Third-episode verdict: Dirt


Too soon for The Carusometer on this one, I’m afraid, since FX’s own network chief says the show doesn’t get good until episode five. Nevertheless, it’s worth at least touching base on the eps so far.

It’s hard to know exactly what the show’s message is. Is it trying to show us what life is like working on a tabloid? Sorry, but it’s failing, although at least it shows just how cut-throat it can be. But (spoilers ahead) an editor going ahead with a story that accuses someone of murder, without calling in the lawyers when she only has one source and no physical evidence? I don’t think so. Then we have a planned merger between two newstand top-tier titles and there’s not so much as a focus group? No dummies? Again, unlikely.

And the editor – how shall I put this – wazzing herself off at night to one of her own magazine’s layouts because she’s so frustrated and lonely? Clearly, Courtney Cox does not have a high opinion of tabloid editors. I’m surprised she doesn’t have her character slaughtering goats before a giant effigy of Beelzebub.

Is it trying to show us what stars’ lives are like? If so, they’re all drugged up to the gills, nuts, and/or murderers who deserve to be investigated by tabloids.

Is it pure entertainment then? Could be, but it might as well have been set on the mythical island of Wim-Wagel for all its relevance. It’s dark, the schizophrenic photographer is entertaining and could probably have his own show, but I’m still not sure what the point of it all is. Will see if that all changes by episode five.


  • 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.