09 July, 2007

Preview: "Dirt"

This new drama about a gossip magazine and its editor did well enough to earn a second season. It isn't exactly a must-see but it's worth checking out.

They have made some brave choices in terms of structure and characters which alienated me a little. For instance the editor, Lucy, played by Courtney Cox, is established as a bitch early on in an obvious way (someone calls her a bitch and she sacks her) with only her loneliness and insecurity to make us feel empathy for her. Her star photographer, Don, played by our own Ian Hart is a functioning schizophrenic and when he forgets his medication then we see his visions.

Another difficulty for me was the point of view in that we follow the celebrities' lives as they deal with the repercussions of Dirt's attention. It's unusual but it sort of works once you realise those celebrities are going to be part of the regular ensemble cast.

There is a spectacular event at the end of episode as a result of a character hearing bad news but I didn't quite believe it and I nearly gave up on it then.

Episode 2 addresses the main concern of the pilot with Lucy's job under threat from the publisher. It makes us more sympathetic towards her and creates some conflict and jeopardy and an ongoing storyline. It's a pity it's so unlikely. The magazine is successful and she is obviously a brilliant editor. You'll note that she is editing two magazines at the same time which is also unlikely and I couldn't think of the story reason. It was for the drama and conflict for when she decides to merge them. The contrivances could be better disguised.

The end of episode 2 is also spectacular in a different way but it was totally believable and I watched it again and again.

It's undemanding and the writing is average but it's entertaining enough and worth giving it a go. The pilot is weak but it does get much better from episode 3.

Five US,
Mondays, 9:00pm

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