Review: Dirt 1×01


In the US: Tuesdays, 10pm ET/PT, FX

In the UK: Not yet acquired.

Courtney Cox has been lurking in a cocoon somewhere since Friends ended. She’s probably been doing something: a movie, some producing, maybe opening a restaurant. But this is her first TV series since everyone’s favourite perpetually re-run sitcom stopped making new episodes.

Dirt, which she exec-produces with her hubby David Arquette, could be construed as a slightly bitter show in which Cox gets her own back on those evil gossip mongers, the tabloids. In it, Cox plays the editor of two tabloids, one nasty, one nice. Together with her team of muck gatherers and a schizophrenic paparazzi, she dishes the dirt on the stars – to bad effect.

As an insight into how a tabloid’s run, it’s not great. You’re not really going to learn how a tabloid really works from Dirt. Cox delivers explanatory lines to reporters who would never have got in through the front door if they needed telling basics like “get some facts or else we’ll get sued.”

It’s more accurate in how how the tabloids interact with stars, however, something Cox can surely bring real-world experience to. Rather than just being a simple “tabloid journalists are evil exploiters of innocent stars”, Dirt does show the symbiosis between stars and tabloids and how they need each other.

All the same, the show does fall back on tiresome clich?ɬ�s: Cox “has never known love” which is why she can print the things she does; gossip about people’s private lives causes terrible things to happen that never happen in real life; Cox treats sources abominably, despite her complete reliance on them.

Cox is dull – you wish for a Kelvin MacKenzie or even a Paul Dacre, but get Rebekah Wade instead.

Equally, there aren’t really many characters to draw you in. Cox is dull – you wish for a Kelvin MacKenzie or even a Paul Dacre, but get Rebekah Wade instead. The schizophrenic paparazzi is great and could have warranted a series of his own, but doesn’t really give you much understanding of the life of a paparazzi: do they all hallucinate snakes? No. Hear voices in their heads? No. There are no junior reporters or section editors you can remember after the show has finished, either, and who knows which of the extremely dull, self-involved “stars” are going to be back for the rest of the series.

We are, supposedly, though, going to be treated to various cameos by Courtney and David’s pals. David Fincher did a rather good job with his brief appearance, but if that’s the biggest celeb they can get, Dirt probably won’t be Entourage in the long-run.

So Dirt doesn’t appear to be anything that’s really new, doesn’t have anything of real interest to draw you in and is actually a bit tedious. I’ll stick with it, just to let you know if it gets better.

Here’s a YouTube trailer.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.