21 June 2010
After a consistently strong season so far, Drop Dead Diva felt a little tired this week in the fourth episode of its second season. While I applaud the return to humanizing Kim, appreciate a well-placed Michael Buble reference and giggled at Jane and Tony’s faux cross-examination, I thought the entire episode was a little heavy handed. In general, Drop Dead Diva is a sweet show with enough wit to mask its lack of subtlety. But this week, the blatant plot mirroring finally started to get on my nerves.
As much as I appreciated the writers’ efforts to move Kim along as a character, I could have done without the “this is the episode where she comes off as human and vulnerable” subtitles. Imagine the coincidence: a case about a newborn when the character thinks she’s pregnant! What are the chances?! Pretty slim, actually, so why not play with something a little more likely and a little less obvious as a metaphor? And to expect an audience to buy, even for the tiniest second, that Kim was pregnant with Grayson’s baby was asking too much. I’ve haven’t been so sure that something wasn’t true since Grey’s Anatomy tried to convince me McDreamy was dead. Sure, Kim’s pregnancy scare had some interesting ramifications for Jane (kudos, by the way, for moving her in exactly the right direction- away from Grayson and towards a realistic but happy Jane ending as opposed to a fantasy Deb one) but the ramifications for Kim stood to be a lot more interesting.
Speaking of Jane’s positive momentum, however, she happily moved right back into the arms of My TV crush Tony in this episode. Her recent ex had been pretty jerky in the past 2 episodes but managed to pull right out of it and remind me why I love him as he revealed the hurt behind the jerk. That cross-examination sequence and subsequent “settlement conference” were cheesy, but clever and sweet, trademark Diva. That court case as lame relationship mirror, however, was pretty frustrating. First of all, JANE NEEDS TO LOSE ONE, how convenient was that act three twist that won her the case?! Also, there was some serious conduct unbecoming of an attorney in this week’s courtroom, not to mention the fact that the case itself was little more than a vehicle for Jane and Tony to work out their issues. It makes them both seem like lesser lawyers the more they make the cases about themselves. Actually, that’s true of every character on the series (the best exception being when Grayson used his disdain for his client to win a case in season 1- that was cool). While I like that the cases on Drop Dead Diva reflect or influence what’s going on in the personal stories, a lighter touch is a definite requirement. Otherwise it’s just all too convenient, too obvious, and the audience will always be a step ahead of the show.
Here’s hoping for a step back up to Diva standards in the weeks to come, which feature the promising returns of recurring actors Jeff Rose, Rosie O’Donnell, Sharon Lawrence and Faith Prince as well as upcoming guest appearances (or character arcs) by Natasha Henstridge, Jake Pavelka and (My TV Favourite) Matt Letscher!- should be good.