Recaps for Jane by Design

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Jane By Design Review: Game Playing

" The Online Date " was another solid outing for Jane, but there are a few things in play could really begin to elevate the show and the story it wants to tell. Play One: Kate Teri Hatcher coming in to play Ben and Jane’s long-gone mother was a smart move on the show’s part for two reasons: appeal and ability. Teri has plenty of post-Desperate Housewives shine, and Teri has the ability to play a character that is plenty unlikeable right now; those traits are vital for a character like Kate because she has the ability to draw sympathy from the audience. Particularly, where sympathy might be what the audience wants to feel, and that might be what the show wants from the audience from this story. Now, with Dakota back in Kate’s life, and down on one knee, there’s a chance to really begin to unravel her character, or, at the very least, begin to see where Kate’s head is at and why she walked back into her children’s lives.  Kate has been constantly changing the subject, or being very vague when anyone attempts to ask about her past; so, needless to say, I’m hoping this will begin to shed light on Ben and Jane’s past, and her own past.  Read More... //

Jane By Design Recap of Season 1 Episode 15: “The Online Date”

Tonight’s episode was all about romance and perceptions. When Gray’s ex-hubby Bo gets engaged to a 20-something designer he’s know less than a year, it’s all over the tabloids. The only woman who doesn’t know it is Gray. And after Jane kept secrets last week, it’s up to this teen assistant to break the bad news (as Gray breaks her phone). Gray needs to loosen up and Jane’s mom, Kate, thinks of the perfect way. She creates a slightly dishonest online... //

Jane by Design 1.15 "The Online Date" Review

Ever since their little heart-to-heart in the summer premiere, Billy and Jane's once rock solid friendship has been drifting in the wind. Whether it be from the new girl in Billy's life or the awkwardness that comes with unresolved feelings, the backbone of Jane by Design hasn't been as strong in recent episodes. On a lot of shows, taking away the best element could break a season and drive the audience away for good, but here it feels different. Refreshing, almost. It's brought a decidedly different dynamic to a show that leaned heavily on their relationship and is evidence that in the back-half of the season, the show has decided to buck formula and explore the nooks and crannies of these characters. Which is why I liked that they had the self-awareness to point out the distance and the discomfort that the two lifelong friends are experiencing around one another these days. Rather than ignore it and carry on like everything's exactly the same as episode one, minute one, Jane by Design is letting their characters breathe, learn, and grow, and that trust in the characters is one of the reasons I liked "The Online Date" as much as I did. We never wallowed or were subjected to an exposition dump of feelings; Billy and Jane's strength is that they say so much by not saying anything and that the tension between them becomes palpable very quickly when they're alone. With only a few looks (particularly on the hood of Billy's car) and a throwaway comment or two ("but clearly you have a plan B", Jane's response to Billy's "I don't want to be the guy you have to sneak in..."), you absolutely feel what's going through their minds and it's some of the most impressive writing/acting that the show has presented yet. Read More... //

Jane By Design Review: "The Second Chance"

A mother who abandoned you as a child returns, how do you react? Like Jane with open arms? Or, like Ben with skepticism? For me, I would definitely have been more like Ben. While I enjoyed " The Second Chance " overall, I had a difficult time believing that Jane would be so welcoming of her mother. Their conversation on the way to school and their later snuggling seemed too familiar and chummy given their separation. Yes, Jane had questions, but her lack of any anger was difficult to believe. Read More... //

Jane by Design 1.14 "The Second Chance" Review

Ben Quimby is the heart of Jane by Design . Though I enjoy Jane's quirky naivete, Billy's misunderstood depth, and Gray's omnipotence, Ben exemplifies everything that I love about the show and has only grown stronger as a character in the back half of the season. At first glance, he's a little goofy, a jumbled arrangement of nerves and awkwardness in the body of a former athlete, but once you get past the outer layers of Ben Quimby, you get to see how much there is to him. And you like him (and the show) that much more because of it, let alone how genuine and unexpectedly vulnerable he comes off as. Like Ben,  Jane by Design comes off one way but has begun exploring another avenue of characterization - initially, it read like a wispy creampuff of a show, but once you completely sink your teeth into it, there are flavors that you didn't even know were there. Read More... //

Jane By Design Recap of Season 1, Episode 13: “The Surprise”

Last week, Jane Quimby was compared to Audrey Hepburn and this week, she is having a major Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles moment. It was her birthday and though Ben and Billy typically go all out for Jane’s big day, this year they seem to have completely forgotten it. But with an episode name like "The Surprise," you can bet Jane’s main men haven’t missed a thing. But now, Billy’s involvement includes his punk rock girlfriend, Zoey, who oddly seems to... //

Jane By Design Review: "The Surprise"

It's Jane's birthday and Ben's plan fails big time in " The Surprise ." A couple episodes ago, Jane By Design did a homage to Ferris Bueller's Day Off ; this week it was Sixteen Candles continuing the string of 1980s movie references throughout the series. Unfortunately, most of the teens who watch the show probably have not seen these classic movies. If you haven't, go find them, watch them, and enjoy them. Read More... //

Jane by Design 1.13 "The Surprise" Review

In a lot of ways, Jane by Design is an 80s movie transplanted into the year 2012. I mean, let's be real; the concept is Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead by way of Ugly Betty (and, to a lesser extent, The Devil Wears Prada) and the first half of the first season was as light, fluffy, and innocent as you'd expect from a show like this. Jane may have faced challenges and expectations from her new role at Donovan Decker, but it seemed that she always managed to pull out a victory or come up with a miraculous idea to save an account right before the credits would (theoretically) roll. Cue a wistful, topical pop song about surviving the challenge laying before you and never giving up and boom, movie from 1984 that you'll watch on cable every single time it comes on. Read More... //

Jane By Design Review: Lesson Learned

In the two episodes that have aired since Jane By Design has returned, the show has shown a new maturity. This shift in tone is much appreciated. The stories are no longer focused on Jane rushing around, fixing a mistake, or treating Billy as her lackey. Instead, we saw the characters deal with workplace politics and realistic personal problems. In " The Celebrity ," the absence of Nick and Lulu and the introduction of Zoe was surprisingly positive. I was a fan of Nick and Jane together, but now he seems to immature for her. And, Zoe is a huge step up from Lulu ... at least as introduced. Read More... //

Jane by Design 1.12 "The Celebrity" Review

Jane Quimby is we and we is Jane Quimby. Or something. The major appeal that somebody like Jane has is that she's meant to represent the every(wo)man, the underdog. We're supposed to almost like vicariously live through her trip into the fashion underworld, as dreams are being fulfilled, victories are being earned, and the weird, whimsical kid in her class finally comes into her own. It makes following her journey on Jane by Design both enjoyable and frustrating, though; while you want to see Jane continue to grow and learn more about the business we call fashion, the closeness that we feel to her and the kinship that has been formed amplifies mistakes. Jane has been pretty okay at handling herself in the adult world, but once she slips, it tends to lead to cringe-y moments and some major secondhand embarrassment. Read More... //