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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Can Jennifer Aniston Save BFF Courteney Cox's Dirt?

27

March

Dirthighlightsshot Call it the biggest Hail Mary of this year's TV season.

Drowning in bad reviews and lackluster ratings (even though some critics were boneheaded enough to like the first few episodes), Courteney Cox's new drama about a hard-charging celebrity tabloid editor, Dirt, has been on most critics' life support lists for months.

So, to save her baby, Cox called on the biggest gun in her arsenal -- gal pal and former Friend JenniferCoxaniston Aniston, who appears as a rival editor an ex-grilfriend (yeah, THAT kind of girlfriend). The show's finale presents the most naked grab for eyeballs I've seen in a while, with a highly promoted scene featuring Cox and Aniston smooching.

Down boys -- if only it were worth all the excitement. Perhaps as a metaphor for the confused state of the series, FX announced plans to send review copies of the episode, which airs tonight, to critics on Saturday. Mine arrived at my house yesterday, which means I was at work and couldn't watch it until last night.

Just as well. Turns out the Aniston/Cox smooch is just a friendly smack held a little too long -- extended even more with the help of generous slo-mo editing -- under-delivering on both the titillation and the story.

Cox_dirt Dirt's biggest problem is one that has faced a heap of new series this season: Creating a character that is dark, complex and attractive to viewers is a lot harder than it looks.

Cox's hard driving editor Lucy Spiller is a perfect example. She's supposed to be a hardass who shows a softer side in dealing with her schizophrenic best friend, the magazine's ace paparazzo. But instead she comes across as a raving, egomaniacal bully who prints a brutal story about her brother's gay lover and lets her best friend cut his own pinkie off to get a photograph.Coxkonke

I could detail all the crazy stuff that goes down in tonight's season finale -- the way Aniston's sweet-as-pie backstabber of a character constantly upstages Cox in every scene; the way scenes with Spiller's paparazzo struggling with his mental illness feel airlifted in from another series; the queasy editing of a final, knife wielding fight between Cox's character and a celebrity who has had too much; the continuing sense that, as all the messy plot twists unfold, you are increasingly trapped in a star's misguided indulgence.

But that would be like kicking a celebrity while she's in rehab. Let's just say that you'll have more fun reading this mini review than you'll likely have watching the admirable train wreck that Dirt has become.

Check it for yourself (click here if embed doesn't work):

The Beginning of the End for The Sopranos: Starting Tomorrow

Tony_sopranoThe PR push for the end of HBO's landmark Mob series has already begun, thanks to a compelling Vanity Fair profile and the pay cable giant's expert publicity machine.

My extensive tribute to the best series on TV runs in Sunday's Floridian. But to whet your whistle, i'm going to post a mini-review of the first two episodes of the show's nine-episode finalSoprano run. that posting goes up tomorrw -- the earliest time HBO would agree to having material from the new episodes disseminated.

So tune in tomorrow, same Bat Time... 

   

 

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:38pm]

    

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