Lionsgate // 2008 // 286 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // May 11th, 2010
Courtney Cox plays Perez Hilton.
Before Courtney Cox landed in her hit situation comedy Cougar Town she produced an over-the-top look at tabloid reporting called Dirt which ran on the F/X cable channel. Season One was a darkly disturbing serial drama with one big plot that arched over thirteen shows and ended with a pretty nice cliffhanger. Season Two only lasted seven episodes thanks to the writer strike of 2008 and subpar ratings. They had tweaked the show a bit as well, and it became more self-contained, progressing episode by episode rather than in one long dramatic arc. We'll never know where Dirt would have ended, ultimately, but it sure had fun poking a satiric jab at the relationship between celebs and tabloid reporters.
Dirt looks as good as Courtney Cox does, a slick well photographed journey through Los Angeles clubs and glittering star locations. Courtney plays Lucy Spiller, an editor of a gossip rag who was actually stabbed and left for dead at the end of the first year. Quickly in this second season she is back on her feet with her trusty photographer (Ian Hart) by her side. In the first year he was schizo, but it seems his meds have kicked in during this second run. But this year seems less about their crazy antics and more about the crazy stars who run free in Hollywood. The show really is trashy and flashy fun without much redeeming quality. But does a show about tabloid reporters need to seek redemption? Probably not. It takes gleeful pride in aping real celebrity scandals ripped from the likes of Alec Baldwin, David Hasselhoff, Britney Spears, and Paris Hilton. Each episode draws inspiration from the subtle antics of Lindsay Lohan, and it seems like Courtney Cox is letting Hollywood have it this time around. The first year it was the tabloid reporters who were scary and unstable, but this time it's the Hollywood stars they chase that seem the most unbalanced.
Dirt: The Complete Second Season is a two-disc affair which offers us only seven episodes without any embellishment. The transfers look just fine with nice color saturation and no digital artifacts. Dirt is great visually, and well it should be since that is the primary charm of the show. The sound offers an option to go full surround or stereo, and both are serviceable yet a touch thin. We get no extras at all this time out, and it seems the whole package gets short shrift in every department. Even the packaging is not as nice as what the first year came in, so everything about the release feels a bit lower in quality.
The second year of Dirt isn't as darkly compelling as the first, but it still entertains with its parodies of celebrity antics. Courtney Cox might have lost all her Hollywood "friends" if the show had kept running. It's nice to see Hollywood have a sense of humor about itself, so you can't really begrudge the show for hitting a bit below the belt. Dirt seemed to idle and stall this second year, but here's the last of it for fans who need a final fix.
Guilty of flinging mud at "friends."
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 286 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated