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Drop Dead Diva: "Fat Things Should Not Happen To Skinny People"

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!

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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?

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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.

Earlier: Critics Deem Drop Dead Diva Different, Daring & Delightful TV

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DISCUSSION

frabjousday-old
FrabjousDay

This show was better than I was expecting it to be, but it really bothers me that in the media, the only reason people are ever overweight is because they eat like pigs. I've known skinny girls who ate cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and bigger girls who wouldn't be thin even if they did subsist on "a grapefruit and two splendas," like the show suggests. I'm all for having a show with a heroine who's not rail-thin, but can't they have a show about a heroine who's not rail-thin and isn't gorging herself in every scene?