Playing dress up
Published: December 28, 2011
Jane By Design (8pm Tuesday, ABC Family)
This new seriesis a wish-fulfillment fantasy for ordinary teen girls who think they just might wind up in the glamorous fashion industry one day. Jane (Erica Dasher) introduces herself as “a dateless high school zero” who’s taunted by the popular girls and ignored by her longtime crush. Oddly enough, nobody seems to have noticed that she’s really an Anne Hathaway-level beauty whose perfect figure is draped in stunningly sexy clothes.
Even though those clothes must have cost a fortune, the plot depends on Jane’s being poor and faking her way into a hip couture business to support herself. There, she tames her dragon-lady boss (Andie MacDowell) and catches the eye of a hunky British coworker who treats her like the belle of the ball rather than a dateless high school zero.
Take that, longtime crush!
As silly as it is, Jane By Design tamed me, too. Jane’s insecurity is fetching, and the peek inside her office inspiring. After all, I just might end up in the glamorous fashion industry myself one day.
Oprah’s Next Chapter (8pm Sunday, OWN)
Oprah Winfrey’s cable channel, OWN, has struggled since it launched a year ago. It’s had no breakout hits, and even the shows featuring famous names (Rosie O’Donnell, Sarah Ferguson, Ryan and Tatum O’Neal) have failed to draw decent audiences.
So now, it’s Oprah to the rescue. Not long after ending her syndicated talk show, she returns with an OWN show that gets her out of the studio and into the world. Winfrey will fire-walk with Tony Robbins, tour Haiti with Sean Penn, and in this week’s debut, chat with Steven Tyler on his New Hampshire estate.
Since Oprah is OWN’s only real asset, expect to see a lot more of her. Beginning at 8 p.m. on December 31, for example, she reruns the three farewell episodes of her previous show so we can relive the bittersweet emotions we experienced only a few months ago.
OWN has not yet scheduled Oprah Goes to the Dentist for a Routine Checkup, but it might come to that.
Finding Bigfoot (9pm Sunday, Animal Planet)
A more accurate title would be Not Finding Bigfoot. In the new season, this series sends its grandly named Bigfoot Field Research Organization around the country in search of the large, hairy, human-like animal that doesn’t exist.
Don’t tell them that, though. The four members are eternally convinced that they’ve found real evidence of Bigfoot as they examine photos and interview witnesses. In the season premiere, the BFRO heads to the Catskills to view video footage of a supposed baby Bigfoot. “I think we’re looking at a juvenile sasquatch, which is quite amazing because seeing a baby is incredibly rare!” says one gullible team member.