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Drop Dead Diva deserves a second look

I watched the first episode of Drop Dead Diva with the same skepticism as everyone else, and I found plenty to pick at, from the mainlining of easy cheese to the fat girl is all mousy and doesn't take care of herself thing. The second episode, however, really took me by surprise by how much it got right.

First, there's a storyline on fat discrimination in the workplace. Jane's client successfully worked at a hipster bar and then gained 50 pounds and was fired, so she sued the bar. During the course of the case, Jane's boss tries to pressure her into using the idea that fat is a disability to bolster her argument but ultimately she ends up telling him to shove it. There's a nice moment where she is giving her closing argument and discusses how the word 'fat' doesn't have to be a negative thing, just a descriptor. I mean really, when have you ever seen that on entertainment TV?

There's still a little too much talk around how Jane is fat because she likes to eat and is too tired to exercise at the end of her busy day, so not much Health at Every Size on the show, but I was so impressed by this second episode that I wouldn't be at all surprised if one day in the future she stumbles across that concept as well.

So if you can, please give the show a second chance. The writers seem to really get some of the concepts at the heart of fat acceptance and that just makes my day. Both episodes are available here. I'd love to hear what you think!

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Sarahbear July 24th, 2009 | Link | I have not watched the

I have not watched the second episode yet, but I did watch the first episode on, and while it had its moments that made my eyes roll out of my head, it also had some good moments, too. I was pleased when Deb's best friend was accepting of her even in Jane's body, and I think the fat actress who plays Jane/Deb is pretty good. The first episode was a little rough, but pilots usually are, and I bet she will smooth out as the series goes on. Unfortunately, I don't see this series lasting more than two seasons, if that. It just doesn't feel like it has the depth. I can kind of guess what happens regarding character relationships. But, who knows, I could be wrong. I'll watch the second episode tonight when I get home from work.

"A diet counselor once told me that all overweight people are angry with their mothers and channel their frustrations into overeating. So I guess that means all thin people are happy, calm, and have resolved their Oedipal entanglements."

moxie3's picture
July 24th, 2009 | Link | Thanks for the access to the

Thanks for the access to the show I wanted to see it and so far I've enjoyed it. The actress reminds me of a young Dawn French. Moxie

timbre July 24th, 2009 | Link | i liked it

i found quite a bit of episode 1 cringeworthy. however, brooke elliott, the diva of the title, seems to be a very feeling, "alive" actress, and the others are not bad. episode 2 got me. i am finding that fat comes with agoraphobia - i have trouble getting myself OUT there any more - am single after a devastating annullment - and the episode touched on this. not wanting to go to bars. being "other" or different. i was pretty blown away by the "in-tune-ness" of the writing in episode 2. will definitely keep watching and hoping they impress us.

Sarahbear July 25th, 2009 | Link | I just watched episode 2,

I just watched episode 2, and I must say that I, too, am impressed with how much better it was than the pilot on almost all counts. Message, character, depth, plot. Now I think I see why Margaret Cho endorses this show. I'll definitely keep watching now.

"A diet counselor once told me that all overweight people are angry with their mothers and channel their frustrations into overeating. So I guess that means all thin people are happy, calm, and have resolved their Oedipal entanglements."

nobluz July 25th, 2009 | Link | First, I have to state that

First, I have to state that I rarely, if ever, watch Lifetime. As a woman, Lifetime offers little that connects to my life in any meaningful way.

Second, when I saw the promo for this series I found the concept intriguing. I mean what could be more fun than watching a hot blond bimbo, who has never had to overcome difficult challenges, or assert her worth beyond her appearance, turn into a smart, fat woman?

The first episode challenged me in a way that impressionist paintings do. If I squint my eyes enough, I can get a clearer appreciation of a Monet. Metaphorically speaking, if I squint my brain a bit, I can see where the writers are going with this show.

The second episode offered little more than a best friend who is disgusted with fat people in an “Elle Woods” kinda way showing up to rescue her bestie with calorie lectures and words of encouragement. Judging from this episode, I can also predict just when the entire premise will plunge off that “cute fiancé of dead blond finds true love within the fatness that is attorney” cliff.

On the positive side, I find Margaret Cho to be an interesting, refreshing, citrusy, piece of mango in a otherwise pedestrian pitcher of warm, second-rate sangria

kimdog's picture
July 26th, 2009 | Link | Yup... color me impressed.

Yup... color me impressed. It's not just that they are going in a better direction... I was surprised by the effort the writers made to be informed. Really, the court room scene could have been written by a BFBer... with the dueling opinions about fat as a disability and Jane listing the very few cities where fat discrimination in employment is illegal (although they missed the state of Michigan). I think it's a big step to move beyond the warm fuzzy message that "being fat is okay!" to doing some straight-up fat acceptance education. I'll admit, I found it rather thrilling!

fat_chic's picture
July 26th, 2009 | Link | the three episode try

I have a rule to always give a show three episodes before making a decision. Ep 1 displeased me, but Ep 2, not so bad but could have been better. Joan of Arcadia had a terrible pilot and was one of the best shows on television, after all.

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