wanted his CD promoted.

Cox looks gorgeous. The acting ranges from okay to lousy. There are lots of new young faces, and one suspects that the budget went for other things. "Dirt" gives the audience a very dim view of Hollywood, celebrities, and the tabloids that basically is what the mainstream media has been telling us for years. Everyone is Paris, Britney, Nicole, Justin; no one practices safe sex; and everyone uses drugs. It's all kind of sick. Is there an audience for it? Most likely.
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8/10
The story has been done....but
MarieGabrielle9 January 2007
that being said, Courteney Cox excels here. After the disappointment of cancellation of "Friends" (she was the talented one on the show) seems she has finally parlayed this into a career.

This is a good story: sleazy tabloids, celebrity back-stabbing; but it is presented with class, and without utter contempt for the audience (This is a MAJOR feat in television today). There are some parallels to true celebrity stories, but they are carefully disguised.

This series proves the difference between a true actor (Cox) and a celebrity, such as Paris Hilton, who could not act her way out of a paper bag. An actor worth their salt has likability and believability to a general audience. We rarely see this in film, and almost NEVER on television.

Courteney Cox, kudos to you for this show. I have not seen a series worth watching on TV since 1990. Highly recommended. 8/10.
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6/10
Could easily be good...or not.
salome0003 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I agree with the previous post...Dirt could be very good or very bad. I, too, never go with the pilot...it was easy to see that no one was completely comfortable with their characters but I feel that's just temporary. Two things I'm not crazy about already...the first being all the sex. For some reason, watching Julian McMahon on Nip/Tuck in the act is sexy but these characters make me uncomfortable...as if they, like me, just don't feel it's necessary. The second thing that worries me is that I'm already feeling like things have gone over the top and it's just the pilot. One starlet dead, one on life support, a mentally ill photographer who talks to his cat, a basketball player with a hooker (who ends up dead, it seems) isn't overly realistic to me. I read 'dirt' online and in mags all the time and don't see anything like this. Hopefully, the writers will realize I'm more interested in Britney Spears and K-Fed drama than I am in a star's untimely death (River Phoenix, Chris Farley). They are right about some things, though...everyone wants to know what's going on with famous people...it's nice to see these people with incredible lives have the same issues as the rest of us! All in all, I'll keep watching!
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3/10
Great potential but dumb as dirt
pjaldo13 January 2007
It's a little "jumping the gun" to critique a show on a single pilot episode but, in light of its pretty bad direction I feel that it isn't too late to change course for this show. "Dirt" is FX's new Courtney Cox vehicle (of which she also produces) that follows the seedy underbelly of tabloid journalism in Hollywood. Cox plays a rough and tumble editor of "Drrt" a cheesy tabloid rag. She's conniving, evil and ultimately simplistic and rather one-dimensional. The plot also is filled to the brim with interweaving story lines and a bevy of potentially interesting side characters, such as the schizophrenic paparazzi photographer, the cheating NBA star, the failing actor and his hot unfaithful girlfriend and much more, all of which contributes to the mish-mashed story, that frustrates rather than entertains.

What doesn't help is that the editing of this already distracting show is erratic and frustrating. Also, stylistically the show throws in everything and the kitchen sink: on-screen text-messaging, crazy schizophrenic mind-trips, unnecessary soft-glow lenses and much, much more.

Yet all is not lost. This critique is based solely on the pilot, and the creators of the show, as well as Mrs. Cox herself, have ample opportunity to change course in order to save this prospective hit. This doesn't have to fall into the "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" category of a flailing high concept show with great potential (and, oddly enough, starring another "Friends" alumni). The show can be gritty, cool and bitter all at the same time. Just be careful not to package it with too much glitz and glitter…some of us really want to see dirt.
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4/10
Hmmmm, It was OK
missygoldstein3 January 2007
I agree; those endless promos made me so curious that I couldn't wait to see this thing already! I think in this day and age of video voyeurism, blackberries, cell phones, celebrity obsession...this show was inevitable.

I agree with whoever said that Cox is pretty much miscast. I think she gives it all she's got, but she's no Ari Gold and needs to be. In the red dress with the callous attitude bribing this guy to sell his soul for publicity she's obviously the embodiment of the devil.

I liked her schizophrenic paparazzi. I think he was a very interesting, but sad character.

What I think is wrong with this show is an identity crisis. What is it saying? Spying is bad? Gossip is bad? Gossip is good, inevitable? We are bad for demanding it? Society has gone bad? Is she Evil or is she just telling it like it is? I think the show has some good ideas and potential, but unless it makes some adjustments and gets a direction I think it will just be very boring. I can't even imagine where they'd go after that first episode.
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1/10
Poor Courtenay
torrentfiend5 January 2007
Poor Courtenay Cox; first big thing she does since 'Friends' & it's this ham-fisted, half-assed dreck. It'll be hard for her to put the blame on anyone but herself as she's both the star & producer... it had such promise: Carnahan wrote & directed it & I loved his brothers brilliant 'Narc'...guess it doesn't run in the family - it even had a cameo by fellow auteur David Fincher! 3.4 million viewers tuned in to see FX's 'D!rt' & I'll guarantee that those numbers will rapidly drop as the series goes on (if it doesn't indeed get cancelled). Lisa Kudrow got it right with HBO's 'The Comeback' & that got cancelled!! I guess fans of the 'Friends' cast will have to root for Matthew Perry's fantastic turn as Matt Albie on 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip' for any posthumous career pulse. Definitely not in the same league as FX's 'The Shield' or 'Rescue Me' by a long stretch.

Poor little rich girl...
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1/10
Even worse than its name
jpooch0014 January 2007
Sorry, but this show really is terrible. I'm thinking that the producers believed that putting a beautiful woman in a red dress and giving her the lead would be enough - it ain't even close, folks! Apparently, the writers don't understand the concept of originality. That or they're simply incapable of writing in something other than catch phrases & buzz words.

I suspected something when I started seeing ads about 2 1/2 months before the premier. I've noticed that this usually means they're trying to precondition people to accept a worthless program as something relevant - or even interesting. It didn't work guys.

Hint: produce something that is actually worth watching & you don't have to keep harping about how good it is, the viewers will actually come to that conclusion on their own (a strange concept to some - but true)!
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1/10
Ambiguous
nellysgirl3 January 2007
I agree with most of the comments posted. I only saw the show because of all the commercials and of course because I am a huge fan of COurtney Cox and David Arquette. I was slightly disappointed with the show though. Unlike most people, I read a lot into the pilot of a show and can typically tell what show will be canceled, or that I will never watch again. I will never watch dirt again and in fact did not even see the show to the end. I felt that the show lacked substance and was a slight rip off of Nip Tuck. I am also not a fan of nip tuck so that may have added to it. Characters and the story line should have been developed before saturating the show with SNL. I felt like at that point it wasn't really necessary for the development of any plot and felt that the producers are trying to cloud the lack of substance on the show with all the "trimmings" I don't think 'dirt' is going away this season, I might check back with it later.
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8/10
Dirt is Awesome!
angaman7915 January 2007
I love this show. I will watch any show with a Friends character. That can sometime's be disappointing, but not in this case. This is a great show...I love how Courteney Cox is playing a complete bitch. This is not Monica at all. I think the story line is great too. I imagine it's how they feel about the morons that chase them around trying to take pictures of them and make a story out of it. I can't give it a 10 because it's too soon. I have only seen the first 2 episodes, but it looks to be a great show. I must say I'm a little shocked it's on regular cable, it looks more like a movie channel show, but it's all good...I like cussing, sex, drinking, and drugs. That all just makes it more like real life. I can do without the commercials though! I have been into so many shows that get canceled I hope this one sticks around!! So if you are thinking about watching it, but haven't; well, then you need to, so I don't go to watch it one day and it's just not on anymore!
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2/10
Good premise for a show!
jreinhardt-111 January 2007
I liked the idea of this show but it's not showing me much out of Courtney. She's a bit dry on her acting. I want to see more emotion. My whole family watched the first 2 episodes & we all thought the same thing..... boring. I'd like to see more turmoil from Courtney's relationships - she's got a boss who'd like to see her fired but yet she's too emotionally detached from it. Some of the things he says would set off anyone even a man. Plus I would think she'd be a bit more ruthless in her dealings. She's a woman who's in a business that is very cut throat. The scene with Lucy showing the famous actress' husband a video of her making it with a co-star was boring. Although her husbands reaction was good. The photographer friend is the best part of this series - he's brilliant. I hope he sticks around through the whole series. I'm hoping there will be fireworks when the cheating sleazy athlete gets face to face with Lucy. On this whole I think this series has promise. I'll watch it for the photographer but not because of Courtney's character.
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10/10
Absolutely Fantastic!
RosieAngel16 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Dirt is an absolutely fantastic drama about the dark side of Hollywood. It focuses in on Lucy Spiller (Courteney Cox) the editor of Dirtnow magazine, a magazine both loved and hated by the celebrities - they hate to be found out but at the same time they need to be found out for their career.

Lucy Spiller's best friend is Don Konkey (Ian Hart) who is also the main Dirtnow photographer. A schizophrenic we often see events through his slightly tweaked point of view. Throughout the show Don has to battle with what is real and what isn't as he tries to continue to work to his optimum for Lucy.

Lucy gets her "dirt" on celebrities by telling them or concealing something to help them so that they are grateful to her. They then become her source and provide "dirt" on other celebrities. Such was the case with Holt Mclaren (Josh Stewart), a previously struggling actor who simply needed his big break. On the other hand Holt's girlfriend was Hollywood starlet Julia Mallory (Laura Allen) who then could do no wrong. Soon however Holt's life is changed dramatically as revelations are exposed and he becomes Lucy's secret insider in the world of celebrity Hollywood.

With Holt's reputation is strengthening day by day thanks to Lucy, Julia's is diminishing fast due to personal traumas she has experienced. The chemistry between Holt and Lucy also grows episode by episode as Holt begins to tire of Julia and Lucy is there able to comfort him.

Dirt is brilliantly written and although dark, is hilariously satirical. There are many (literally) explosive story lines and each episode keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole way through. The acting is absolutely outstanding, and Cox's previous alter-ego "Monica" of "Friends" is quickly forgotten thanks to Cox's wonderfully dark and convincing performance. Ian Hart and Josh Stewart also act out of their skin and brilliantly support the show and all actors have wonderful chemistry together making this show very convincing and realistic.

A must-watch show for everyone! It is unique in its ideas and will have you hooked!
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5/10
a disappointment
F/X's new show looked promising enough:

(1) There's Courteney Cox playing against type. (2) A scathing review of the entertainment industry. (3) Enticing sexual situations. (4) Violence! (5) Scandal!

Unfortunately, "Dirt" feels far more like the "E! True Hollywood Story" it might have been attempting to mock. Cox, the sweetheart most know solely from "Friends", plays a character that runs two successful magazines. There's one with the tabloid edge and one that holds some journalistic integrity. She's a powerful, bitchy, easily angered character with only one "true" friend who happens to be a functional schizophrenic. That particular character definitely makes up for much of what lacks about "Dirt". His mind blurs for him the line between reality and fantasy, as does the entertainment industry, which seems to be what the show is going for. It just misses its mark by giving us too many uninteresting characters, obviously based on present-day celebrities, swirling around in a show that seems as fake as they are. Sure, "Dirt" has a sharp tongue and an edgy wit. Sure, underneath all of that glossy, coolness aesthetic an interesting show awaits us, but very little of what's come from the first few episodes propels this viewer forward.
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6/10
Dirt puts the mess in 'messy'.
Elizabeth19 April 2008
Courtney Cox's role encouraged me to view this series as a fan of hers. She was beautiful and played her role well. She has to be the most deceitful person in her business as well, she must result to a state where anyone could be a story and she would trust no one. At the same time she is feared because of the 'Dirt' she can get on others, she is the one in control. Cox nails that role. This series focuses on the lives of celebrities and their erotic nature. The thing is every scene is followed by another voluptuous scenes and occasional outlandish moments which would tend to make some viewers turn away from the television screen to escape such eccentric scenes. Cox's character brings forward duplicity of an amusing nature,impersonality and reprisal and is the stronghold of the magazine, but in all she has no one real person in her life, except her unstable photographer, hence the dismal parts of the series emerges. This series relates to actual events, and the extent a journalist would go through to get a story. It is directed to a specific cohort and can be very depressing and misleading at the same time.
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10/10
Again, a great show that got canceled...
orange_bicycle4 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I love this show. It is so rare to see leading women who are funny, genius, ball busting and gorgeous. Courtney Cox and this amazing ensemble cast have created one of the smartest satires of contemporary Hollywood and Journalism/Media culture. Cox, who has probably experienced the worst sides of tabloid journalism, still plays her role with such intelligence. All while you think Lucy is Satan herself...it is still impossible to hate or revile her. Truth is her God. And who can fault that level of honesty-her most consistent trait? Only those that are true pariahs. Lucy Spiller best line ever, "I'll sleep when they put a stake in me." This show got panned by the critics-I think they weren't patient enough and maybe had trouble seeing Cox play someone so diabolical. I'm glad to see it has a high IMDb rating. It runs a long the vein of Jay Mohr in "Action". Which is also a favorite. Courtney and casting directors if you ever read this crap, please do something like this again. I could never watch that steaming pile called "Friends". But take your chops to the big screen. Lucy Spiller (Cox) should not be wasted on TV sensibilities.
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8/10
Ennnh, the jury is still out
rd110210 January 2007
Don't get me wrong, the acting is good. Courtney Cox and Ian Hart are especially good. Hart is outstanding as a functional schizophrenic. He owns the screen whenever he is on. The problem with this series is that it makes you feel even worse than if you subscribed to every tabloid on the planet, and worse yet, believed every word. (Yes some people actually do believe everything that they read. Hi, Ellen!) The writing is good, and like the tabloids, it's of a sensational nature. Most of the characters are bottom feeders, and it's difficult to like them or have any sympathy for them. I did manage some sympathy for the young actor that was blackmailed into turning informant for the editor from hell. This series is seen almost entirely from the point of view of actors who want to eat the hand that feeds them. They need each other; they want and need publicity, but they want to control the publicity. When I first got a parrot, I was told to never pay it more attention than I was prepared to keep on giving it. That turned out to be really good advise for a lot of situations. Actors should avoid any more publicity than they want to have. If you put yourself in the public eye, you will have a certain level of intrusiveness, but if you don't go out of your way to seek it, and aren't out on the town every night, you probably won't suffer that much. Not everybody is Jackie O or Princess Diana, (who famously manipulated the press) and most won't and don't suffer that much intrusive pappi behavior. For the life of me I can't understand anyone wanting to know about Jennifer Anniston, but since she uses the press and then bitterly complains about it, I assume that is why Cox wanted to lend her talents to this series. I, for one, would be happy never to be assailed by yet another picture of the first American martyr when I pass the magazine kiosks. Since that isn't likely to happen, I will sometimes take vicious delight in watching this show! This probably isn't one that most people will want to watch every week unless they really enjoy people behaving badly. In general I don't have much sympathy for people who want a lot of publicity, and then bitch and moan about what they have willingly sought in the past. I also have not much sympathy for the magazine people. Approach this series with caution. It is probably best as an occasional "treat".
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8/10
"DIRT"-Y Rotten Scoundrels...And Not Just The Ones In Front Of The Cameras...
Christopher T. Chase3 January 2007
If you have so much as sneaked a glance at the cover of the "Star" or the "Enquirer", you probably really want to see DIRT, but would never dare admit it to your friends and/or neighbors. And though it's really too early to judge it from the pilot, DIRT is simply following the tradition of all those potboilers that came before it about the wickedness that pervades big, bad Hollyweird. Except since this is on FX and not the other networks, the sleaze can be just a tad sleazier than on other shows. And boy, do they take advantage of the opportunity! As co-Executive Producer and star of the show, Courteney Cox-Arquette wants to make sure that you smell the vengeance wafting off of this show. She "loves the smell of payback in the morning." And it kind of smells like...cherry lip-gloss...

Having been a friend of the friends who were on "Friends", as well as one herself, she knows what it feels like to have every move, every sneeze picked apart in public by the tabloid media, and she takes this time to "thank" them with a show that's about as subtle as a dozen eggs dropped off the top of Mount Fuji.

As Lucy Spiller (good, nuanced name, no?), the editor-in-chief of weekly trash wallows "DRRT!" and "NOW!" (so that the Star and People Magazine can't sue, I guess), she will stop at nothing to get the lowest of the lowdown stories on who's screwing and who's getting screwed in Tinseltown, both literally and figuratively. Of course, being a type-A go-getter, Lucy has no friends and more enemies than Alexis Carrington and Joan Crawford combined.

Well, maybe one friend: mentally unstable schizoid paparazzi Don Conkey (Ian Hart, brilliantly underplaying a role that could've been ridiculously over-the-top), who is kind of Lucy's lap-dog with a zoom lens...if she gets dirty at all the best parties and premieres, Don gets downright filthy (literally) as he catches the day's favorite marks in the act of...well, anything and everything. Drug use, unplanned pregnancies, kinky sexual infidelities, you name it, Don will shoot it and bring it back to you. Oh, and he'll also provide a little help making it happen.

A lot has been said about how there seems to be no redeeming characters on this show, but I think those people forgot what they were watching. This is SUPPOSED to be the kind of show where if you harbor any illusions about "making it big in Hollywood", it functions as a sledgehammer-driven morality tale that will allegedly make you think twice.

So have human beings REALLY sunk this low? Is this what passes for glamour, for beauty, for culture in the world these days? Well, if the way the tabloids at my local drug store sell out each week is any indication, I would have to say unfortunately - YES.

And that's also why I predict here and now, that DIRT may not last longer than a couple of seasons, but it knows that only the good, well-intentioned dramas about people-who-need-people are the ones that die young. So it should be sticking around for a while.

And what would I recommend it for? I'd say flawless camera-work and production design, great performances from Cox-Arquette, who attacks Lucy with venomous gusto, and Hart, who plays probably the only truly sympathetic character the show has, even though he does things that are at least as despicable as Lucy, if not moreso.

Let's see if they can get beyond the Lindsay Lohan/Paris Hilton/Jared Leto/Kobe Bryant stereotypes as the episodes progress, and give us something we haven't seen before.
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A fantastic Ian Hart and lean mean Courtney Cox almost makes the sleazy "Dirt" worth watching
liquidcelluloid-110 May 2008
Network: FX; Genre: Drama; Content Rating: TV-MA (for strong language, simulated sex, drug use and violence); Available: DVD; Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4);

Seasons Reviewed: 2 seasons

Lucy Spiller (Courteney Cox-Arquette) is the ruthless producer of the salacious tabloid DirtNow Magazine who uses her schizophrenic best-friend photographer Don Konkey (an absolutely phenomenal Ian Hart) and fresh-faced, wide-eyed freshman reporter just waiting to be ruined by the industry Willa (Alexandra Breckenridge) to sneak into the lives of Hollywood's rich and famous to get the story. One of those celebrities is Holt McLaren (Josh Stewart) who like many of the celebrities makes a deal with Lucy to be her source if certain information is kept under wraps.

The latest and best series produced by the Arquettes (it's a hell of a lot better than "Daisy Does America") and created by Matthew Carnahan ("Fastlane"), "Dirt" is TV's first attempt at taking a bite out of the paparazzi - and I can't think of a target more full of potential and deserving of satire. Despite this, "Dirt" falters under the kind of shallow sleaze, manipulation and sensationalism that it should be satirizing.

For the show's many faults, the last thing going wrong here are the performances. The show gives us the opportunity to see a leaner, meaner Courteney Cox and frankly I'd rather watch Lucy Spiller over Monica Geller any day. This is what Cox does best and it is a blast watching her slink through this role like a Siamese cat. But it gets better. Ian Hart's performance, as a the schizophrenic Don who will do anything (even sacrifice his own fingers) to get the shot for Lucy, is one of those performances that makes the entire show worth watching. Just to see him. It's a one-of-a-kind character, the sympathetic paparazzo, whose schizophrenia opens up the show to some surreal visual moments involving talking cats, talking corpses and a showdown between two Dons. This is Emmy worthy stuff and the relationship between Don and Lucy is kind of sweet.

Maybe Carnahan and the Arquettes are to angry at the paparazzi and it's clouding the teleplays. "Dirt" is an nasty, unpleasant show that many times, despite such fine performances form the leads, is a hard hour to get through. It's ugly/sleazy like "Nip/Tuck" seasons 4 and 5, not fun/sleazy like "Nip/Tuck" seasons 1 and 2. If you know what I mean.

What really grinds my gears about the show is the "ripped from the headlines" vibe it pushes on us in which it takes actual celebrities and scandals and simply re-creating the events. The would-be satire is as transparent and amateurishly thrown together as anything I've ever seen. "Dirt" characters stand in for Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. Remember when Britney locked her kids in the car? Remember when David Hasselhof got drunk and ate steak off the floor? And remember about 5 years ago when Madonna and Britney Spears lip-locked at the VMAs? Yeah, real timely "Dirt". So in addition to being years after "South Park" has covered the respective celebrity ground, "Dirt" add no next-level insight. In the hands of someone else, someone like Ryan Murphy, "Dirt" could have made one wild & crazy dark comedy. "Nip/Tuck" at it's worst is still a challenge.

The show can't quite achieve the ambitious feat it is trying to pull off. And there in lies my love/hate for it. It goes for the celebrity culture jugular, but does so in such a shallow way that it can't quite articulate it's point and falls flat time and again. It tries to take us into the world of the paparazzi, showing us just how sleazy they are but is unable to keep from rising up from that sleaze itself to get to that necessary pedestal where it can look down upon it condescendingly. Which is what we need.

The characters do what they are supposed to do, no they are not likable and they aren't supposed to be - but you've still got to give me some reason to stick with them. This anti-hero stuff is right up FXs ally which makes it all the more disappointing (and a little perplexing) to watch "Dirt" break the network's roll of high quality output.

* * / 4
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