DROP DEAD DIVA “The Queen of Mean” Review

Cybil Shepherd guest stars as Ellie Tannen, a fashion designer whose assistant is publishing a tell-all biography, in “The Queen of Mean” episode of DROP DEAD DIVA. Ellie hires Jane because she thinks she’s a pushover and when Jane is about to win the case, Ellie suddenly drops it. She only wanted publicity to launch a new discount clothes line, but when she learns the final chapter of the book reveals her degenerative eye disease, she re-hires a reluctant Jane to finish the job. Grayson and Kim represent a transgender woman (Candis Cayne) who was a man when she married but a woman when her wife died. Her in-laws are suing for their daughter’s estate but Jane leads Grayson to a precedent to win the case and let true love triumph.

Jane dreams she’s dancing with Thunder from Down Under and then, to throw cold water on a hot fantasy, Hank the Bailiff, in a good start to a mostly lighter than air episode. Stacy’s attempt at dream interpretation-that Jane needs to date Hank-leads to a hilariously awkward fake dinner party with Jane, Stacy, Fred, Hank, and Hank’s date Jasmine. Fred accidentally calls Jasmine’s job as a court reporter worthless and Stacy and Hank awesomely imitate Pee Wee Herman.

Cybil Shepherd is slyly fun as CruEllie de Vil and gives Jane some of her best courtroom scenes in a while. From the literal banging on the table or cooing “I’ll ask the question again in a nicer, non-badgering tone” to her hand flourishes to shut up defense counsel and point out Ellie when she says “Famous people, nasty people, and famously nasty people have a right to privacy, too” are pure Jane and pure gold. Also gold is Teri’s advice to Ellie on what to do when asked a question that pisses her off: “I smile, tilt my head, and think bite me before I answer.” Even better is watching Ellie do just that as she testifies.

I still don’t buy Grayson and Deb, let alone Grayson and Jane, as soul mates, so thank goodness for Fred swooping in to stop Jane from spilling the Deb in Jane’s body secret. The Melanie still loved Allison even after her body changed parallel is eyerollingly obvious, but the scene with Walter thanking Allison for making his daughter happy is lovely, as is Fred and Jane’s moment at the end where Jane struggles with the fact that Grayson might never love her as she is now. Frankly, I hope he doesn’t. She deserves someone who can figure out a case on his own.

New Jane takes a few steps back into old Deb this episode, but she recovers well. I wish she could see past Grayson, though not necessarily to Hank, but until he stops giving her origami crumbs, that’s not going to happen. I know Jane-Grayson is probably Drop Dead Diva’s endgame, but I want new players first. Still a solid episode, though. What did you think of “The Queen of Mean?” Should Jane have told Grayson the truth?

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