Saturday, July 25, 2009


I've gotta discuss Drop Dead Diva.

This is, admittedly, a bit difficult for me because, frankly, I'm more than a little jealous of Josh Berman, who created and sold this show to Lifetime. A fantasy dramedy about a thin woman who dies and comes back to life as a brainy BBW lawyer? Heaven Can Wait meets Eli Stone in the world of "Fat Magic"? Yeah, I wish I had a piece of that action.

But now I've watched the first two eps of the show, and I've (almost) managed to get past my soul-gnawing envy. Credit a lead (Brooke Elliot) who is both appealing and skilled at conveying the warring personalities her plus-sized frame. It's the series' conceit that while slim dead ditz Deb is the primary occupant of the full-figured lawyer's bod, she possesses the previous owner's memories, knowledge and appetites. This creates some decent comic moments that may, at times, flirt with fat stereotypes without fully yielding into 'em. As one who enjoys exploring the line between type and individual character, that's fine with me.

The show's prime interest, then, rests in seeing how two very disparate women ā€“ one, a worshipper of the superficial and flashy, the other a brainy workaholic with a predilection for "sensible" clothes ā€“ learn to take the best aspects of each life and create an even stronger person. The trick is to dramatize this fusion without being too obvious or didactic about it. In the first two episodes, at least, some smart dialog coupled with Elliott's performance managed to pull it off.

The only time Diva flags for this viewer is when it focuses too much on dead Deb's equally pipe cleaner-y friend Kim (Kate Levering), who knows that her friend is trapped in another's body and cheerfully espouses fat-slapping self-help advice to her friend at every opportunity. A little of this goes a long way, though perhaps we'll see the character's attitude toward her fat-sized sisters evolve over time.

In short, a decent summer program ā€“ and the first thing I've set aside to watch on Lifetime since they stopped airing Medium reruns. Let's hope the show holds up over the rest of the summer.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Baird And Barbers Collaborate?

Another "Lew Baird" story has been recently resurrected from unfinished manuscript limbo and completed by yours truly. Featuring the reality shifting hero of Baird's earlier transformation trilogy ("Marianne/Mare," "Patricia/Pat/Patti," & "Rachel's Story") it's an admittedly unbelievable tale of one young woman's Big Change in the American Southwest. You can find this little fantasy, "Sophie/Sofia," on Dimensions Magazine Online's "Fat Magic" page.

As always, comments are welcome.