I’m not sure what I think of Lifetime’s new serial “Drop Dead Diva” yet. So far, I’ve seen two episodes and there has been a lot to love and some things that really grate me the wrong way. Have you guys seen this show? Thoughts?
The plot summary of the show as posted by Wiki:
The series revolves around a vapid blonde aspiring model, Deb Dobson (played by Brooke D’Orsay in the pilot and in flashbacks), who is killed in a car crash. As her soul enters the gates of Heaven, she finds herself declared a self-centered “zero” by the gatekeeper Fred. After not liking what she hears, she presses for a return to her former body, hoping to get back to Earth. Deb gets her wish, only to be brought back to life in the body of a recently deceased, intelligent, overweight lawyer named Jane Bingum. Initially horrified, Deb – in her new human form – discovers the meaning of inner beauty as she finds the ability to juggle legal cases, aided by her assistant Terri, while attempting to reconnect incognito with her still-grieving boyfriend, Grayson Kent, who just started working at Jane’s law firm. At the same time, Deb begins to rediscover her past while learning more about her inherited body’s current life and how Jane was treated when she was alive. In addition to former gatekeeper Fred (who was demoted to guardian angel and had been assigned to watch over her at the law firm), only Deb’s long-time mortal friend Stacy knows Jane’s true identity.
As a size acceptance blogger, you can prolly guess many of the reasons why I like this show. Hello! Fat Acress in the LEAD and a show that takes on (some) fat stereotypes! Yay! Yippy! Whooo hoooo!!!
On the other hand, the show where Jane defends a fat waitress who lost her job for gaining weight promotes the myth that all fat women (or people in general) overeat or really like food or have some disordered (like stress eating) relationship with food. Grrrr. Ah well. Win some, loose some. Perhaps I should focus more on being thankful for all the good aspects of the show and there are many… more than I am going to go into in this particular post.
Now, this particular episode that I just mentioned also grated me very hard, but for my own personal reason. At the same time, I’m also really grateful that the show took the issue on… the issue of how fat women are often treated at certain fru fru night clubs. The scene where Jane is ignored while her thin friend is given a free drink by the adoring bartender hit very close to home. I suddenly realized that that behavior is straight up rude to shun one friend in order to shine the spotlight on the other. Even when I got that kind of attention from men at clubs at the expense of friends with me, I loathed it, cuz I know how rude it is… how unnecessary it is… and how much it can hurt. I would’ve far preferred a man to be respectful and kind to the woman he’s interested in AND her friends. It is certainly possible to express interest in someone without completely alienating their friends that you may find less attractive or interesting!
After spending some time in nightclubs as a fat woman, Jane does something that I wish I had done 12 years ago. She tells her clubbing friend that she doesn’t feel comfortable in those places and she’s not going anymore. Somewhere deep down inside, 20-year-old me is flabbergasted and asking, “Wait! We’re allowed to do that???… We’re allowed NOT to go???” As a young adult, it felt to me like going to these places was a mandatory (if torturous) part of life if you wanted to have friends, dates and all that stuff. Has anyone else ever felt this way?
After watching this episode, I spent the evening with icky memories of bad behavior I have seen in nightclubs and how I wish I had simply decided not to go like Jane did! I also remembered all the feelings of inadequacy and the horrible sinking feeling when I realized that some guy interested in my thinner friend was going to take the approach that included being rude and alienating me in trying to woo my friend. Sigh. But, ultimately, I am glad I saw this episode, because I got the chance to process and I’m feeling more at peace with the feelings and memories…
Regarding the picture at the heading of this post that I took straight from the Lifetime website – it is photoshopped… and it annoys me how Jane hardly even looks fat in that picture. What is the point of all that photoshop? On the show, Jane is a real fat woman… not the maybe fat woman in the picture above. Well… win some, lose some.
Have ya’all seen Drop Dead Diva? What do you think?
And… am I the only one out there who has always hated clubs and have been treated rudely to spotlight thinner friends?