Saturday, July 21, 2012

TV review: Jane By Design (Season 1)

*This review is an evaluation of episodes 1 through 10. I’m not reviewing on behalf of any episode after 10, though more episodes have aired that are categorized as “season 1.”*
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Teen
Channel: ABC Family
Aired: January 3rd, 2012
Season finale: March 6th, 2012
Schedule: Tuesdays at 9/8 central (Also available on Netflix)
~Rating: 5 stars~
 Summary: Jane by Design is an American comedy-drama television series on ABC Family. The series follows the life of Jane Quimby (Erica Dasher), a teenager who had to be mistaken for an adult to finally get her fashion dream job and work with a world-famous designer, Gray Chandler Murray (Andie MacDowell). She is now juggling between two secret lives: one in high school, and one in high fashion.
Additional Cast: Nick Roux as Billy Nutter; Matthew Atkinson as Nick Fadden; Meagan Tandy as Lulu Pope; David Clayton Rogers as Ben; Smith Cho as Rita Shaw; Rowly Dennis as Jeremy Jones; India de Beaufort as India Jordain.
Watch Jane dream of being a fashion designer. Watch Jane get offered a job at a design studio. Watch Jane realize they think she’s an adult, not a high school outcast. Watch Jane ignore the fact that she has a calculus test tomorrow and seize said fashion job.
Watch Jane struggle to maintain her high school life and her high-end fashion dream job.
Jane Quimby is a normal everyday teen girl. Well, besides the fact that she dresses like she’s up for the runway in three minutes. She lives with her unemployed, ex-jock brother Ben, who was the football stud-muffin at her high school way back when. But that doesn’t mean Jane is on the same side of the social ladder as her brother was- oh no. She’s on the opposite end, to be exact. That said, high school isn’t the continuous ego-boosting, self-confidence enhancing parade it was for Ben. Jane and her long-time best friend, Billy stick together and try to survive.
But when the bills start coming in and the companies start calling demanding pay, Jane knows that it’s time she did something about her brother’s lack of a job. Following an ad in the paper, Jane pursues a job as an assistant at a design studio. To her surprise, she’s immediately hired. Suddenly, her life is a whirlwind of activity, juggling school, work, and her almost-nonexistent social life. With Billy’s help, she keeps her high-paying job a secret from Ben and manages to fool her boss and co-workers into thinking she’s older than she really is. Will she be able to keep everyone in the dark about her job, and will she be able to still life a normal teen life?
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show. I’m not big into the whole fashion-design thing, but I’ll occasionally pick up a book or watch a TV show about it. It wasn’t necessary the design theme that drew me in, but the characters. All are very different, but add a certain balance to the show. See a brief sketch of each of my favorites below:
Jane is such an entertaining character. She’s funny and awkward, but also polished and sophisticated at the same time. She’s just…normal, and that really draws you in. She has a funky sense of fashion, and while most of the time you’ll be laughing at whatever silly conjumbalation she’s wearing, you’ll have to admit in the end that she really does have an eye for that sort of thing. She’s also really sweet and loyal to her friends.
Billy is an amazing character. He seems kind of dark on the outside, but his soft side really seeps through when he thinks Jane’s upset. He’s like every girl’s dream best-friend. He’s helpful and caring and always there when Jane needs him. Not to mention he’s hot. *grin* You can’t help but swoon inwardly every time he smiles. And the way his eyes crinkle up at the sides…*coughcough* Erm, sorry. You’d see what I mean, though, if you saw the show. I think one thing that really kept my attention after the first episode was the relationship that Billy and Jane have. It’s so unique, and I love seeing them interact.
Ben is a great character, as well. He brings that goofy humor and comic relief to the show. At first, you’ll think he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but you’ll come to see that that’s just his personality. He’s smarter than he looks, in other words. He’s an awesome big brother to Jane, and their relationship is amazing to watch.
Nick is a jock. Well, THE jock. You know who I’m talking about. The most popular guy in high school- the one who has the cheerleader/model girlfriend, the sports car, the fan club, etc. More often than not, these types of guys are usually not very nice. Hot, yes, wealthy, yes, and a douche bag, yes. But Nick isn’t like that. He’s actually…well, nice. He’s been her crush since middle school, so when she’s around him, she loses the inability to speak cohesive words and carry on any form of a conversation, but despite this, he gets to know Jane throughout the season and the two grow closer. He respects her and doesn’t have any ulterior motives for pursuing her, and I think that’s the sweetest (though most unrealistic) thing ever. I never thought I’d say this about people but they make the cutest couple.   
I love seeing each of these relationships progress and grow and that’s really what I loved about the show. I loved the romance between the characters, though Lulu (Jane’s arch-nemesis and queen bee at her high school) and Billy’s on-off relationship got a little annoying. One show they’re on, the next they’re off. And we never really get a peek at how this whole weird relationship-that-spans-the-social-castes starts. I’d liked to have gotten an explanation about that, but it wasn’t a big deal and didn’t mar my opinion of the show in the least. I wasn’t thrilled with some of the other sexual content (India and Jeremy’s friends-with-benefits relationship, for example) and I also noticed that each episode featured a kiss without fail. While I don’t think the romance was necessarily overdone, I do think that it can have the same effect but without all the PDA. Again, this wasn’t a big issue for me, though, and to be honest, it wasn’t as bad as other shows are today.
In conclusion, I can’t wait for season 2 of Jane by Design. It’s a completely addicting show that will make you giddy with excitement and dying for more. It’s very girly, but I promise you’ll like it even if you’re not into fashion design. While it’s morals are not completely blameless, it’s definitely better than the standard of today’s teen series. I recommend it to anyone who’s in need of a girly night full of teen romance, drama, and pretty clothes.
Quick Content Review: (average of each episode)
Language: Mild (One or two words throughout the whole season)
Violence: None-Mild (Billy and Nick get into a bar fight with two other guys- nothing shown)
Sexual: Mild-Moderate (Two characters, India and Jeremy, have a “friends with benefits” kind of relationship. The two kiss afterhours in the design studio, and are shown waking up in bed once. Nothing is described or shown. Billy and Lulu have a secret relationship and are shown kissing a couple times. As Jeremy and Jane’s relationship progresses, the two are shown kissing once or twice. In one of the last episodes, Ben is shown teaching a sex-ed class. A couple girls wear low-cut shirts, but nothing too bad. The show is a typical ABC Family show in that dating and relationships get a lot of attention, but Jane By Design is far from being as sensual as others are. Kisses and such are kept relatively innocent, and sex is not flippantly thrown around like it is in many other teen-oriented shows. *coughGleecough*)


  1. I haven't seen this show, but I watch a few other ABC family shows. I nominated you for the Sisterhood award:

  2. I love this show!
    I want all of her clothes :-)


  3. Hahaha I do too! She wears the cutest outfits. =)
    Thanks for stopping by!

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