The drama is trying
something new this season.
By RICK BENTLEY
FRESNO (CALIF.) BEE
A tabloid headline about the second season of the FX Network series “Dirt” might read: “TV series steals ideas.” While that is a harsh way to put it, it is not that far off the mark.
“Dirt” (10 p.m. Sunday) features Courteney Cox as Lucy Spiller, the rampaging editor of a tabloid magazine. The first season focused on completely fictional stories of the rich and loony. Cox says this year’s scripts are being ripped from actual headlines.
In other words, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton had better watch out. But the cable series’scripts won’t be exact mirrors of the weird lives of celebrities.
“We usually do a hybrid of celebrities, and then add to the story like maybe what happened to cause this to happen to them or sum it up in a different way just for fun,” Cox says. “In almost every episode you’ll see something that you will recognize, and that’s kind of, hopefully, the fun of it. That you’ll be able to guess who this person we might be talking about, even though it’s not really about them.”
For example, an early story line will feature a feud between a celebrity (played by Tom Arnold) and his daughter. As did Alec Baldwin, the character leaves abusive telephone messages for the girl, and he has a drunken collapse caught on video reminiscent of David Hasselhoff’s.
Cox says this move toward scripts inspired by reality will make for a more “exciting and relatable show.”
A headline for a tabloid story might then suggest: “Cox scrambles to save series.” Such wholesale changes usually are reserved for programs that are having creative troubles.
Cox denies that’s the case. She just wants the show to connect better with the audience.
Cox herself has gotten the attention of a few tabloids over the years. She has evolved from being completely annoyed by the tabloids to understanding what they do.
A tabloid headline might suggest: “‘Dirt’ star gets in bed with her enemy.”
“I would say that playing this character and working on this show has definitely shown me how hard it is and how competitive it is. It’s just really hard to run a successful magazine. I get that. And I’ve gotten just how many paparazzi there are out there and how hard it is to get the exclusive picture,” Cox says. “So yes, I guess I’ve learned.”
There is a “but.”
“It doesn’t mean that I agree with it all. I definitely don’t agree with the obsession on certain celebrities. I understand the fascination. But when it gets obsessive I think it gets dangerous. So I haven’t changed my view, but definitely I’ve learned all sides of it, for sure.”