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IF you enjoyed watching the movie The Devil Wears Prada or even the popular American TV series Ugly Betty, you may also like Jane By Design on Star World (Astro channel 711) every Tuesday at 9pm.
From the title alone, you can tell that this new American TV series is fashion related. So, for those who love fashion, there is plenty here! Think Gossip Girls. You can also get a lot of styling tips. Besides that, enjoy its many references to the fashion industry. We also hear that there will be cameos by designers and fashion biggest stars in some episodes.
Jane By Design is a case of mistaken identity. Quirky high school student Jane Quimby (Erica Dasher) who has an eclectic chic fashion sense, lands a job at hip fashion house Donovan Decker. Apparently, they had mistaken her to be an adult.
It does not sound realistic, of course. But since Jane desperately needs the job to help pay the mortgage on the home she and her older brother, Ben, live in, she is forced to forge some documents.
At the same time, she still needs to finish high school while assisting the demanding and difficult boss Gray Chandler Murray (Andie MacDowell), who travels the world in search of the next big style trend and only communicates with Jane via satellite. Gray proves to be that ruthless and cynical boss who everyone loves to hate.
Jane’s life suddenly becomes more complicated when she has to juggle school and work. To add to that, there are two men vying for her attention!
Honestly, it is a charming combination of Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty. But I think this comedy drama is more suited for teens who are hopeless romantics.
The first episode I caught was sufficiently fast paced. You quickly get the idea of what the series is about. It introduces the main players, their personalities and the general framework of the show. It is also predictable and cliched, with that all too familiar story line of how a nobody becomes a somebody. See how Jane transforms from a high school student to budding fashionista!
I think Erica is adorable as the title character. But she does not fit the look of a teenager. She’s actually 26.
The other cast members are Nick Roux and Rowly Dennis, who are commendable in their roles as Billy (Jane’s best friend) and Jeremy Jones (charming British designer who is also Jane’s co-worker and quite the ladies’ man), respectively.
There is also British beauty India de Beaufort who plays India Jourdain, an associate designer at Donovan Decker and Gray’s former assistant, who is gunning for Gray’s job. I especially like her. India is a no-nonsense kind of woman who takes her job very seriously and will do everything in her power to get what she wants. She can be quite the drama queen and that is exciting to watch. With her explosive performances, she does make the series watchable.
It’s a light-hearted, family-friendly TV show with a great mixture of comedy and drama. Seeing Jane wear all the latest fashion trends, I cannot help but wish (wistfully) I am in her shoes.