The show Drop Dead Diva premiered last night. The show centers around the question of brains versus beauty. I had read some good reviews of this show, so I was interested to see how it would play out. My other reason for watching the show is because I am a fan of Maragaret Cho, though I do admit some of her stuff can be a bit on the raunchy side for my taste.
Quick case of characters:
Jane, played by Brooke Elliott--Plain, plus-sized woman who is a kick ass lawyer and very smart. She suffers from insecurity and self-esteem issues.
Teri, played by Margaret Cho--Jane's assistant who seems to know everything about Jane. We haven't seen if she has a quirky side yet, but she seems to provide stability for Jane.
Deb, played by Brooke D'Orsay--Thin, blonde, and shallow. She is an aspiring model for the Price is Right show.
Grayson--Deb's boyfriend who loves Deb.
Stacy--Deb's best friend who is like her identical twin--thin, blonde, and shallow
Kim--works in the same law firm as Jane. Seems to feel second fiddle to Jane. Thus, she tries to sabotage her. She is a wannabe "diva" personality.
Fred--Jane's guardian angel who looks out for her.
Parker--The boss at the law firm who feels Jane has insecurity issues.
A brief synopsis: Jane takes a bullet for Parker and gets killed. Meanwhile, Deb dies in a car accident, distracted by talking on the phone with Stacy. Deb, then goes to a holding station to determine whether she goes to heaven or hell. Fred who checks her in says she is a "zero," having done no bad deeds but also no good ones either. Deb, mad, hits the "return" button which sends her back to Earth.
As divine intervention goes, she winds up in Jane's body, taking on the traits of Jane, including her smartness but keeping hold of her own memories. Fred has now become her guardian angel to help Jane with this transition.
Obviously, it is hard for Deb to be Jane, as Jane lacks everything she aspires to--nice figure, good wardrobe, always craves food, etc. It's very much the stereotype of how many people see "fat" people in society. However, Deb really does enjoy the fact that she has acquired Jane's brain and is now smart. There are several moments in the show where you see she is absolutely astonished by this new trait.
The rest of the show revolves around several court cases in which Jane wins, partly by brains and partly by her knowledge of the "shallow" world of people. There is also of course the irony of boyfriend (Grayson) now working in the law firm. Thus, he and Jane will see a lot of each other. Romantic sparks, anyone? However, they will have to get past Kim, the co-worker who we know probably has some tricks up her sleeve. The issue of women and competition is played out between these two characters.
As you can see, there are a variety of themes here. Perhaps, the one that most intrigued me besides how we view body image and stereotypes is the issue of self-esteem. There is a scene in the show where Jane has a client who is getting divorced from her cheating husband. The woman, is a bit dowdy, obviously lacking a lot of self-esteem, and would rather the divorce go away than go through with court. Jane convinces her that she needs to fight and get half of the settlement, that she deserves that. Jane asks her: "How much do you think you are worth?" The woman, unsure, eventually decides she is worth at least half of the settlement. From there, there are some ups and downs, but in the end, the woman allows her self confidence to grow, realizing she does have self worth and is a strong woman who can stand up for herself.
Though the show is cliche-ish, light-hearted, andpredictable, I'm all for showing how society works, how body image is portrayed, why self-esteem is important, etc. Although we know this as a society, I don't think it truly gets ingrained into people's heads why these issues matter. The show reminds me a lot of Ugly Betty but with different career paths.
In general, I think there is some promise for this show. There are humorous moments as well as moments that make us take a look at ourselves and society. The cast is good, but Brooke carries the show for sure. I'll be interested to see how the episodes fare in this season.
Anyone else watch it? What are your thoughts?