I wrote about Drop Dead Diva

kateicon Caught up on the last few episodes, and wrote about them over at Jezebel. Conclusion:

But I can get past it enough to enjoy Drop Dead Diva for what it is — a fairly typical Lady Network show with a lot of atypical, unprecedented, truly body-positive twists. It’s not 100% PUF-approved, but holy crap, it’s a better portrayal of a fat woman than damn near anything I’ve seen since Roseanne, so I would really like to see this show do well. Since they already seem to have cut down on the binge-eating gags in recent episodes (THANK YOU), and they can only do so much about the premise, all I can really ask for is a little more sensitivity to the pitfalls of having Deb learn shit in Jane’s body that should be obvious to any thinking person, fat or thin. Oh, and more Fred. For the love of all that’s holy, do not take Fred away from us again.

To see what I had to get past and what PUF stands for, among other things, go read the whole (long) thing. Then discuss.

42 thoughts on “I wrote about Drop Dead Diva

  1. I’ve been reading (and commenting) at Jezebel for quite some time now, but it seems like since you’ve started blogging there, the misled-healthists are really coming out of the woodwork. “OMG, stop challenging my beliefs with facts!!!11!!”

  2. I am de-lurking myself (that sounds nasty) to tell you that your post on Jezebel is Drop Dead Delightful (I couldn’t resist).

    I did not watch DDD for awhile after the Cheez-Whiz incident, but decided I ought to give it a 2nd chance, and there’s a lot to like about the show (namely, what you mentioned–body positivity, some truth about genetics/fat, Brooke Elliot, Fred, the return of Fred, etc.).

    It’s also often corny, tacky and over-simplistic, but I can overlook that.

    It’s like my dad used to say (and probably still would say, if he were alive), “Hunger is the best sauce.” Meaning I, dare I say, WE (Shapelings, FA folk, etc.) are HUNGRY for some fat acceptance, body positivity and body diversity in the mainstream media.

    By the way, you’re an awesome PUF.

    Sincerely,
    ASUIBA

    (Amateur Somewhat Unapologetic In-Between Ass)

  3. And let us never, ever, EVER forget YOUR KNEES ARE GOING TO DISINTEGRATE IF YOU ARE (arbitrary number of pounds) OVERWEIGHT.

    *head disintegrates*

    Meanwhile, back in Kate’s article…well done. I can’t say that I’ll ever watch it, mainly because I’m just not much of a major TV watcher anymore, but it is absolutely refreshing to see that at least a bit of fat-positive programming has sneaked out there.

  4. I’ve been enjoying Drop Dead Diva. I recognize the problems, but any show that doesn’t make me constantly yell at the tv is a good thing.

    Geez Kate! Obviously you’re not really fat and can’t talk for fatties. *sigh*

  5. It’s also often corny, tacky and over-simplistic, but I can overlook that.

    Yeah, absolutely. I originally talked more about how the thing most likely to prevent me from watching is just that it’s so… Lifetime. And except on paper, I am really not the Lifetime demographic. But then I figured A) that wasn’t necessarily relevant to the fat critique and B) I actually do basically enjoy it anyway. Also, C) I intended for it to be a positive review — I’d like to give the show good publicity — but as is my wont, I spent like 20 paragraphs ripping it apart before concluding, “But it’s good! You should watch it!” This is why I don’t do more reviews. (This is also why Al has just stopped asking me what I think when walking out of a movie theater, since 9 times out of 10, I rant for 15 minutes before admitting I liked it.)

  6. When I saw the episode where she went to the doctor and all that, I poked around the fat-o-sphere a bit and couldn’t find anything so I’m kind of glad to finally see a post on it :D I too was offended by the premise at first, but the more I watch it, the more I like it.

    And what you said about inbetweenies was so true. I’m a pretty solid plus size 14/16 on the bottom, but on the top, the smallest sizes at Torrid usually fit me (sometimes they’re too big), Lane Bryant never fits me, and straight size stores, some don’t go past L (wtf?), and sometimes the straight XL is too small. So I have trouble knowing where to shop.

    Anyway New Jane needs to learn the key to shopping with skinny friends: Jewelry and shoes.

  7. Oh yeah I also had something less vapid to say. Considering that Lifetime is, essentially, a tool of the patriarchy in and of itself, I’m sure it hasn’t failed to cross the minds of their upper management that if they get too body-positive, their diet-industry advertisers won’t be too happy. As much as I’m enjoying DDD and the always body-positive Project Runway, I still fail to see any evidence that Lifetime is truly “television for women” and not the giant spoon the patriarchy uses to shove itself down our throats.

  8. I did watch the clip you linked to Kate, and wow, I LOVE her doctor!

    About the only way the doctor could’ve done better would’ve been to mention that many people regain more after dieting than they lost in the first place.

  9. That might be an interesting post. A list of all the fat acceptance media (plays, tv, music, movies) and a scale on where they go right or wrong.

    I wrote a play in 2007 about fat acceptance. When I finally got a reading of the play in a local theater group, it pretty much began and ended my career in the local theater scene.

    Since then I’ve been keeping my eyes out for when the swell in FA media starts. The louder we get a community the more likely we are to have fictional representations of of our cause.

    My hope is that “Drop Dead Diva” just a start. A drop in the bucket of what’s to come.

  10. Oh, gawd.

    Being 14 kgs overweight is bad for the knees?

    A good friend of mine was almost in a wheelchair before she lost 100 pounds. She was still morbidly obese. Took her forever to lose prescribed amount of weight. She got both knees replaced. After the rehab – which hurt like hell – no more pain and lots more movement.

    Sometimes weight is a factor in chronic problems. But it isn’t always the culprit.

  11. @Kate H:

    But Kate, for me, what makes your review(s) so stellar is that you bring up the good, bad and ugly.

    I’m dating myself (as in, revealing my age, not as in taking myself out on a date, which doesn’t sound bad), but have you ever seen this really OLD SNL with Jon Lovitz having a hypnotism show?

    All the critics come out of the show all swirly-eyed, and say the same thing (in monotone cadence):

    “I loved it. It was much better than Cats. I’m going to see it, again and again.”

    This is a long comment to say that most reviews are like that: totally one-sided, un-nuanced, and insulting to my intelligence. Yours wasn’t.

  12. I may actually give this show a shot after your review, Kate, even though I swore up and down I would never watch anything about fat people again because the one episode of “Dance Your Ass Off” I caught offended me on almost every level. “No, it’s not good enough to be a kick-ass dancer, bad fatty! You have to lose the most weight too. Duh! THIS SHOW IS ABOUT LIFESTYLE CHANGES!”

    Also, I clicked through on the “Fat Chicks Crying” link in your review and I laughed so hard I snotted all over myself.

    I totally think “Fat Chicks Formerly Crying” should be the blog’s next tagline. Even though “Home of the Mordantly Obese” rocks like hell.

  13. Cindy — Agreed on the knees thing. I screwed up my right knee by jumping into a walking program too fast. What fixed it wasn’t weight loss, but physical therapy, aka targeted strength training and walking. Turns out my knees are fine IF that the muscles in my legs support my knees properly.

  14. @Az – “As much as I’m enjoying DDD and the always body-positive Project Runway, […]”

    Buh? Did you miss the one where they had the mothers of the designers as models, and at least three designers had a multi-day hissy fit of being unable to design for the “fatties” coming through the door, and one guy just outright insulted his client and said he couldn’t design anything for her body, especially not in the colors she wanted? Then Mr. Rock N Roll (Dude. You can’t tell me there are no fat singers rockin’ it onstage for you to crib from. BTW, GIS for Mama Cass is pretty awesome) sent her out in a drab Goodwill-Ragstock-glued-together hot mess, and blamed her for not showing off his craptacular look favorably to the judges. Then he spent the next week poking at her daughter about how awful it was to design for her! That guy went on to win and had no censure from anyone except about his arrogance. Or the episode where the model was 2″ larger in the hips than the model card indicated, so the designer threw away his dress since she couldn’t fit anymore (and he couldn’t compensate for a few INCHES) and sent her out half naked? Or the more recent preggers-with-twins challenge, which just cemented the “real fashionistas don’t wear bras” cliche? (Backless + low cut + tightly fitted for someone heavily pregnant? Headslaps all around!) Then the fat guy with the crazy costume background was always shown lazing around or sleeping…

    (Sorry for the rant. I liked the RNR guy’s style a lot until that episode. Spoiled the season for me.) I love me some Heidi and Tim, but while certain people might be body-positive occasionally the show itself sure isn’t. Unless showing how designers don’t design for human clothing, and aren’t taught the skills to flatter many body types (or the business acumen to grin and bear it when you’re talking to a client), is body positive…

    One Hung episode, “The Pickle Jar”, about how the male escort dealt with seeing someone sexually when she wasn’t his ideal type was rather FA from the privileged position, though I’m several episodes behind now and I don’t know if they’ve kept it up.

  15. They also had a challenge where they took women who had lost weight and had the designers cut up their favorite pre-weight loss outfits to make new clothing for them. Which (a) had me mentally screaming “Don’t do it! You may want that outfit later!” and (b) isn’t it typical that half the time when we see women larger then models on TV, they’ve lost weight or are trying to? (“at least they’re good fatties!”).

  16. If I may rant about stupid things about fat in the media for a minute, I made the mistake of watching a bit of Biggest Loser last night. One of the contestants came back after being hospitalized with heat stroke.

    The reason she supposed got for why she had heat stroke? She’s too fat, of course.

    Now, she was the smallest of all the contestants, and you would think that if being fat caused heat stroke (because it’s apparently like walking around in a parka all the time), they all would have had it. Or, more people in general would get it.

    Given the restrictive diet and insane exercise program they put these people on, it seems like 100 times more likely that she got heat stroke because she was badly dehydrated to start with.

    Ugh, I was so frustrated that the insane way they push these contestants is actually responsible for making them critically ill, and then the illness if blamed on their being fat, not on the crazy diet and exercise schedules they are on.

  17. @Kate: I missed the post on Jezebel about Brooke Elliot’s size that resulted in disemvowellment, and I’m sure tone and implied intent are part of the equation here, but I do have to admit that I’ve been waiting for someone to mention this. It’s something I’ve observed and wondered about myself. If Brooke Elliot is being represented to the world as a size 16 when she’s really an 18 or a 20, doesn’t that reinforce skewed perceptions of what weight and size really look like? It brings to mind something you said recently about wanting to write a ficitonal heroine who was 300 lbs, but ended up changing her to 200 because at that weight, “people would be picturing 300 lbs. anyway” (paraphrasing here, obvs.).

    For the record, I have no idea if Brooke Elliot really is a size 16, and I know sizes look different on different people, but it has occured to me that she might be larger than that, and the cultural questions brought up by the (possible) misrepresentation of her weight by the show seem worth discussing.

  18. I have to admit, I’ve been wondering the same thing about “Jane,” too. I realize sizes look different on different people, but I’d also peg her closer to a 20, maybe an 18, rather than a 16. I would also wonder if somehow size 16 seems more palatable to people than saying the heroine was a size 18 or 20.

    I’ve seen a lot of people online put size 16 as the limit at which you can be healthy/attractive/not a lazy slob (i.e., “You can’t get to a size 18 by exercising and eating whole grains!” type of comments), and I do wonder how much of that plays into Jane being presented in the opening credits each week as a size 16.

    Of course, maybe Elliot really is a size 16. I don’t know. Honestly, she looks bigger to me, as well, though, and I do think it would be problematic if they were sizing her down to be more acceptable.

  19. Thanks, Sweet Machine. I look at Brooke Elliott and see someone whose body basically looks like mine (god it’s validating to see a fat woman with a non-doomy rack, like me, on television of all things) and it makes me vaguely weirded out to have people speculate (I’m a pretty solid 14W/16 straight-size), as though looking like that you must be lying if you say that’s your size. I mean, there are other (if not many) plus-size actresses out there. If they wanted a size 16 actress and Elliott is not one, they could have found one. I understand that it’s media and we do, absolutely, need to look at things like this through a critical lens. But that hits a little close to home, no?

  20. This is not an intentional derail, but I’d like to point out that DDD is not available with closed captions for the deaf and hard of hearing. All over the fatosphere I see people discussing the show with nary a mention of Lifetime’s lack of accessibility features. It matters, think of how many deaf and HoH people are not getting any of the show’s supposedly positive messages. Think of the deaf and HoH members of the fatosphere.

    It would be nice if people noticed this more and were critical of the companies that were not providing accessibility. Just like it shouldn’t just be fat people noticing and pointing out sizeism, it shouldn’t just be disabled people noticing and pointing out ableism.

    Ranty HoH bitch, out.

  21. nice all around review of DDD, the good and the bad. I started watching several episodes in, so
    i missed the binge probs. sounds bad. but, watching Brooke Elliot in action is a delight in
    so many ways that it makes up for the bad aspects. she is a sweet smart spirit at work
    bringing delight into our lives with some serious issues in the mix. actually, it’s amazing
    that this show is on tv at all.

  22. Remember that it’s notoriously difficult to guess someone’s size, even for Fully Ascended FA Masters.

    Exactly. I agree that if they’re having the character lie about her size to make it more palatable to the audience, that fucking sucks and would make me ranty. But I certainly don’t think Brooke Elliott is so big that anyone other than her tailor could say conclusively she is NOT a 16 — or not a 16 most of the time, at least. I mean, I wear everything from 14W-18W and XL to 2X (3X in some Stop Staring cuts), and I think sizing is so inconsistent that few of us are a “perfect” size anything, but I don’t think it would be disingenuous to refer to me generally as either a size 16 or 18, since that represents the middle of the range. If we’re just talking dress size, I’m most often a 14W — I think it would be stretching it to refer to myself as a “size 14″ for a lot of reasons (primary among them: my ass) but technically, you could make an argument for the accuracy of that. So I just don’t think we can tell by looking that Brooke Elliott is categorically bigger than a 16, whatever that means, and I’m willing to take her (or the writers’) word for it until I see proof that they’re full of shit.

    Godless Heathen, I’m glad you pointed that out, actually — I had no idea. I don’t have a TV, so I’ve only watched DDD online, and frankly, because I’m privileged enough not to have to consider closed captioning, it never occurred to me. Is there any organized campaign to get Lifetime to offer CC?

  23. Hear hear on sizing variations. I wear everything from a 26/28 to 36/38, depending on cut. Partly this is due to my bust being about 57″ and my hips being 67″ — there’s a lot of clothing lines that put my top as a 4x and my bottoms at 6x.

    Sometimes I wonder what percentage of women actually wear the same size on top and bottom. Are they the majority? Or the minority? ;)

  24. Good points, all, on the inconsistency of sizes. And daphne, I certainly didn’t mean any offense to you (or to anyone your size or any other), so sorry if my comment was hurtful.

  25. isn’t there a law yet( and a patent that creates it) that requires that cameras (still and moving) accurately reflect bodies, ie. not “the camera adds 10 pounds” so we can just see reality? and that
    editors are not allowed to change photos in any way? so in order to appear ultra thin on camera
    in reality some women are so thin we would be shocked. until we can see reality, it’s confusing to know what you see. and more confusing still because, like others have stated, it’s a size roller coaster out there in women’s
    clothing. whatever size Brooke is, she makes me happy.

  26. Ruth–Your dad is awesome.

    “Hunger is the best sauce” comes from Sancho Panza in Don Quijote: “la mejor sazón es el hambre.”

    I just taught a class on Sancho, and he is one of my literary and personal heroes. He is also one of the first literary characters ever to articulate his eating and table habits. It’s actually a big moment for the development of the modern novel IMO.

  27. Thanks Danielle – don’t worry about it :) (It’s funny, because my family will express skepticism that I “only” wear a 14/16, but I also often encounter people being skeptical that I wear “that big” a size. I guess to someone who’s a size 8, 16 sounds shocking? I guess 6 years ago when I wore those pants it might have to me – thank god how I’ve changed :P)

  28. Speaking of clothing and DDD, I am totally not a dress person, but I LOVE the polka-dot dress Jane wore at her birthday party. That is definitely a dress I’d wear.

  29. I just watched the last three episodes of the show, and I think one of the biggest problems I have (aside from the ones mentioned in your review) is that from the beginning, they’ve basically said that all skinny women are basically either idiots or complete asses. Case in point, compare Stacy to Kim. Stacy is a horrendous stereotype. She may exist in real life (I’m relatively sure she does) but she is also a huge stereotype of the skinny woman who basically starves herself, and has practically no brain. And what’s worse, the only times she even seems exceptionally stupid are when they make a point of saying “OH HEY LOOK AT DUMB GIRL BEING DUMB.” Otherwise, she could easily be of average intelligence compared to how smart Jane is supposed to be.

    Then there’s Kim. They seem to swing between making her just “that thin girl who hates all fatties” and “a genuine woman with a lot of emotional problems”. Seriously, they want her to be the villain, but want us to feel sorry for her, but NO WAIT YOU REALLY NEED TO HATE HER. Ugh. I mean, it’s possible for a woman to be a fat-hater and also sympathetic in some ways, but they’re not doing a good job of integrating those two elements. I don’t think anyone should ever be one dimensional (although I think the most one dimensional character so far is actually Grayson), but it seems like it’s a choice between one dimensional and not being able to make the decision between two warring traits.

    There are other skinny women who are on the show momentarily, but a lot of them are vilified more than is strictly necessary. Actually, I think the doctor is the only one I can think of offhand who isn’t skinny and is nice. There are in betweenies (like the ever-amazing Margaret Cho) who are varied, but the skinny women tend to be one note characters.

    Haha, did I mention I totally suffer from the “rant and rave but then decide I like it” trait too? My best friend hates going to movies with me because unless it’s perfect I invariably froth at the mouth for a good hour before going “but yeah, it was good!” And if it wasn’t good, by my standards? Well, let’s just say The Sweeney Todd Incident is not spoken of between us anymore. Anyway, I think DDD is a fun show (I consume it every few weeks on the Lifetime site, two or three episodes at a time), and a definite step in the right direction.

  30. HiddenTohru, I’m totally with you. (Although, speaking of how hard it is to realistically size up people on TV, would Margaret Cho even qualify as an in-betweenie at the moment? I mean, she always qualifies as one in spirit, given her history of weight fluctuation and body image shit, but she’s actually looking pretty damn thin to me these days. Not Hollywood thin, but I wouldn’t guess she’s anywhere near in-betweenie status [which, to my mind, is 12/14 territory], either.)

    I HATE that Stacy is so dumb; I was bitching about that in Jez comments, vis a vis Fred’s inexplicable love for her. (Lust is explicable. Love, not so much.) I suppose they sorta painted themselves into a corner by making Deb dumb, because that makes it less likely that her BFF would be smart. (Though her boyfriend was, which could be the basis for half a dozen posts right there. And yeah, I agree that he’s nonetheless totally one-dimensional. As I said at Jez, I keep forgetting I’m supposed to care about him and root for him to fall for Janedeb.) But I would be a million times more interested in Stacy if she were a bright woman who nonetheless succumbs to the intense pressures of the industry she works in and diets like a fiend. We’re supposed to believe she and Janedeb click as BFFs just as well as she and Debdeb did, but I have a lot of trouble buying it. Except for an apparently good heart and knowledge of the big secret (plus a great apartment, I guess), what the hell is the appeal of Stacy? I so wish they’d made her more than the dumb blonde. As it is, I feel like they’re just reinforcing Self-Loathing Fat Girl Social Fallacy #1: “Conventionally beautiful women have little else going for them.” Which is then used to bolster both girl-on-girl hate and Self-Loathing Fat Girl Social Fallacy #2: “Caring about people’s looks is beneath any decent person.” Yeah, actually, we all care about looks in our own ways — the real fallacy is that we all care about looks in exactly the same ways — and hawt girls can be smart and fat girls can be hot. Portraying Smart Fat Girl as the hero and Dumb Skinny Girl as the sidekick only reverses the way we usually see that binary expressed, as opposed to exposing it for the simplistic load of bullshit it is.

    Kim doesn’t bother me as much, because I see her much more as a stock villain who’s at the beginning of an inevitable redemption arc. The more she interacts with Jane, the more her ideas about fat people are challenged, and I’d put money on them having an Elle/Vivian ending someday. I agree that they’re not finessing it as much as they could, but then, that goes back to my fundamental Lifetime issues, not fat-specific issues.

    And yeah, just in general, it would be awesome to have a conventionally beautiful skinny chick character who’s neither stupid nor evil.

  31. Hell, I would even be okay with Stacy only ACTING dumb to fit the stereotypes she’s supposed to fit, because I’ve personally witnessed that. I had two friends in college (more acquaintances now) who acted very bubbly and air-headed because they’d grown up being expected to act like that, who were both actually very smart and talented young women. It drove me insane, because one of them acted that way all the time (excepting rare circumstances), while the other let her facade drop completely whenever it was a certain group who recognized her as more. It’s also interesting to note that the one who wouldn’t let go of her facade was a fat girl (more of an in-betweenie, actually) and the other wasn’t. There’s a whole lot I could probably write about that right there.

    I think the best outcome for the whole Grayson situation would be if Janedeb ended up being happy with someone else (have you watched episode 10 yet?) and he perhaps realized too late that she was the better catch. Then got written off the show, because meh. 9.9 I really just think it would be better and healthier for Janedeb to move on entirely and make herself happy with someone else. Or, y’know, alone.

    I think the saddest part about the specific issues associated with having the show on Lifetime is that if it was a more mainstream network, it would be handled a lot better. But, as things are now, a more mainstream network would never have touched it. They might touch a similar show now, or more likely if DDD survives past its first season, but they wouldn’t have even entertained the idea. Because it’s Lifetime they were willing to take it, because They Do Girly Shit, and despite it being them it’s actually pretty good. But it’s still pretty sad that people still see things about women’s issues and go “oh, that’s just a Lifetime movie waiting to happen”. On the one hand, at least someone is handling those subjects. On the other, is that kind of press the kind we want?

    (Oh and my Internet Hero Worship Syndrome had to be calmed down to write this comment, because I kept thinking “squeeee Kate responded to my comment eeeeee!” XD)

  32. I haven’t watched DDD in a few weeks, ever since Lifetime changed their schedule I kinda quit tuning in.

    But something in your article really stuck out to me.

    (I don’t know how to change it’s font so I’ll just put quotes around it XD)

    “but the experiences of a thin woman suddenly forced to give thought one to what it’s like to be fat”

    I’ve never been thin and I’ve fluctuated all my life without my diet or lifestyle changing, it’s just happened. Last year I realized I was gaining a lot of weight and tried to stop it, surprise surprise, it didn’t help, I was miserable and ended up gaining a lot of weight anyway.

    That part of your review reminded me of what I’ve been going through the past 3 weeks. I swear, it’s been like some sort of emotional torture.

    I’ve never known *anything* about fashion, I grew up thinking that fashion was ridiculous and ended up spending most of my life looking awkward and feeling really self-conscious. So right before I started gaining the weight I finally got into fashion and started to learn how to dress for my body.

    Well after gaining the weight I became afraid of my body and ended up wearing the ugliest baggy jeans and boyfriend t-shirts that have ever been created. I was invited to a party in Seattle this week and I wanted to look fantastic, I wanted to *feel* fantastic, so I went out shopping in this little Kentucky town I’m in.

    It was one of the most *miserable* experiences I think I’ve ever had. It took me 3 days to find two pairs of pants that fit in the style I wanted that weren’t 5 inches longer than my legs. The whole process was like mental torture, I knew that I should be blaming the clothes and not my body but after scouring the whole town it becomes hard *not* to blame my body.

    I know if I had a little more fashionsense it would have been a lot easier but I guess what I’m saying is, it’s weird being one size and then suddenly being another. It’s weird not knowing how to shop for your body type, size, and shape. You question yourself constantly.

    I can deal with being fatter now, I really can, and with this blog I’ve learned to accept my body and I’m trying to figure out how I can become healthy *without* wanting to turn it into a diet (and that’s hard!)

    I guess the biggest reason why I wanted to post this comment though is because those two weeks were miserable and I really have no one to complain to about it. XD So I guess I was just taking this opportunity to do it.

  33. Hiddentohru: Well, let’s just say The Sweeney Todd Incident is not spoken of between us anymore.

    OMG that was The Worst Film Evaaaarrrrr!!! I watched it on DVD with some friends who’d brought it over, and it turns out we ALL hated it but noone would say because we each thought everyone else was really into it. It would have been funny if it hadn’t been quite so BAAAAAD. I mean! And despite hating it we all had that stupid ‘Joa–arrrrrrrgggghhhhhhh!!!!!–nna, Joa–aaaaahhhhhhhhhhh–nna’ song in our heads, along with ‘put im in a pie, put im in a pie’, which somehow got all mixed up together with the tune from an ad for ‘Hammerite’ (the words of which go any old iron, any old iron, any any any old ir-on’, though you may not know it)… creating a whole new song which went ‘Joanna Joanna put it in a pie put it in a pie any any any old pi-ie, it’s alright it’s hammerite, old iron a pi-ie’.

    It was bad.

  34. I think it’s disappointing that Jane’s body craves stereotypical “bad foods” like donuts, but at the same time, it’s interesting that her body has a say. I’ve read that sometimes heart transplant patients who never liked spicy food will start craving it after receiving the heart of someone who ate spicy food. Deb has received something like an entire body transplant, so it makes sense that there would be this strange alchemy between her mind and new body. So, like the heart transplant patient who discovers a love for spice, this challenges the mind/body split. It’s that split that helps support the hate of fat bodies because they are seen as “things”–things that people “have”, things that people control.

    I can understand someone who is overworked and overstressed becoming dependent on a sugary diet of easy foods to eat on the go, though I think it would make more sense to me if Jane’s body were craving caffeine instead. (I had both a latte and a donut for breakfast. Ah, the life of a grad student.)

    Maybe I’m reading too much into this–I want so much to like this show, but I haven’t watched anything since the overdone episode about Deb’s parents’ divorce :( I am happy to hear about that doctor scene, though, and I think I’ll be giving this show another chance.

  35. Zenoodle – Judge not the musical based on the movie. I’ve been a huge Stephen Sondheim fan since I was in high school (he’s the composer for Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Company, Assassins, and so many other good musicals), when his music helped me get through my parents’ divorce. Sweeney Todd is abrasive, but it’s a good musical. The movie adaptation made a mockery of it. Not only could most of the actors not sing worth a crap, they edited a bunch of shit out and took out some of the best songs (the judge’s song, for instance) and added in shit that wasn’t necessary (the whole scene where the Judge has Anthony beaten) and basically made it horrible. Johnny Depp can’t sing right for the role, Helena Bonham-Carter can’t sing PERIOD, and yeah. I could go on, but yeah.

    It was worse than a regular movie because I feel so strongly about Sondheim’s music (Sweeney Todd isn’t my favorite of his, but it’s pretty far up there) and because of the emotional connection to my parents’ divorce, so I basically came out of it frothing in rage. My best friend had liked it and got really mad at my behavior. She liked it because of the visuals (which, I admit, were basically the only redeeming feature of the movie), she’s extremely visually oriented. You could probably take a movie that was visually stunning (The Fall is one of her recent favorites) and replace the soundtrack with caterwauling and nails screeching on blackboards and she’d still like it. XD Which isn’t a BAD thing, but sort of skews her opinion on musicals that are pretty but sound awful.

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