Drop Dead Diva is a series built around body image, and this week it brought the fading theme back to the forefront. Jane may have come to terms with her new look long ago, but when she’s faced with a client who is suing a reality TV producer for rejecting his wife for being “too ugly,” we see a thread come full circle. Find out more in our review of “Winning Ugly.”

The Players:

  • Director: Jamie Babbit
  • Writer: Alfonso H. Moreno
  • Cast: Brooke Elliott, Jackson Hurst, Kate Levering, April Bowlby, Josh Stamberg

Episode Title: “Winning Ugly”

How does Jane continue to land the least interesting case week after week? Even with a stellar set-up (suing a TV producer over the suicide of a women he rejected from his makeover show for being too ugly), Jane’s case doesn’t hold a candle to the craziness of Parker’s arbitration. What beats the intrigue of reality television, suicide and wrongful death? Answer: A reincarnated rat. Yes, Parker is mediating between two women fighting for custody of a rat they believe is the reincarnated version of their mutual lover.

The Good:

  • Parker’s Son: Last season, we learned that Parker had an illegitimate child with special guest star Brandy. His absolutely adorable son is the reason for his summer-long disappearance (he fled to Chicago to look for him) and he reappears this week. Not only is he cute as a button, but he’s got the kind of cliche (but tolerable) spunk required to take two buses across town to hang out with his estranged dad.
  • Luke: Luke is back on top this week, hiring a jury consultant to help with Jane and Kim’s wrongful death suit. He’s on the show to shake things up, and he’s at his best when he’s doing exactly that (with a devious smile).
  • Owen the Awesome: Who would have thought that anyone would ever take Grayson’s place in Jane – and our – hearts? Somehow, Owen has done it. He’s the perfect foil for Grayson. He’s just as smart, twice as confident and with a sense of humor that ol’ Ken doll is sorely lacking. This week’s story really let Owen shine. He got to confront Jane about her history with Owen (she gets around the truth on a lawyerly technicality, cementing her Jane-not-Deb trajectory) and to verbally shame Grayson after a bro-down on the basketball court. Team Owen, anyone?

The Bad:

  • Kim Gets Stupid: Kim has always been one of Diva’s central antagonists, but this week, she gets sloppy, talking Jane out of reporting contact with a juror. The act almost gets both Kim and Jane disbarred and leaves the firm out of thousands of dollars. Part of Kim’s villainy is that she’s ruthless, but smart. This misstep was out of character, as was Jane I-Always-Do-The-Right-Thing Bingham’s compliance.
  • Stacey’s Pake Shop Kim K. might have skipped town with her life savings, but Stacey is still pushing forward with her pake (pie + cake) shop venture. Stacey’s usual blundering naivety is replaced by frantic stress as she becomes the barking business owner. It’s an odd half-transformation that leaves poor Stace different enough to seem unbelievable, but not so changed as to be newly compelling. We call waste of comic relief, big time.


Though there were lows with some of the supporting cast, this episode really exemplified what works best about Drop Dead Diva. Jane’s case is compelling and emotional, but still over-the-top enough to fit in the perpetually wacky case load at Harrison Parker. More importantly, we have renewed reason to care about Jane’s personal life as the unrequited love flip-flop plays out and Owen gets serious about the not-so-silent fight for Jane’s heart.

Rating: 8/10

Drop Dead Diva airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Lifetime

What did you think of this week’s episode?