“ Network: ABC / Actors: Matthew Atkinson, Erica Dasher, India de Beaufort „
OK, I'll admit to have watched the pilot ABC Family's new show 'Jane by Design'. Maybe it's my 'Ugly Betty' withdrawal, or the fact that ANTM crowned the wrong winner and this is my comfort food. Regardless, I watched it.
That is surprising, given I watched the trailer beforehand and threw so much shade at it. The high school/work double life just didn't seem believable and the 'Devil wears Prada' / 'Ugly Betty' resemblances just made me sick, but... and it's a big BUT, but having actually watched it, it doesn't completely suck.
First off, Jane (note she looks a tad bit like Anne Hathaway, no?), played by Erica Dasher is cute and instantly likeable. Whilst not ugly at all, and not even the 'plain' as the military jacket she wore in the opening scenes would suggest, Jane manages to exude some sort of 'sympathy vibe' due to her predicament.
Raised by her jobless brother (their father died and their mother left), living in a house they're about to be evicted from and having her [presumably only] so-called-best-friend who's secretly sleeping with her enemy- life could not get much harder.
So when an opportunity came for a fashion internship, Jane took it, escaping high school life (for half the day) and embarking on the beginning of her dream. And when an opportunity truly came when such opportunity became a mistake and she was offered an assistant position to Darcy (an unimpressive Andie McDowell), Jane made no hesitation to take it.
The pilot was a quick glimpse of Jane's life juggling school and work, engaging with the supposed enemy India, who is like a young Wilhelmina Slater and co-worker crush Jeremy is basically the 'Simon Baker' of Devil Wears Prada.
Episode 2 saw Jane juggle her romantic life with three potential love interests as well as revealing her desire to become a designer, whilst preparing Gray's preview line.
Whilst not the most impressive cast in the world, Jane by design offers some eye candy in the form of India de Beaufort and Matthew Atkinson.
Now I'm not saying it's better than Betty, hell no. I'd rather sit and watch the box sets over and over but it does have some potential in being an entertaining comedy despite the 'seen it all before' plot that's scribbled all over this show.