Drop Dead Diva TV Poster Image

Drop Dead Diva



Beauty vs. brains dramedy is fun, despite some stereotyping.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show's underlying message is that getting by on superficial qualities alone isn't a good thing, but there are some conflicting points about the role that physical attractiveness plays in a woman's success. Some of the women engage in catty behavior at work, and other characters reflect sexist stereotypes about women.

Positive role models

While neither woman is/was perfect, Deb is trying to change her shallow ways while balancing out Jane’s workaholic lifestyle. Stacy is a bit shallow but is a loyal friend. Teri is a loyal assistant. Not a particularly diverse cast.


Deb dies in a car accident; Jane dies from a gunshot wound (gun is visible, but not very graphic). Some of the court cases deal with violent circumstances, but the intensity of these moments is often deflected with humor.


Some mild sexual innuendo; frequent flirting; female plaintiffs are convinced to look "sexier" in order to win a cas; etc.


Audible language includes “hell," “bitch," “damn,” and “bulls--t."


Clothing labels like Lane Bryant and Hermes are frequently discussed. Jane owns a Porsche; Heaven uses Apple computers to process newcomers.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Wine, martinis, and mixed drinks are visible (and consumed by adults) at bars and social gatherings.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dramedy is a little too mature for tweens and some young teens, but older teens should be able to handle most of the issues it raises, from death and grief to divorce, loss, and body image. There's a bit of sexist stereotyping of women, as well as a good bit of flirting and social drinking among adults. Also expect some salty language ("bitch," "bulls--t"), references to violence, and mentions of name brands like Lane Bryant, Hermes, Porsche, and Apple.

What's the story?

After a fatal car accident, the spirit of aspiring model Deb Dobson (Brooke D’Orsay) ends up trapped inside the body of recently deceased plus-sized attorney Jane Bingum (Brooke Elliott). Now shallow Deb must rely on workaholic Jane’s brains instead of her (former) looks to get by. With the help of Jane’s assistant Teri (Margaret Cho) and best friend Stacy (April Bowlby) -- not to mention guardian angel Fred (Ben Feldmen) -- Deb begins to use her second chance to become a better person. But it isn’t easy, especially when her former boyfriend Grayson Kent (Jackson Hurst) starts working at Jane’s law firm, attracting the attention of catty co-worker Kim Kaswell (Kate Levering).

Is it any good?


DROP DEAD DIVA relies too much on stereotypical characterizations of women -- the dumb blonde, the homely intellectual, the vampy temptress, etc. -- to be wholly fresh and original. While the show ultimately sends the message that being superficial or relying solely on looks isn’t a good thing, it also makes conflicting points about the role that being physically attractive plays in a successful woman’s life.

Still, Deb/Jane’s journey of self-awareness creates lots of funny and poignant moments while the two women negotiate their extreme personalities. Meanwhile, the various legal cases that Jane's firm handles add to the drama. It’s a little bit much for tweens (and even some young teens), but older kids and adults who can look past the easy-out characterizations could find the series both smart and entertaining.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether women should ever have to choose between being beautiful or being smart. Is this really a choice that women are forced to make today? Do you think the show dispels or reinforces stereotypes about women?

  • Families can also discuss how the show addresses body image. Does it make you consider the issue any differently? Why or why not?

TV details

Premiere date:July 12, 2009
Cast:Brooke D'Orsay, Brooke Elliott, Margaret Cho
Network:Lifetime Television
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old December 10, 2012

Amazing for 11 & up

This is a very cute and funny show about a model named Deb who dies in a car accident and then is returned to Earth in a smart, lawyer's body. She needs to face the challenges of her new body, her new life, and her new job. While working on tough cases, she deals with relationships and life. I think this is a show with a smart, positive role model and is good for 11 & up.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old July 29, 2009

Good for all ages

5 year olds would probably not understand it but when ur like my age you'll probably understand.the show is teaching u to not judge people.So it' good.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written byfollowchrist114 May 14, 2013

Perfect for 10-12 year girls- not too many bad words, no f-word, and just some kissing!

Great for 10-12 year olds, if they've been exposed before to kissing and a few bad words. Really fun to watch- and perfectly appropriate for my 12 year old daughter. The bad words: not an issue. Sex: the worst is two people lying in bed, but no activity. And some kissing all throughout the show. This is great!!!


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