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'Dirt' Bombs, Despite Having All the Right Pieces

Despite the firestorm of hype over the new FX drama Dirt, the show could use some spiffing up. The show, which stars Courteney Cox Arquette and is executive-produced by her husband, David Arquette, demonstrates how the sum of many great parts can still add up to not-so-great TV.

Dirt is a disaster for many reasons -- among them the fact that Cox Arquette is completely miscast as Lucy Spiller, the manipulative editor of a pair of celebrity tabloids. The show squanders a great opportunity to be the dark satire it should have been, offering instead flat writing and an inconsistent tone.

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Andrew Wallenstein
Andrew Wallenstein is the television critic for NPR's Day to Day. He is also an editor at The Hollywood Reporter, where he covers television and digital media out of Los Angeles. Wallenstein is also the co-host of the weekly TV Guide Channel series Square Off. His essay on Holocaust films was published in Best Jewish Writing 2003 (Jossey-Bass), and he has also written for The New York Times, The Boston Globe and Business Week. He has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.