It’s obvious this unusual legal dramedy spiked with fantasy struck a chord with American audiences, featuring a massive list of celebrity guest appearances plus a cancellation followed by a triumphant resurrection thanks to fan support. Deb Dobkins, a shallow and somewhat vapid model is killed in a car accident but upon arriving “Upstairs” she presses a Return button in the midst of having a hissy fit and wakes up in the plus size body of Jane Bingum, a lawyer who died saving Jay Parker from a bullet. Parker manages the law firm where Jane works but also employs Deb’s lawyer fiancé Grayson Kent. Now living in a body with a brain full of brilliant legal knowledge, Jane tries to carry on with her new life while working side by side with a man she loves, unable to tell him the truth for fear of rejection, confiding only in her oldest friend Stacy. This has all the hallmarks of a Greek tragedy, but handily avoids getting bogged down by misery and instead espouses a love of life and an infectious spirit of perseverance and joy. It’s a real pleasure to watch a show starring a plus size woman who accepts herself, which Brooke Elliot does beautifully.
The storyline follows Jane as she tries to balance the fashion obsessed model with a workaholic lawyer, creating a whole new person as a result. Her priorities shift from being an admittedly shallow empty-headed girl to helping her clients as cases continue to arrive at the law firm, learning responsibility while infusing her life with a new spirit. The stories are often lighthearted and funny while underpinned by serious issues, moral dilemmas and the consequences of choices but miraculously avoids being preachy. I’ve seen every episode of all six seasons and I’ve got to say this is one astoundingly good show. This has some quite profound observations about life, what makes a good person and more about how you treat others reflects back on you. Immensely satisfying and thoughtful, a real gem of a show. – BETHANY
For more on this wonderful TV show, visit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1280822/?ref_=nv_sr_1
I think some introductions are in order. From left to right:
Stacy Barrett (April Bowlby), Terri Lee (Margaret Cho), Jay Parker (Josh Stamberg), Jane Bingum (Brooke Elliott), Grayson Kent (Jackson Hurst), Kim Kaswell (Kate Levering) and Jane’s Guardian Angel Fred (Ben Feldman).
Deb Dobkins (Brooke D’Orsay) trying to convince Fred to send her back to Earth.
Jane’s door is always open, metaphorically of course.
Sometimes it’s really hard to juggle everything in your life.
Dancing with Judge Paula Abdul in a Dream sequence. Ms. Abdul is one of many celebrity guest stars who dropped everything else and clamored to get on the show. Here’s just a few of famous faces who guest starred.
- Clay Aiken
- Louis Van Amstel
- Diedrich Bader
- Lance Bass
- Delta Burke
- Sandra Bernhard
- Vivica A. Fox
- Nancy Grace
- Kathy Griffin
- Tim Gunn
- Star Jones
- Ricki Lake
- Liza Minnelli
- Kelly Osbourne
- LeAnn Rimes
- Cybill Shepherd
- Wanda Sykes
- Gina Torres
- Nia Vardalos
- Wendy Williams
- Kim Kardashian
- Leelee Sobieski
- Rosie O’Donnell
- Jaime Ray Newman
- Natasha Henstridge
[This is by far not a complete list, and if anybody out there knows where I can find the full list, I’d very much like to know so I can include it here.]
Drop Dead Diva does a great job addressing women’s complicated relationship with food. Jane learns that it’s OK to eat the doughnut!
Deb Dobkins and the new Jane/Deb Bingum. Jane does an excellent job dressing her fuller figure and always looks chic and put together.
Stacy might look like and act like a flibbertyjibbet, but she’s got a good heart and is a genuinely beautiful person, inside and out.
Working alongside Grayson isn’t easy for Jane – I mean look at the guy! What a dish. *sigh*
But since Jane is a professional, she’s able to establish a good working relationship with her ex-fiancé, who is never the wiser.
They also become really good friends, which sometimes leads to Jane being the distressed recipient of Grayson’s confidences when they stray into fraught territory.
Margaret Cho as Terri Lee, Jane’s assistant, an audaciously saucy woman who’s a master of delivering crushing sarcasm from behind an inscrutable poker face.
Joan Rivers appears in one of Jane’s dreams, presiding over a funeral.
Jane’s impressive wardrobe of flattering and fashionable clothes. (found on pinterest.com)
Photos courtesy of Storyline Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television, Osprey Productions, Post Road Productions and Lifetime