Monday, October 14, 2013

Drop Dead Diva: Pain and Jane

In a Facebook Q&A with Drop Dead Diva creator Josh Berman last night, Berman asked fans to give him four more episodes to wrap up the current dysfunctional storyline, which has been alienating many viewers, revolving around the capricious love triangle between Jane, Owen, and Stacy.  If it takes four more episodes, on top of the five already aired episodes, to tie up a storyline which has played out like a tasteless soap opera, you've most likely jumped the shark and I imagine the wrap-up will just be a cliffhanging ploy to get fans to tune in for season 6, pending renewal. As I posted on the DDD Facebook page, ever since Fred left, the show has lost a many of its moral elements and no longer depicts characters attempting to better themselves. The season started off strong with the return of Old Jane (Natalie Hall) and I would very much love to see her return. However, lately DDD has felt like a relay race. Often there will be a very promising storyline within reach, and then it is released in favor of a more melodramatic, unappealing storyline. Case in point:

·         Stacy established her own mature identity with the Pakery, an original idea merging cakes and pies. However, she then gets discouraged, sells the Pakery and, on a whim, decides she wants to be a mother. She slithers back into Jane/Deb’s (love)life, asking Owen for his sperm. Her donor choice is also glaringly questionable considering Owen’s heart related health issues which she was privy to when Owen left Jane high and dry immediately after their engagement. Stacy clearly has no life of her own outside of Jane’s bubble to find a new beau to make babies with. She, more than Jane, should be out on blind dates.

·         Fred is back on “soul return” desk duty, but did he retain all of his memories from his time on earth? Can he still see what’s going on in Jane’s life from above? Just find a way to bring back Fred, even if only recurring.

·         Brittany, aka Old Jane, had her own personality and ended up connecting with Jane in a positive way. And though their paths probably shouldn’t cross too often considering the body-switching circumstances, if we have to sit through Grayson reuniting with his pregnant ex-fiancĂ©e, we could use some more Jane/Brittany time.

·         Last season Harrison and Kim made a baby and Harrison made her partner. This season? Harrison is written off like a deadbeat dad and boyfriend who essentially chooses one child over the other, leaves his pregnant girlfriend high and dry, and turns his back on the firm it took him years to establish.

·         The sassiness of Terri has barely seen the light of day this season. However, her scene during the “hostile takeover” phone call last night was a refreshing escape from the gloomy scene of Jane confronting Owen and Stacy on a date, while subsequently getting her car stolen.

·         Just when Luke was trying to be a better guardian angel to jane, Paul comes along and is so much more self-absorbed than Luke ever was that it’s hard to take his role seriously or believe that he finished baking upstairs.

·         The lack of any musical dream sequences or comedic guest stars has eliminated much of the unique, quirky nature of the show.

·         Madchen Amick’s character Gina Blunt appeared to be an evil counterpart to the guardian angel, Luke. It would have been interesting to explore the opposite end of the spectrum of “dark side” characters attempting to thwart the work of the angels.

Many viewers defend the chaos of this season of DDD citing that this type of love triangle dysfunction is reality. Well, last I checked, souls popping into lifeless bodies at the press of the big “return” key in the sky isn’t realistic, so I’ll take my DDD with a little less soap opera overkill and a little more quirky fun which originally made the show a hit. Last week saw the lowest ratings for Drop Dead Diva in all 5 seasons, so hopefully Berman has some aces up his sleeve to resuscitate this show.