For Jane Bingham, life really is more wonderful the second time around in this wild second season of the breakthrough comedic drama hit. Just when she’s ready to move on from her former existence as a shallow wannabe model and accept her sudden reincarnation as a plus-size, brilliant attorney, Jane gets thrown a whole new set of curves, including a hottie love interest, the shocking arrival of her “secret” husband, the discovery of a half-sister and a career-threatening courtroom showdown. Once again, Jane must chart a bold, new future for herself. Among the guest stars: Paula Abdul, Chad Lowe, Vivica A. Fox, David Denman, Devon Gummersal, Robin Givens, Cybill Shepherd and Natasha Henstridge.
Brooke Elliott is one of the most engaging TV series heroines in ages--dazzling and compulsively watchable. In the second season of Drop Dead Diva
, Elliott hits her stride as Jane, a plus-size attorney with a razor-sharp mind. The twist? Jane is actually the reincarnation of the vapid Deb, a shallow supermodel who was technically dead--as was the real Jane--when Deb's soul slipped into Jane's body and was revived. So Drop Dead Diva
examines the adjustments and personal life of the formerly gorgeous Deb adjusting to life as Jane, as well as showcases plots for a believable and engaging legal procedural. In the second season, Jane is enjoying the fact that people take her seriously, and that she in fact has a brilliant legal mind. But it's complicated. Season two sees the return of a husband Jane hadn't realized she had (Ethan, played by the slightly off-putting Devon Gummersall), and a new love interest who really loves Jane for who she is. But the brilliance of Drop Dead Diva
is that Jane is still both Jane and Deb, and spends a lot of her non-courtroom time trying to piece everything together, with the help of her best friend, Kim (Kate Levering), and a sometime guardian angel (Fred, played by Ben Feldman). The rest of the supporting cast is delightful, especially Margaret Cho as Jane's loyal and sometimes a little too proactive assistant, Teri. Cameos in the second season include the return of Paula Abdul--as a judge, of course--as well as Vivica A. Fox, Robin Givens, Natasha Henstridge, and Cybill Shepherd. But it's Elliott who makes all the magic happen, both in the courtroom and in her own extremely complicated, second-chance life. Her talent at conveying mixed emotions in a single look is amazing.
The complete second season boxed set is packed with extras, including three behind-the-scenes featurettes. One breaks down the choreography and work that went into the musical dream sequence in the season opener, with Brooke singing "Would I Lie to You?" to Judge Paula Abdul, with a chorus of the entire cast as well as perky patrons of a food court. There are some great deleted scenes, and, oddly, a trailer of highlights for season two. Once you've watched the full season, the viewer will realize that all of season two is a highlight. --A.T. Hurley