Second Run: TV: Dirt and Beast

Long time, no post.  Life, work and trying to live up to my bucket list has put a size-9, steel-toed dent into this blog.

I have been watching a lot of TV though.

Dirt
Just finished watching the short-lived (season and a half) of Courtney Cox’s juggernaut of a show- Dirt. The show is about a Hollywood tabloid magazine run by Cox with her schizoid paparazzi friend (Ian Hart) providing numerous photo scoops. I think the show was great in the first season, though somewhat watered down (but still fun) in the second.

I don’t know why the show was so compelling because I always thought of the whole tabloid world as sleazy, to say the least.  As a neo newspaper columnist myself, I found the show both entertaining and terrifying.

It’s also, not surprisingly, pretty allegorical too, so it was fun to spot real events fictionalised- like the Madonna/Spears MTV brouhaha.

Another great aspect of the show was the positive portrayal of a person with mental illness who’s still able to function and excel.  The characterisation is funny and poignant, while at the same time not glamourising the condition. Excellent Liverpudlian thesp, Ian Hart, played schizzed out Don Konkey (yes; Donkey Kon[g]) to a tee-

Peter Benchley’s The Beast
This appalling TV movie is to be avoided. I don’t know why the networks feel the need to churn out unwatchable drivel on a regular basis- almost all SyFy’s TV movies, for instance.

Worse than that though, is that it was also an amazingly poor representation of Pete Benchley’s body of work.

If you want to enjoy a Benchley seafood smorgasbord of oceanic delights, watch the first Spielberg Jaws movie, then read these books-

  • Jaws
  • The Island (also made into a movie with Michael Caine)
  • Girl of the Sea of Cortez (brilliant and required reading for all armchair divers and wannabe mermaids with an eco bent)

They are all wonderful, genre-bending and absorbing reads for your next beach holiday.  Benchley died almost exactly 6 years ago.  RIP and respect.

If you liked this post, you might also like reading-

Captain Roy’s Terror From Below: Great Underwater Movies!

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