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SEASON REVIEW: Drop Dead Diva, Season 1

Drop Dead Diva is a Lifetime dramatic comedy that debuted July 12, 2009. It stars Brooke Elliott as a former model named Deb, who after death is sent back for a re-do and popped into the life of Jane, an intelligent-but-awkward lawyer. Finding herself working alongside a crew of  skilled lawyers, she begins to make a new life for herself as Jane, but trying to hold on to as much of Deb as possible. How does the show fare? Check it out after the jump…

The show is much better than expected, and most of this credit is in the hands of leading lady Brooke Elliott as Deb/Jane. She’s adorable, awkward, and can sell both humour and pain wonderfully. Some actors wouldn’t be able to pull off the mix of Jane and Deb so easily, but Elliott does a fantastic job, mixing Deb’s outgoing nature and overexcitement with Jane’s brilliance and determination, making a character who is far from perfect, but easy to love.

The cast is an odd beast altogether, because a lot of actors who start out as dull begin to engage you the more you watch of them. The only castmembers who popped right away, and are still heads-over-heels the best things about the show, are Elliott, April Bowlby (memorable previously as one of Barney’s recurring love interests on How I Met Your Mother) as Deb’s best friend who knows Jane’s secret, and Ben Feldman as her guardian angel. Josh Stamberg and Margaret Cho (Jane’s boss and assistant) I both found slightly offputting at first, but are now very strong comedic forces in the show. I was initially bored by Kate Levering‘s bitchy antagonist Kim and bored to tears by Deb’s ex / Jane’s crush Grayson Holt (Jackson Hurst), and though I don’t love either still, I’ve managed to start enjoying their performances and the stories that revolve solely around them.

This show is, first and foremost, lovable. It’s the full-series version of the kind of feel-good movies everybody’s seen a thousand times, and Brooke Elliot does a fantastic job at the centre of it.  Not going to break any ground, but definitely something to watch when you need some comfort food.

Look Out For: “Do Over”, the show’s third episode where it begins moving beyond the issue of Jane’s weight and begins expanding her beyond it. Includes one of my favourite subplots (Kim and Grayson sue a psychiatrist for wrongful death when she cures a patients Disassociative Identity Disorder and leaves him with the wrong one of his multiple personalities) and my favourite recurring guest star, funny enough, in Rosie O’Donnell‘s take-no-crap judge who works as a kind of mentor for Jane.

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  1. […] very breezy, with a great lead performance by Brooke Elliott. I give a full review of the season here. Grade: B- Notable Episodes: “Do Over” (1.03), “Make Me a Match” […]



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