Every once in a while a television series comes along and whisks you off your feet. JANE BY DESIGN is that show. Debuting last week, the show’s premiere episode was charming, adorable and made you wish you were in Jane’s shoes as she landed an executive assistant position at a top ranked fashion design company. It is any 16-year old girl’s dream come true: to get their dream job and a chance at their dream guy too. But in Jane Quimby’s (Erica Dasher) world, you’d have to figure out who exactly is your dream guy as Jane has three potential dream men in her life.
The story of a young teen who applies for a coveted fashion design internship and somehow lands an even more desirable job as executive assistant to Gray Chandler Murray (Andie MacDowell) at Donovan Decker, an elite fashion design company, is a story we can all relate to. But Jane’s world is not a fairytale, she just happens to be in the right place at the right time because she chose to pursue her dreams. Being an executive assistant is never as easy as it sounds and when you are a high school student trying to hold down a job and not let on that you have never worked before, it is tricky to say the least.
In addition, Jane not only wants to work in fashion, she desperately needs the job in order to help pay the mortgage on the home she and her older brother Ben live in. With their parents M.I.A. and Ben (David Clayton Rogers) unable to find work in these strapped economic times, it falls on Jane to keep their shoe-string budget afloat. So some dreams come at a price. In this case, Jane needs this job and the paycheck it provides to make sure her home is not snatched away by the mortgage company.
Jane Quimby’s life suddenly becomes a lot more complicated. Going from high school “invisible” to working in high fashion overnight is a lot to get used to. For one, she still has to go to school, then get to work before her boss notices that she was not there already. She is just lucky to have a boss that checks in via video conference instead of hovering over her desk each day. But just as nosy and problematic is an upcoming designer India Jourdain (India de Beaufort) who would love nothing more than to usurp Jane’s boss and steal the limelight at the next big fashion show. Also adding to the tension at the office is the charming British designer, Jeremy Jones (Rowly Dennis), who shows great interest in Jane.
As if it were not enough to have a British designer looking to sweep her off her feet, Jane has also sparked the interest of Nick Fadden (Matthew Atkinson), the boy she has been dreaming about since the 7th grade. Then not to be excluded is Jane’s best friend, Billy Nutter (Nick Roux), who while pursuing his own secret romance is still always there for Jane just when she needs him. Such an abundance of riches, how is a girl to choose?!
So with the pressures of school, work, office politics, money problems, dodging a curious older brother, and an increasingly complicated love life, Jane’s world is spinning.
This may sound like a story you have heard before, but while the tale may be familiar, it is also exceedingly well-done and a pure confection of fun. It will melt your heart and be eternally grateful that creator April Blair and ABC Family brought the series to life. The fashion is fun, but it is the curious blend of Jane’s delightful comedic naiveté and the heart-warming people that populate her dazzling world that make it so infectious. Plus, Erica Dasher is simply scintillating – you can’t take your eyes off of her. It will make perfect sense how there are three men suddenly vying for her attention.
JANE BY DESIGN is a wonderful mixture of comedy and very subtle drama. It invites viewers to remember what it is like to be young and dreaming impossible dreams and when one or two suddenly come true, the simultaneous rush of excitement and desperation to hold on to it. Jane’s adventures are zany, humorous and utterly captivating – you’ll want to share in every delicious moment of it!
To catch up, ABC Family is re-airing the pilot episode Tuesday, January 10th at 6PM and then airing a brand new episode of JANE BY DESIGN later that same night at 9PM Whatever you do, make sure you watch this amazing show, you’ll thank me later!
Tiffany Vogt is the Senior West Coast Editor, contributing as a columnist and entertainment reporter to TheTVaddict.com. She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at Tiffany_Vogt_2000@yahoo.com or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).