DVD Review – Jane by Design: Volume 1

Release Date: March 20, 2012 Rating: TV-14 Run Time: Approx. 430 min

When mistaken for an adult, sixteen year-old Jane (Erica Dasher) finds herself working for a high-powered executive (Andie McDowell) at a hip fashion house. From classes to couture, relive all the drama, romance and non-stop excitement as Jane juggles her life as a regular teenager and her job in the cutthroat world of fashion…all while trying to keep her true identity a secret. Bring home ABC Family’s Jane By Design: Volume 1, available on DVD March 20th, just two weeks after the season finale!

Jane by Design: Volume 1 brings fans the first ten episodes of ABC Family’s latest original series. Fashionistas everywhere will find this series to be a bundle of fun and if you’re not a fashionista, there is still plenty to enjoy! The fashion world is the perfect groundwork for a series as it’s a playground that anybody would be fascinated to step foot on and explore. And it’s not all about the fashion. There’s more to Jane than that, thankfully. But Jane is torn between two worlds, her high school, suburban life and fashion forward city life. They had me as soon as I was aware of the premise. That said, while the execution is satisfying, I must admit that Jane by Design is not nearly as engaging for me as Switched at Birth, MIOBI, and The Lying Game. This is funny since the show incorporates Jane’s home life, there is competition, and she is lying to those around her to keep both worlds afloat.

Yet all of these aspects in one show, not to mention all of the other aspects that go into each episode, might just be too much at once. While a great reflection of Jane’s double life, there is such a thing as being overly ambitious executing that point. This mixed with the combination of relationships (love triangles specifically) that we’ve all seen played out before, may hold this show back from its full potential. When Jane is forced to babysit a model in one episode and ends up bringing her to school, even the model points out the typical high school movie/TV show characters in Jane’s world. So the characters definitely need not feel so paper thin in future episodes. We’re following Jane but give some depth to the supporting characters.

Still, there is enough to love about these characters and enough conflict going on in Jane’s life to keep viewers on their toes, wondering how Jane will achieve all that is on her to do list with the least amount of problems. Cue the comedy! You’ll laugh just as much as you’ll cringe as Jane jumps hurdle after hurdle… sometimes her naivety being the cause of those hurdles. Jane’s naive quality is one thing that I love this show does not shy away from. She doesn’t have it all together, she’s in high school.

There’s so much that Jane has to learn about the working world before she can move on from being an assistant, that is for sure. Thanks for not shying away from this and showing the young viewers that you don’t have all of the answers, it is a learning process long after high school. Very refreshing this is. Plus, if you follow fashion, you’ll be able to appreciate the cameos by Betsey Johnson, Patricia Field, and Nanette Lepore to name a few. Jane By Design will either turn out to be another ABC Family Original that you add to your watch list or another ABC Family Original that you make it a point to watch live each and every week. Either way, you’ll enjoy Jane by Design so be sure to pick up Volume 1 before the second half of season two airs!

Unfortunately, there are no Bonus Features on the DVD. Considering all of the promotion that was put into this show months before it premiered, I find it unbelievable that there was no care put into this aspect of the DVD. There’s no inside look here. Pick up The Devil Wears Prada DVD for that, fashionistas.

Own Jane by Design: Volume 1 on DVD today. Jane By Design returns Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 9/8c on ABC Family.

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