Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva” looks promising after its premiere

Just when I thought the only reason to watch Lifetime was for reruns of my favorite made-for-TV movies starring Judith Light, Tracy Gold and Candace Cameron, they go ahead and give me Drop Dead Diva. Not only does bisexual comedian/actress Margaret Cho play a main supporting character, it also leaves that “feel-good” saccharine feeling in your mouth.

The show premiered Sunday night and was quite the departure from the episode of True Blood which I had just enjoyed. You will not find a Sookie Stackhouse or a Vampire Bill, but you will find dead people who are now in the house of the living. The story centers around two women — Deb, a vapid size 2 spokesmodel-wannabe and Jane, a plus-sized attorney who basically die on the same day at the same time.

Deb decides she’s not quite ready to kick the bucket so she messes with her gatekeeper’s computer and is sent into the body of Jane who has just flat lined. Deb is psyched to be back, but not so much in this full-figured body. Sadtrombone.

While getting used to lugging around Jane’s extra weight (been there, girl) Deb also needs to get used to having Jane’s extra large brains. She actually exclaims, “Oh my God, I’m smart!” with as much enthusiasm as if I could fit into a size 6 (or even 8).

Throughout the episode, we meet the jerk of a boss (who she took a bullet for accidentally and would have ended up dying for), Teri (Cho), Jane’s assistant, and Kim, the backstabbing bitch of a coworker who will do whatever it takes to get ahead of Jane. To make matters worse, Kim has her eye on the new lawyer at their firm, and he just so happens to be Deb’s grieving ex-boyfriend.

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes. Brooke Elliott, who really plays both Deb and Jane, does a great job of combining the two personalities without going overboard — which could very easily happen. I love Margaret Cho but so far her character is a bit too tame for what I’m used to. I mean, the last time I saw her live, she was doing a burlesque show and dropping f-bombs as patriotically as if she were singing the “Star Spangled Banner.” She plays her character well, it’ll just take some getting used to.

While this isn’t usually the type of show I’d be drawn to, there’s something rather charming about it that will make me come back for more. To sweeten the pot, the guest star list is fantastic. This season we’ll see the likes of Rosie O’Donnell, Tim Gunn (Yay!), Sharon Lawrence, Kathy Najimy, Jorja Fox, Teri Polo, Elliott Gould, Chuck Woolery and Diedrich Bader.

Did you see the premiere or watch the first episode online? If so, what did you think?

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