Beauty, Brains, and Body ImageJuly 10, 2009
I’m a fan of Margaret Cho, so when I heard she was in the new Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva, that certainly sparked my interest in the show, which premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. The premise centers around a model (Deb, played by Brooke D’Orsay) who dies, gets to the Pearly Gates via an escalator, then manages to return to Earth, but not as herself. Instead, her soul is deposited in the body of a smart, but un-svelte lawyer (Jane, played by Brooke Elliott).
The situation is ripe for exploring the real-life issues affecting women from body image to workplace drama. This morning, I got a chance to watch the pilot episode, and it was pretty comprehensive: there’s someone you’d want to smack (just an expression), there are good lines delivered by talented actors, and there are nice pop-culture references. I was entertained.
But don’t take just my word; the professional critics had good things to say as well.
The New York Times called Lifetime “bold to cast an actress who is hefty, without the aid of a fat suit like Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal.”
Allison Waldman, of TV Squad, called Diva “quite good and a winner all around. The premise is a Hollywood staple, but when it’s done right — as it is here — you don’t care.”
Drop Dead Diva will air right before Army Wives. Waldman predicts that “the double dose of estrogen will thrive on Lifetime’s Sunday nights.”
However, my favorite line comes from Josh Berman, the Diva creator himself.
In an interview with USA Today, Berman said, “In Hollywood, beauty has been defined as size 2 and under 25; hopefully we can help redefine the paradigm.”
Amen to that!