Its 11:36 pm
I admit,I never watched the Lifetime Channel when I had cable TV. The only thing I knew about it was that it re-ran “Unsolved Mysteries” and older TV films. The only original series I ever heard about that they aired was a show called “Army Wives”. That was the extent of what I knew about Lifetime.
But since I have dropped cable,I found out that Lifetime has evolved into both airing new original films like “Last Man Standing” and “Blindsided” of which the cheetah and I picked up. Its known for being the anti-Hallmark Channel for women as they do action-adventure films centered around strong women characters.
Lifetime has also done more TV series as well and “Drop Dead Diva” was one of these series. It ran for six seasons from 2009-2014 and was produced by Sony Pictures Television. There were 78 episodes produced,since cable TV seasons are shorter then network seasons,instead of getting a 22 episode season run,”Diva” only had 13 shows..which meant a TON of story telling had to be done in a smaller time frame.
Thanks to our good friends over at Mill Creek Entertainment,shows like “Drop Dead Diva”are getting a chance to be watched by folks like the cheetah and myself who missed out during its original run. And instead of looking for singles seasons that may be hard to find (Highlander,anyone?),Mill Creek has released the entire series in one boxed set which is a great way to enjoy a binge watch without having to worry about missing seasons.
“Drop Dead Diva” is the story of Jane Bingum, a plus sized lawyer who dies by saving her firm’s boss who was having an affair with a woman who didn’t know was married.
At the same time budding model Deb Dobkins is killed while she is talking on her cellphone. When Deb goes to heaven,she meets an angel named Fred who tells Deb she has led a completely nothing life. Deb wants to go back to Earth and a little miffed at Fred,she presses the “Go Back” button but ends up in Jane’s body. While Deb is still Deb,she gets to retain Jane’s mind which includes a sharp legal brain. But otherwise,Jane is gone and Deb is going to have to naviagate her life in Jane’s body.
Fred is sent to Earth as Deb’s guardian angel and he tells Deb the rules,no one can know Deb is still here,she has to become Jane in thought and deed.
This becomes incredibly challenging as Deb’s boyfriend Grayson,has just landed a job at Jane’s firm the week both women died,in fact Jane was the one who interviewed Grayson.
Deb also has to learn her “new” job as a lawyer quickly as well as deal with her firm’s politics and co-workers who weren’t exactly kind to Jane..with Kim Kaswell being her biggest pain in the ass. But she also has allies in Stacy,the only person who knows Deb’s secret and Teri,Jane’s loyal assistant and friend.
This show is a comedy-drama with fantasy elements thrown in and it works very well.
There isn’t any huge heavenly “saves” like on “Highway To Heaven” or “Touched By An Angel”. Deb is pretty much on her own as she learns to love herself in a plus sized body.
Each episode features a couple of cases for Deb to work on with Deb adding in her own style with Jane’s legal brain. Deb encounters key moments from both Jane’s and her past lives and has to make adjustments which includes Kim and Grayson eventually become a couple and start dating. Deb is also quite shocked when she finds out that Jane was actually married to a man named Ethan,even though the marriage was a sham,Jane did have feelings for him at one time.
This series is told like a soap opera with several different stories winding through several seasons but for the most part,the court cases are settled by an episodes end. While “Drop Dead Diva”did stuggle a bit towards the end,the producers did get a 6th and last season to wind up the various stories and end the series with a proper and fitting ending.
I loved the cast on “Diva” very much and I really enjoyed several performances given by some very talented people led by the amazing Brooke Elliott as Jane/Deb. She is simply amazing in a dual role and worked her ass off making Jane a complex and rich person. Her compassion and raw honesty are worn on her sleeve and you feel like Brooke is just playing herself,Jane is really Brooke in real life.
While appearing in only 9 episodes,I have to give Brooke (I know,right?) D’Orsay who played Deb Dobkins before she was put into Jane’s body. I really thought it was a smart move by show creator Josh Berman to make Deb very likable and sweet in her own right.
While Jane and Deb walked in different worlds,they were also very decent human beings. Most shows would have forced Deb to be a bitch on wheels that has to learn to be a “good person” but that such a cliche and it was refreshing to see that Deb was a good person and a good friend even before she becomes Jane.
The supporting cast,led by Margaret Cho as Teri Lee and April Bowlby as Deb’s best friend Stacy,are all very good and fit their roles. You can read more about them here.
Being this was a Lifetime show,the guest stars were also for the most part,pretty strong as well with a ton of well known names and faces including Bruce Davison,Leelee Sobieski,Nia Vardalos,Teri Polo and even Kim Kardashian.
I enjoyed watching “Drop Dead Diva” and definitely can see why it ran for six years and had a very dedicated and passionate fan base. And now thanks to Mill Creek Entertainment,you all can experience quite a charming and emotionally moving show by buying the complete series in one collection.
“Drop Dead Diva” can be bought by going to the Mill Creek Amazon page.
Have you ever watched “Drop Dead Diva”? We would like to hear your thoughts on the show and its cast so feel free to drop a comment or three below.