Monday, June 24, 2013

Drop Dead Diva review

for those of you breathlessly awaiting the was so good!  much as i love the show, it can get gimmicky and silly at times; i hated the finale last year [yes, i can finally say this publicly, since we got our new season and it started off so well].  it was crammed with silliness, gimmicky to the hilt, etc.  last night's episode, by contrast, was clean, crisp, clear: the right combo of funny and serious,  and it  moved the plot in what i hope remains a sensible direction.  i hated the idea of the original jane coming back in a new body; it's enough that the show is premised on one dead person coming back in a new body--are we suddenly to believe that the earth is populated with people who are actually dead while other people live in their bodies?  but given that they were going to do it, they did it interestingly.  old jane--fat, bland, humorless old jane--is now in the body of a sassy young model-type beauty: the perfect reverse image of shallow model deb in the body of fat jane.  if they do it right, this can actually add to the complexity of the original idea of a conventionally sexy woman suddenly trapped in the body of fat and brilliant woman. we've seen 'new jane' [and since we've always known the character as jane, 'jane' will henceforth here mean that character] grow into her combination-sensibility role--how will 'old jane' do that?

  the wonderful lex medlin, who had looked forward to what had been more than hinted at --having the original jane's soul in owen's body--got to do that briefly, in jane's dream.  medlin had felt that as an actor it would be fascinating to play a woman in a man's body, sans camping. in the moment he had, he showed he could do it: a gem of a tiny part.  and we still have him as the beloved owen.  as always his acting was stellar: his stoical, honest anger at what jane has done to him combined with his equally honest pain was, in the old-fashioned sense of the word, 'awesome.'  i do think, though he would deny it, he's the best actor in the cast.  but everyone else was terrific.  the star, brooke elliot, was the best i've seen her--and that's saying a lot.  her brief scenes with medlin were perfect, her contrition, heartbreak, and confusion a perfect complement to his emotions.

even the new guardian angel--played by a young tv hunk actor--was less silly than i thought it would be.  jane confronts him with the question that had bothered me: if the guardian angel is a narcissistic young man, what can he offer to a sophisticated woman who's been through  a huge range of experiences, and grown from them?  his answer: i was the only one who'd take the job; you have a pretty scary rep in heaven. and his involvement in his new body is fun. he's only just figured that he has a physique women go for.  he's clearly never been embodied before, and is confused though pleased about the whole idea. jane's response to him is, finally, good. just leave me alone; i don't want an angel hanging around interfering with my life anyway.  again, if they continue handling it well, this could be a lot of fun.  (and i was glad to see the last angel, luke, allowed to leave gracefully.  fans couldn't stand him; i thought he was fun and well acted].

so we're off to a good start. and we fans, who helped them get revived, can feel even prouder of our work. like the writers and cast, we have justified our faith in the show.


Chris said...

Karen!! I always enjoy your writing, and appreciate your love for Drop Dead Diva. That being can you spend half the article on Owen and not mention Grayson at all?! The guy was baring his soul and she shut him down. Seemed to me like her head was making her decisions and not her heart..especially when she couldn't deny she has feelings for him. How about some love for Grayson? I will anxiously await your part 2 of the review that contains equal love for Grayson (and Kim and Parker.. And talk about how strange it was for Jane to whine and beg in court..). Ok, Karen, that's all.. ;)

karen lindsey said...

thanks for commenting, chris--as you'll see, i answered this on one of the diva pages. and thanks for the overall comment on my writing. writing is what i do best, and in good times have made a nice chunk of my living at it. but blogging lets me write exactly what i want about exactly what i want to write about. but i sigh for the long departed days when did a column for the [now defunct] boston phoenix--it would be so much fun to write about DDD for the column!

Chris said...

Thanks, Karen :)