I watched the premiere of Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva last night, and while some of it was enjoyable, most of it made me roll my eyes and/or cringe.
In the clip above, Jane (who used to be a skinny model named Deb) visits her best friend, a fellow model. Gags about weight and dieting and not getting into nightclubs now that you're fat? You bet!
Brooke Elliott, the actress playing Jane, is great — she's warm, bubbly, tough, confident, and makes it easy to get that she's playing two people (the skinny model and the size-16 lawyer) at once. And there were a few moments — Jane's reluctance to primp in her rearview mirror, something she relished when she was a model; the moment she realized she'd be working with her former boyfriend, who no longer recognizes her — where the pain was palpable and the acting and writing shone.
But the way that the character of Jane is treated — gazing longingly at doughnuts in the middle of a legal briefing; having her assistant spray Cheez Whiz in her mouth? That crap is a fucking disgrace. Not all overweight people have food control issues, and it's just plain tiring to see Homer Simpson-esque doughnut "jokes." The creators have come up with a nonconformist premise, why can't they think outside the box when it comes to plus-size humor?
In addition, the plot devices between Jane and her client seemed straight out of Legally Blonde — a makeover on a witness? A strut with a booty pop? Jane, as a character, is smart, but, unfortunately, the writers have plopped her in some dumb scenes.
On the one hand, I appreciate that the star of this show gets to spend most of her time talking about her job and her feelings — not a man. (See: Bechdel's rule.) But this show runs the risk of declaring, "fat changes everything," which doesn't feel like a step in the right direction.