“ Genre: Television - Dirt / Theatrical Release: 2007 / Suitable for 18 years and over / Actors: Courteney Cox, Ian Hart, Timothy Bottoms, Jennifer Aniston, Carly Pope ... / DVD released 2008-05-05 at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainm / Features of the DVD: PAL „
Dirt is an American TV series with follows ruthless Editor in Chief of Hollywood's biggest gossip mag, Lucy Spiller and the lengths she will go to in order to get her next big cover story. This first season was aired in January 2007 and I had never heard of it until a friend lent me the box set after my despair as Dexter and Breaking Bad came to an end.
Don't get too excited though Dexter/ BB fans, Dirt isn't even close. I guess it's aiming to appeal to fans of the likes of Ugly Betty and Dirty Sexy Money. It is essentially trying to be 'Ugly Betty', but based in the world of gossip rather than fashion. Unfortunately, lacking any of the charm, humour or quirkiness.
The star of the show is Courtney Cox as Lucy Spiller, the glamorous, clichéd bitchy business woman, and Editor in Chief of 'Drrt' magazine. With plummeting sales, and pressure from the magazine's owners she is constantly on the look out for the next big Hollywood scandal to put on the next cover to boost sales and save her job. Cox puts in a good performance and does as much she could with this somewhat dull character. With any TV series or film, it's so important for you to care what happens to the central character and Lucy Spiller just didn't win me over, so if she did lose her job I couldn't have cared less.
The other main character worthy of noting is Drrt's principal pap and close friend of Lucy, Don Konkey, played by Ian Hart. He is schizophrenic and often has trouble telling the real world from the imaginary, which leads to some interesting sequences as the viewer gets to look through the eyes of Don and the bizarre world he lives in. The relationship between Don and Lucy is one of the best parts to Dirt and shows us a brief look at the softer side of Miss Spiller, which if explored further could have made her a far better character.
There are several other recurring characters such as tabloid favourites Holt McLaren (Josh Stewart) and Julia Mallory (Laura Allen), the Hollywood on/off couple who gift the paps with scandal after scandal. Sleazy Drrt publisher Brent Barrow played by Jeffery Nordling, is a half hearted attempt at a contrast to Spiller, being the voice of reason to some of her wild ideas and predictably getting walked over at every turn. Willa McPherson (Alex Breckenridge) is a Drrt reporter and aspiring Lucy Spiller, weak and mousy at the beginning and tough, sexy hard hitting reporter by the end. Yawn.
A cameo by the ever annoying Jennifer Anniston, my be a highlight for those die hard Friends fans that only were watching it for Courtney Cox anyway, for any one else it's once again Jennifer Anniston doing the same as she does in everything.
Each week the story is focussed around getting the scoop for the next cover and all the celeb chasing, deal making and back biting that goes with it. Running under this is the continuous stories of what's going on in each character's life and the scandal in and out of the Drrt offices.
It's very hard to give any spoilers to this series as it's simply not 'edge of your seat' enough to spoil. The revelations of who's paid off who, who's sleeping with who and who's is or isn't in rehab doesn't make me fall off my sofa is disbelief a la Breaking Bad but simply sniff and wonder how were are really only half way through the episode.
"Special" DVD features.
The usual stuff really - Interviews, behind the scenes, out takes and character profiles to watch if you still care by the end.
Overall, as you might of guessed, I didn't like it. Having said that, maybe it's just not my taste. If Holt and Julia really were celebrities I probably wouldn't care any more but if you have to know what Kim Kardashian had for breakfast or who Jude Law was last spotted holding hands with then this might well be for you. It is, probably a glitzed but but otherwise accurate insight into this kind of journalism and the lengths reporters go to for their next scoop. Though 6 years on from when Dirt was made, now it would probably just show Lucy and friends trawling through Twitter for their next story.
Dirt is a show that managed to garner a fair amount of fame in 2007 for a scene in which former Friends co-stars Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox shared a kiss. This is by no means a great show, but it does live up to its title, although it was cancelled in 2008 after its second season concluded. Nevertheless, it did show that Courtney Cox has ability outside of her Friends role, and can survive on her own.
Cox plays Lucy Spiller, the Editor-in-Chief of DirtNow, a new glossy magazine that is an amalgam of two previous magazines (one up-scale, one gutter press) that are now awkwardly combined into one big mag. She has several writers and such to help her, including most prominently the freelance photographer Don Konkey, who also happens to be a schizophrenic, as every sitcom these days seems to need to have some sort of quirky character.
It's an odd show ultimately, though, because of its structure; it has some solid building blocks, chiefly thanks to Cox's performance in the lead role, but there's undeniably a missing element and that's order. Shows can be schizophrenic and perhaps that's all too apt for a show that's got a schizoid character, but the plot and direction is often at times too frenetic; it feels as though the writers want to cram too much in and don't have enough time to tell it. The show may not have been cancelled had it slowed down a bit and comfortably told its story to viewers instead of fleeting around a relentless and almost uncomfortable pace. It's nevertheless off-setting, and makes the viewer feel as though they can't fully get into things. Nevertheless, Cox's performance is solid, and the production values otherwise are rather good.