Jane by Design 1.15 "The Online Date" Review

Ever since their little heart-to-heart in the summer premiere, Billy and Jane's once rock solid friendship has been drifting in the wind. Whether it be from the new girl in Billy's life or the awkwardness that comes with unresolved feelings, the backbone of Jane by Design hasn't been as strong in recent episodes. On a lot of shows, taking away the best element could break a season and drive the audience away for good, but here it feels different. Refreshing, almost. It's brought a decidedly different dynamic to a show that leaned heavily on their relationship and is evidence that in the back-half of the season, the show has decided to buck formula and explore the nooks and crannies of these characters.

Which is why I liked that they had the self-awareness to point out the distance and the discomfort that the two lifelong friends are experiencing around one another these days. Rather than ignore it and carry on like everything's exactly the same as episode one, minute one, Jane by Design is letting their characters breathe, learn, and grow, and that trust in the characters is one of the reasons I liked "The Online Date" as much as I did. We never wallowed or were subjected to an exposition dump of feelings; Billy and Jane's strength is that they say so much by not saying anything and that the tension between them becomes palpable very quickly when they're alone. With only a few looks (particularly on the hood of Billy's car) and a throwaway comment or two ("but clearly you have a plan B", Jane's response to Billy's "I don't want to be the guy you have to sneak in..."), you absolutely feel what's going through their minds and it's some of the most impressive writing/acting that the show has presented yet. Read More...


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