Enter the secret and salacious world of show business through the back door. Lucy Spiller (Courteney Cox) makes the headlines as the woman Hollywood loves to hate in the darkly comedic drama Dirt. As editor-in-chief of Tinseltown’s most influential magazines, Spiller can make or break the stars. Her obsession with the seamy side of the entertainment industry gives her power over every celebrity in the biz, but leaves her helpless against her own demons. It’s "delirious, dizzy, decadent and altogether delicious," raves The Miami Herald. Dig deep with Dirt: The Complete First Season. Experience every sumptuous episode, plus exciting bonus features you can’t see anywhere else, in this 4-disc box set. It’s tempting television at its best.
Hot-wired into the tabloid zeitgeist, Dirt
is good, lurid fun. Courteney Cox, in a bold departure from Monica on Friends
, stars as Lucy Spiller, editor of Dirt
magazine. Relentless, high-strung Lucy is part Ben Bradlee and part Bonnie Fuller. She's a stickler for journalistic integrity with a basic instinct for the scandalous "get." "There's actual reporting in what we do," she rallies her reporters. "The only defense we have is the truth." Lucy is saddled with a clichéd personal life (abandonment issues, intimacy issues, blah, blah, blah). She is way more fun to watch at work when she's blackmailing celebs to deliver scoops by threatening to reveal their sexual peccadilloes, stun-gunning one-night-stands, or betraying a loved one to score an exclusive, career-wrecking cover story. Her go-to photographer and best friend is Don Konkey (Ian Hart, an uncanny John Lennon in Backbeat
and The Hours and Times
) a functioning schizophrenic prone to hallucinations, but who will do anything for Lucy, even sever his own finger to gain admittance to a hospital where an unblemished Christian pop star is being mysteriously kept under wraps. Konkey is the voice and heart of Dirt
. His introductory episode recaps are a highlight ("No offense, but you should be up on this by now," he states in episode 7). Waiting in the wings on Lucy's staff is Willa (Alex Breckenridge), young, green, and hungry. She becomes a much more provocative presence as she joins the dark side as the season progresses.
Dirt could use sharper writing, but it's savvy enough when it comes to parsing Hollywood-speak. A celebrity's so-called "exhaustion" is translated by Lucy to mean "rehab or a psychotic break." Dirt drops A-list names (Clooney, Britney), but for a series set in Hollywood, it's light on actual celebrities (director David Fincher and a self-deprecating Christopher Knight and Adrienne Curry appear as themselves). Instead, we get unconvincing fictional celebrities such as wash-out actor Holt McLaren (Josh Stewart), who gets his shot at superstardom by making the same kind of pact with Lucy that John Cassavetes made with the coven in Rosemary's Baby. Just one scoop begins a downward spiral for his sitcom-actress girlfriend (Laura Allen) and her best friend, an actress with an ill-timed pregnancy (Shannyn Sossamon). Also getting down and dirty are Rick Fox as a compromised basketball superstar, Wayne Brady as a cultured thug, and, in the season finale, Jennifer Aniston as Lucy's rival (and then some, although their much-hyped onscreen kiss is really much ado about nothing). An FX series, Dirt shovels on the network's envelope-pushing profane language and graphic sex scenes. It should clean up on DVD. --Donald Liebenson