January 03, 2007 at 08:35 PM EST

For a series set in the world of celebrity gossip, the first episode of FX’s new Courteney Cox vehicle Dirt was suspiciously short on dishy fun. True, Cox’s tabloid editor Lucy Spiller (pictured) got a few zesty moments last night — tasering a one-night stand when he turned out to be an aspiring singer bearing a demo, snapping at a celebrity mole that there’s a difference between wanting to be an actor and wanting to be famous — but how come she seems to be the only staffer at fictional Dirt magazine enjoying the thrill of the big-game hunt?

The show’s biggest misstep was saddling Lucy with schizophrenic paparazzo sidekick Don (Ian Hart, so hammy, he’s practically honey-baked). Bad enough having to spend an inordinate amount of time watching Don talk to his cancer-stricken cat, but his raindrops-turning-to-blood hallucination sequence was perhaps the clunkiest visual metaphor (Look! He’s got blood on his hands!) in recent TV history.addCredit(“Dirt: FX”)

Worse still, the pilot episode suffered from raging gaps in logic.Why would Lucy be so eager to publish news of Kira’s pregnancy (and hersurprising baby daddy) but sit on a graphic sex tape of Julia and herco-star? How can we believe Kira’s speech about being vehementlyopposed to getting an abortion when it’s sandwiched by scenes of herdropping ecstasy and snorting coke? And how come the show’s writerssaved the best line (“Do you have the film? Do you have to go to thebathroom to get it?”) for the previews for next week’s episode?

Instead, we got served heaping portions of dreary sex, allcalculatingly staged to remind the audience, “Hey! Look at us! We’repractically (F)X-rated!” The pro basketball player getting bent over byhis buxom blonde companion, the washed-up actor manually pleasuring hisgirlfriend in a crowded club, and even Cox’s own carnal moment came off asless titillating than the latest Nicole Richie cover of Star. Anyhow, that’s my first impression of Dirt. Did you tune in last night? And more importantly, will you be back for a second serving next week?

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