Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Drop Dead Diva

So months ago dear friend Leah recommended the TV show Drop Dead Diva. Now I think Leah is pretty effing smart, so, though I wanted to trust her opinion, the show had intrinsically many strikes against it: 1) It's on Lifetime. Blech. 2) The premise of the show is this: Deb is an aspiring model who dies in a car accident. In the afterlife, she tenaciously presses a button on the computer of the heaven agent registering her, sending her back to earth where she inhabits the body of Jane, a size 16 lawyer with a tragic wardrobe, flat hair and (GOD FORBID) a center part. And though I am familiar with this idea considering that my mother oftentimes uses the phrases "thin self" and "true self" interchangeably, it was not an idea I would ever condone. 3) Did I mention it's on lifetime?

But the show continues to surprise me. As a disclaimer, it is pretty terribly written. As a result I can't tell if the rather sub-par acting is a result of the bad writing or is just bad acting. There are some ridiculous fat stereotypes (shots of easy cheese calm Jane during more stressful cases; she is constantly eating donuts and pizza etc.). So basically, the show is not brilliant (a la HUGE) but it is... well, something else.

In the first season they deal with fat politics (Jane/Deb struggles with the idea that the word "fat" isn't an insult but a descriptive phrase) and with the difficulties of being fat in a thin world (Jane is shunned at a bar by a woman who used to be a friend because she is fat; she sues a designer clothing store because they don't carry her size). But as I near the end of the second season the show has become, in my mind, about fat visibility.

Fat people in entertainment are, more often than not, the best friend. Or, a la Bridesmaids (which, no lie, was super funny), their sexuality is meant to be a joke (isn't it HILARIOUS that a fat woman would assume men are attracted to her?). But in Drop Dead Diva Jane is just doing her thing. She is a fat woman who drinks girly martinis, wears beautiful clothes, buys new lipstick, paints her toenails, wears stilettos, has cute clothes. She sings and dances (Brooke Elliot is KIND of an amazing singer). She debates what to wear on dates, she goes on dates, she goes shopping for cute clothes, she has sex, and it is not a joke. She is a size 16 woman doing things that ALL WOMEN DO. It is so refreshing. 

And though I don't necessarily think this show is a wholely adquate representation of what it is to be a fat person in the world, I love the ideal it presents. That maybe, someday, we will learn that we can't really know A SINGLE THING about another human being by looking at them EXCEPT what they look like.

Lastly, I love Drop Dead Diva because for a TOO BRIEF series of episodes, Jane is dating this man:

I call him "Hot Tony."

Don't tell Zac Galafinakis, but David Denman is my new boyfriend. You might remember him as this man:

Oh, Roy. I know you were KIND OF a misogynistic jerkwad on The Office, but when you grew that beard WHOOEY did you steal my heart.


So. Dreamy.

1 comment:

  1. I watched all of this show on Netflix! It is soo badly written but somehow awesome at the same time.