JANE BY DESIGN: VOLUME ONE
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
With the success of series like “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” ABC Family has launched a new series called “Jane By Design.” The show follows high schooler Jane Quimby (Erica Dasher) who, in an attempt to help make ends meet, stumbles into a job as an assistant in the fashion industry. Her cold boss Gray Chandler Murray (Andie MacDowell) is a handful, but she’s also got a soft side. Jane must juggle work and school and keep her secret life from both sides.
At first blanch, my biggest issue with this series is that it’s a bit of a rip-off of Nickelodeon’s “True Jackson, V.P.,” which features a teen that becomes an unlikely mogul in the fashion world. They’re two different show, both in format and structure (“Jane By Design” being an hour-long single-camera dramedy while “True Jackson, V.P.” is a multi-camera half-hour sit com), but the premise is alarmingly similar. Add to this the fact that elements of ABC Studios’ “Ugly Betty” and the hit film “The Devil Wears Prada” seeps in periodically, and “Jane By Design” loses marks for being unoriginal.
Still, the teens who are watching the series probably haven’t seen either of those shows because they were before their time. I guess that’s okay in Hollywood terms.
Ultimately, “Jane By Design” follows the same types of stories found in the other ABC Family series like “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and “Switched at Birth,” showing boy trouble and family strife. there’s not a lot of surprises in the scripts, which is derivative of the premise, but for an average family-friendly dramedy, it’ll have an audience.
Ten episodes of the first season are included on two discs. No special features are offered.