Thursday, June 6, 2013

Drop Dead Diva: Classic Hero Journey?

Okay, Reader. So I finished my book. And I am between freelance work. And while I have an idea for a new book, I haven't really started it yet because I am SCARED.

Needless to say, this has resulted in my brain running around in frantic circles not unlike Matilda, but without the magic brain powers.

I've also been doing a lot of reading and TV watching. I just caught up on Drop Dead Diva on netflix. If you haven't seen it, it follows the adventures of a plus size lawyer named Jane whose body is inhabited by the soul of a fashion model named Deb.

Only her guardian angel and Deb's best friend Stacy know that Deb isn't dead but rather in another woman's body. As Jane, Deb now has a totally different body, a bunch of knowledge she never had before, and must work beside her former fiancee Grayson, who doesn't know who she is. And, notably, does not seem attracted to her, though they develop a close friendship.

This show is a classic hero's journey. Deb starts out as a well meaning but self-absorbed wannabe model. She is weak, a pushover. Her career is nonexistent. Then, like a classic hero, she journeys to the underworld (in this case, Heaven). She literally dies on the operating table and is pronounced dead, but refuses to give up and presses the "return" button while being processed as a new addition to Heaven.

She is reborn in Jane's body as Jane has also just died. Not only has she saved herself from death, but she also emerges with new powers. She is now more intelligent (unclear if she was less intelligent before or simply unmotivated to develop her intelligence because her appearance was enough) and has all the knowledge of a lawyer.

Deb/Jane is no longer a pushover, wannabe model. She is now able to use her new powers to help others in need. She does not need to be rescued by anyone, including her former fiancee. It fact, she often rescues him by providing emotional support while he struggles with Deb's "death" and by helping him with his cases. Her new "powers" actually elevate her to Grayson's intellectual level and she knows it. And relishes it.

I do want to point out that in this show everyone helps each other and everyone makes mistakes. Women help men, men help women, women help women, and men help men. It's a nice balance. And since the battles are all legal ones and the weapons are cleverness, creativity, and knowledge of the law, the women are just as capable of winning as the men.

I really enjoy this show.

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