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Drop Dead Diva – The Complete Third Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

May 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Entertaining, fun and every episode of season three of “Drop Dead Diva” was delightful.  “Drop Dead Diva – The Complete Third Season” is recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2011 Sony Pictures Television Inc. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Drop Dead Diva – The Complete Third Season

YEAR OF FILM: 2011

DURATION: (13 Episodes) 561 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: Widescreen 1:78:1, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Subtitles: English SDH, French

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RELEASE DATE: May 29, 2012

Directed by Jamie Babbit, Michael Grossman, Michael Schultz

Written by Josh Berman, Jeffrey Lippman, Alex Taub, Amy Engelberg, Wendy Engelberg

Executive Producer: Josh Berman, Neil Meron, Craig Zadan, Alex Taub, Dauri Chase, Sarah Rath, Amy Engelberg, Wendy Engelberg

Co-Executive Producer: Robert J. Wilson, Jamie Babbit

Consulting Producer: William N. Fordes, Sandy Isaac, Rob Wright

Co-Producer: Jeffrey Lippman

Associate Producer: Den Dioria

Music by Scott Starrett

Cinematography by David A. Makin

Edited by Augie Hess, Tirsa Hackshaw, John Murray

Casting by Eric Dawson, Carol Kritzer, Robert J. Ulrich

Design by Eric Weiler

Art Direction by Heather R. Dumas

Set Decoration by Amy McGary

Costume Design by Amanda Riley

Starring:

Jackson Hurst as Grayson Kent

Kate Levering as Kim Kaswell

April Bowlby as Stacy Barrett

Josh Stamberg as Jay Parker

Brooke Elliott as Jane Bingum

Margaret Cho as Teri Lee

Ben Feldman as Fred

Brooke D’Orsay as Deb Dobkins

Jaime Ray Newman as Vanessa Hemmings

Acclaimed by critics and adored by viewers, the dazzling third season of Drop Dead Diva is the most delightful and deliriously funny yet! Whether forced to play wedding planner for her former fiancé’s nuptials, fighting courtroom cases from breast implant surgery gone wrong to a Death Row inmate finally trying to do right, or facing down her own love life issues with suitors both past and present, Jane is living the adventure of two lifetimes, and then some. Guest stars include Leann Rimes, Kathy Griffin, Wendy Williams, Paula Abdul, and more!

In 2009, Josh Berman (executive producer for “Bones” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”) produced an hour-long series titled “Drop Dead Diva”, a legal comedy which airs on Lifetime.  And now the hit legal drama’s third season will be released on DVD in May 2012 right before the season premiere of the fourth season.

For fans of “Drop Dead Diva”, the third season provided many twists and turns but also answering one of the biggest questions that fans have been waiting for… will Grayson find out that Deb has returned in Jane’s body?

What is “Drop Dead Diva” all about?

The series began with aspiring model, Deb Dobkins (portrayed by Brooke D’Orsay) who lived somewhat of a shallow life but was a happy woman.

She hung out with her BFF Stacy Barrett (portrayed by April Bowlby) and was engaged to Grayson Kent (portrayed by Jackson Hurst) and life was good, until she got into a car accident and died.

While in heaven, another woman named Jane Bingum (portrayed by Brooke Elliott), a lawyer was shot and also died and went into heaven.  But because Deb hasn’t shown any positive or negative redeeming qualities, she is considered by the gatekeeper named Fred (played by Ben Feldman) to be returned back to Earth.

But Deb instead chose to mess with Fred’s “return button” and in the process, instead of returning back to her body, she returns back into the body of Jane, the plus-size attorney.  And now Deb must live a new life as Jane.

As Deb now lives life as Jane, she manages to still have passion towards fashion but also has retained Jane’s intelligence and brilliant legal knowledge.

The first season of “Drop Dead Diva” focused on Deb trying to get used to being Jane but also learn more about Jane’s real life and how she struggled with dieting, was not popular at school  but she also can sing.  At the same time, Deb learns how people thought about her posthumously including her parents unhappiness but most importantly how self-absorbed she was.

As Jane returns back to work, she also has to deal with her secret that she is being Jane and watching over her is Fred, the gatekeeper in heaven who has been demoted to guardian angel for Jane. As Fred knows the true identity of Jane, also knowing her true identity is her best friend Stacy (who has a fling with Fred).

Jane works at the law firm Harrison & Parker with her womanizing boss Jay Parker (played by Josh Stamberg); brilliant attorney Kim Kasswell (played by Kate Levering), a woman who also has a rivalry with Jane as both women are great at their job; her blunt and opinionated assistant Teri Lee (played by Margaret Cho) and also, working with her boyfriend Grayson Kent.

But while Deb gets used to her new life as Jane and takes on various cases, deep inside, it’s difficult when Deb sees Grayson with other women and knowing that she can’t tell him that she is now Jane.

For season three of “Drop Dead Diva”, we learn what happens to the relationship between Jay Parker and Kim Caswell, whether or not Stacy and Fred’s relationship will last and also which men that Jane will meet and date, while trying to be tough that Grayson is marrying attorney Vanessa Hemmings.

But what happens when Grayson depends on Jane’s help and support in preparation of the wedding?

Find out in “Drop Dead Diva – The Complete Third Season”!

“Drop Dead Diva” featured 13 episodes on three DVD’s.  Here is a brief spoiler-free synopsis of Season Three.

  • EPISODE 27 – Hit and Run – Jane worries about Grayson, who is in a coma, while she is assigned on a case against two celebrities involved in a hit-and-run of 13-year-old.
  • EPISODE 28 – False Alarm - Grayson wants Jane to help him with his wedding plans with Vanessa.
  • EPISODE 29 – Dream Big - Jane takes on a major case of a woman who is suing a sperm bank, due to her son being a “little person” having health problems and taking its toll emotionally and financially on the family.
  • EPISODE 30 – The Wedding – It’s the big day as Grayson is to marry Vanessa, meanwhile as Jane buys a wedding gift, she is robbed at gunpoint.
  • EPISODE 31 – Prom – Jane represents two lesbian teenagers who are denied attending prom at school.
  • EPISODE 32 – Closure – Jane has to work for a week at the DA’s office after being deputized as a DA and work with an old ex.
  • EPISODE 33 – Mother’s Day – Jane’s mother gets into trouble, meanwhile Deb’s mother becomes a target for Parker.
  • EPISODE 34He Said, She Said – Jane and Grayson are at odds when she represents a rape victim against a star football player from Grayson’s old high school.
  • EPISODE 35You Bet Your Life – Jane has to help a former sorority rival (of Deb), but will she be to represent her old rival?
  • EPISODE 36 – Toxic - Jane is fired from her job.
  • EPISODE 37 – Ah Men - Parker is reunited with an old girlfriend, but Jane finds out a major secret about her.
  • EPISODE 38 – Bride-a-Palooza - Jane takes on a case of a well-known Bridezilla who was trampled at an event.  Meanwhile, Stacy’s new attitude of being actress on a TV show is taking its toll on all her friends.
  • EPISODE 39 – Change of Heart – A death row inmate about to be executed, wants Jane to find a way to give his heart to his sister who needs a transplant.

VIDEO, AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Drop Dead Diva” is presented in widescreen 1:78:1 and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Digital Surround. For the most part, “Drop Dead Diva” is a series that has always looked good on DVD.  Video quality has its vibrant moments outdoors, well-lit during indoor scenes and one of those series that I wished was released on Blu-ray.

With that being said, like most series on DVD, “Drop Dead Diva” while looking good, does tend to show some artifacting (most people will not notice) as expected on DVD especially during darker lit scenes.  But for the most part, this is a good looking series on DVD.

As for the audio, presented via Dolby Digital 5.1, this legal drama series is dialogue driven but also tends to feature quite a bit of music and both dialogue and music are clear and I detected no audio problems during my view of “Drop Dead Diva”.

Subtitles are in English SDH and French.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Drop Dead Diva – The Complete Third Season” comes with no special features.

The third season of “Drop Dead Diva” is possibly my favorite season by far.

Each episode was entertaining, well-written, well-performed and there is a good number of appearances by a few stars such as Paula Abdul, LeAnn Rimes, Wendy Williams, Kathy Griffin, Brandy and many more!

But with the third season, I enjoyed the character dynamics.

Actress/singer Brooke Elliott does a fantastic job of playing an intelligent lawyer while maintaining Deb’s cheerful attitude (and little laugh), especially discussion of fashion that comes out in the most unexpected moments.    And there is no doubt that Brooke Elliot as Jane, was put into many emotional moments throughout the series and you can only sympathize with her, knowing that Deb, who is now Jane, must deal with Grayson’s engagement, trying to move on and date other men and also seeing things get a little heated between Jane and her best friend Stacy.

Also, another plus for the third season is how the writers utilized each character quite well.  From Parker’s womanizing and his off-and-on relationship with Kim, the fragile relationship between Stacy and Fred and even more craziness with Terri Lee, if anything, I like it when writers give their supporting cast members a chance to show their importance to a series and everyone did a fantastic job with this third season and the back-and-forth dynamics between these characters, you can tell they are very comfortable with one another and the chemistry shows!

What didn’t I like about this third season?  Not much but there were times where I felt the pacing was off and instead of easing into the conclusion, sometimes the story just transitions abruptly more often during transitions to where Jane congratulates her clients.  And even some of the lines given to Margaret Cho’s character Teri Lee that were meant to be funny, just wasn’t.  And while I did like how things were going with Stacy and Fred, while most of the characters had a lot of emotional involvement in the show, I felt writers to need to give more emotional scenes to Ben Feldman’s guardian angel character.  Without spoiling the storyline between Stacy and Fred, I just felt their relationship and what happens to it, could have been handled better.

But with that being said, everything fell into place.  I really enjoyed this season’s episodes, the humor in the series especially the season finale cliffhanger.

As for those who have not seen season 1-2, while the backstory does help, to tell you the truth, there is so much discussion of the past that new viewers can just jump in to this series and enjoy it and also know what’s going on (well, with the exception of the first episode with Grayson in a coma).  But other than that, one can easily jump into this series with season three.

As for the DVD, I’m disappointed that there are no special features.  No gag real, no audio commentary, no interviews, no behind-the-scenes interviews.  For such an enjoyable series at least include special features!  If anything, this was the only major negative I found with this DVD release.

Overall, “Drop Dead Diva – The Complete Third Season” was fantastic and I can’t wait until season four!  But hopefully by next season, they can include special features with the DVD release.  Other than that, fans of the series or those curious about “Drop Dead Diva”, will definitely want to give this third season a try.  Recommended!

Drop Dead Diva: The Complete Second Season arrives on DVD May 3rd

March 14, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Brooke Elliott and Margaret Cho Star in…
Drop Dead Diva:
The Complete Second Season
The Critically Acclaimed Series on Lifetime TV

Loaded with Special Features Including Deleted Scenes, Three Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes and the “Begin Again” Music Video!

Debuts on DVD May 3rd

Culver City, CA (March 14, 2011) – Life is definitely funnier the second time around when Sony Pictures Home Entertainment debuts Drop Dead Diva: The Complete Second Season on May 3rd. The sophomore season of this quirky hit Lifetime series from Sony Pictures Television stars Brooke Elliott (What Women Want) as a shallow wannabe model who dies in a sudden accident only to find her soul resurfacing in the body of a brilliant, plus-size and recently deceased attorney, Jane. The series also stars comedian Margaret Cho (17 Again; TV’s “Dancing with the Stars”), Jackson Hurst (The Mist), Kate Levering (TV’s “Cashmere Mafia”), April Bowlby (TV’s “Two and a Half Men”), Josh Stamberg (TV’s “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”) and Ben Feldman (TV’s “Living with Fran”). The three-disc set contains exclusive bonus content including deleted scenes, three all-new behind-the-scenes featurettes and a music video. Drop Dead Diva: The Complete Second Season will be available for $29.95.

This season features special guest appearances by Paula Abdul (TV’s “American Idol”), Vivica A. Fox (TV’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Rosie O’Donnell (TV’s “The Rosie O’Donnell Show”), Chad Lowe (TV’s “Pretty Little Liars”), David Denman (TV’s “The Office”), Devon Gummersal (TV’s “CSI”), Robin Givens (TV’s “Head of the Class”), Cybill Shepherd (The Last Picture Show) and Natasha Henstridge (TV’s “Eli Stone”). Other guest stars include Leelee Sobieski (TV’s “Joan of Arc”), Jake Pavelka (TV’s “The Bachelorette”), Faith Prince (TV’s “Spin City”) and Sharon Lawrence (TV’s “NYPD Blue”). Josh Berman, Alex Taub, Craig Zadan, and Neil Meron served as executive producers, while Robert J. Wilson served as co-executive producer.

SYNOPSIS
For Jane Bingum, life really is more wonderful the second time around in this wild second season of the breakthrough comedic drama hit. Thrown a whole new set of curves, including the arrival of her “secret” husband, our model-in-a-lawyer’s-body continues to learn about her past while charting a bold new future.

DVD Special Features Include:
·        Deleted Scenes
·        Begin Again (music video)
·        3 All-New Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
o       A Look Ahead to Season 2
o       Drop Dead Dishing: The Cast and Crew of Season 2
o       There’s a Little Diva in all of Us!
·        Anamorphic widescreen presentation
·        Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
·        Subtitles: English, SDH, French

Broadcast Year: 2010 (Lifetime TV)

Drop Dead Diva has a run time of approximately 569 minutes and is not rated.

Bristol Palin responds to Margaret Cho’s blog post

December 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 24:  Dancing with the Stars contestant Bristol Palin from Season 11 of the Dancing with the Stars competition visits Good Morning America at ABC Studios on November 24, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

After a blog post by Margaret Cho that Bristol Palin was forced to do “Dancing with the Stars” because her mother Sarah made her do it, now Bristol is responding to Cho’s claim.

Bristol posted the following on Facebook. Bristol wrote, “So with this in mind I was somewhat taken aback to read about me in a blog by my friend and fellow contestant, Margaret Cho.  In a post she called “Pistol Whipped” she wrote that “the only reason Bristol was on the show was because Sarah Palin forced her to do it. Sarah supposedly blames Bristol harshly and openly . . . for not winning the election,and so she told Bristol she “owed” it to her to do DWTS . . . .”  Let me shamelessly steal from Saturday Night Live: “Really, Margaret? Really?”

“I will give my friend credit for creativity, and extra points for getting so many “facts” wrong in so few sentences.  Let me be blunt: my mom did not “force” me to go on DWTS.  She did not ask me either.  The show approached me.  I thought about it.  I made the decision.  After first worrying for me in terms of being exposed to those who hate us for what we believe in, both my mom and my dad became my number one supporters.  Anyone who watched the show could tell I performed better, and I felt better about myself, when they were in the audience.  I wanted to make them both proud, but politics had nothing to do with it. Loving my parents had everything to do with it.”

Palin continued, “To my friend Margaret Cho, if you ever have a question, call me girlfriend. Don’t ever rely on “sources” who claim to know me or my family. You will be taken every time. And we need to talk. You say you “don’t agree with the family’s politics at all” but I say, if you understood that commonsense conservative values supports the right of individuals like you, like all of us, to live our lives with less government interference and more independence, you would embrace us faster than KD Lang at an Indigo Girls concert.”

Margaret Cho on Bristol Palin

December 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Dancers Louis Van Amstel (L) and Margaret Cho attend the premiere of 'Dancing With The Stars' at CBS Television City on September 20, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Margaret Cho blogged on Tuesday about Bristol Palin, her involvement with “Dancing with the Stars” and complimenting her.

Cho blogged:

Why did Bristol do Dancing with the Stars? I heard from someone who really should know (really should seriously know the dirt really really) that the only reason Bristol was on the show was because Sarah Palin forced her to do it. Sarah supposedly blames Bristol harshly and openly (in the circles that I heard it from) for not winning the election, and so she told Bristol she “owed” it to her to do DWTS so that “America would fall in love with her again” and make it possible for Sarah Palin to run in 2012 with America behind her all the way. Instead of being supposedly “handicapped” by the presence of her teen mom daughter, now Bristol is going to be an “asset” – a celebrity beloved for her dancing. I am sure the show wasn’t in on this (but who knows anything really).

Cho would continue to write and praise Bristol:

Although I don’t agree with the family’s politics at all, I really like Bristol as a person. She’s warm and incredibly supportive, and I think that she looks beautiful out on the dance floor. It’s heartbreaking that people are so awful to her about her weight. I think she looks fantastic, and why does everybody think they have a right to comment on our bodies? What are young girls going to take away from that? If people call her fat what kind of impact does that have on women who have similar body types – which is most of us??!!

Cho would end her blog in humorous fashion.  Cho would write, “Now I am scared I am going to wake up with a decapitated moose head in my bed.”

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