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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Let’s Get DIRTy
Friday, January 05, 2007

On Tuesday night I found myself eagerly anticipating the ten o’clock hour so I could check out the debut of Courteney Cox’s latest project, Dirt. From what I gathered from the non-stop ads Dirt would kinda-sorta be about what I do for a living. Throw in a still smokin hot Courteney Cox and I was there. At the very least I wanted to see how much of it rang true in terms of what I’ve seen as a celebrity journalist over the years. So, how authentic was Dirt?

For starters, I would like all my readers to know that Dirt is not exactly a representation of what I do. Dirt is about tabloid journalism, what I do is celebrity journalism. I’m not out invading people’s personal lives and hiding under bushes with hidden microphones, I do professional sit-downs with actors and musicians, a distinction I’ve felt the need to explain to a few people who’ve asked me “is that really what you do?” I have, however, seen some things go down in my day that are similar to some of the events from episode one of Dirt.

During the show a struggling actor is seen with his not-so-struggling girlfriend. He’s told, on the low, that if he can provide some good dirt on someone famous for the tabloid that they’d give him a glowing feature in their sister magazine, a classier entertainment mag. While I haven’t seen this from the “dirt” angle I have seen it from the PR angle and the first thing I thought when I was watching that scene was “well DUH!” PR firms will constantly, and rightly so, offer up a smaller name actor or musician to a magazine they haven’t worked with before with the understanding that a feature for that person will lead to interviews with their bigger clients, so it only makes sense that the tabloids would have a similar system in place.

Now, I have never had an editor quite like Lucy Spiller (great name, by the way). No doubt we’ve all dealt with our share of hardasses, but Lucy is a special breed, almost an editorial version of Ari Gold with some estrogen thrown in. I completely dug her thought process at the start of the show as her eyes scanned the party and created headlines from even the smallest of personal movements she saw. A guy slowly turns his head around to look at the guy walking by and suddenly the headline reads he’s gay. Great stuff, as was her response to the man who ventured that half the crowd would want to poison her drink. She capped off her short reply to him saying “as much as you may hate me, you need me.” Chutzpah to the Nth power. Say what you want about her style, but I’d love to develop that kind of ego myself (and I’d love to have a reason to have that kind of ego, as well).

Lucy Spiller’s style also involved a very fun firing that I could completely see Ari doing. Two of her underlings were talking back and forth to each other on their Treos thinking only they could read what they were typing. Lucy, with her Treo set up on a projector, then typed out a message noting that you shouldn’t text anything on a Treo that you don’t want everyone to see and promptly announced the person who had typed out that she was a bitch was fired and should have their desk cleaned out in five minutes. Pure Ari Gold. Lucy is a little different from Ari in a few ways, however. The character is open to being hurt in the non-business sense, something that Ari isn’t. Ari is pretty much invincible when it comes to humanity with the lone exception of his wife. Lucy seems to be a little more vulnerable. Whether it’s going back to apologize to the guy she shocked with her stun gun (yeah, you read it right), or crying with her photographer when his cat dies, she takes some emotional hits. Part of me doesn’t like this, because Ari Gold is a god, but part of me digs that while she doesn’t have a heart of gold by any means she does have a completely divergent emotional side that would kill her if she let it interfere with her work.

Overall I dug episode one and will watch next week. Heck, with the cancellation of The O.C. I need a new show to add to my short list of ones I actually watch. Dirt is most definitely a nominee to fill that hour.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:05 AM  
  • At 3:09 PM, Anonymous BFF said…

    I was thinking the same thing more or less. I was like, "Joy, another show fabricated within magazine journalism," but it ain't what we do.

    Courtney Cox does look good in the show though.

  • At 9:16 AM, Blogger Ekko said…

    Dirt was just too depressing. They need to inject some humor into it. Plus, Dirt is to celeb journalism what The Practice/Murder One/etc. are to being a defense attorney. It makes it look like everyone who is in the field knows that they are dirty (guilt by association with their work with criminals/smut) and are tortured by it. Truth is, most defense attorneys recognize the importance of defending even the guiltiest of people and most journalists recognize that celebrities take themselves too seriously and are news. There's no reason to feel guilty for being in either field. It's such a Hollywood simplistic way to look at these careers. I hope the show gets deeper, or I'll be dropping it.

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