In the next few weeks Lifetime's GLAAD Media Award-winning series Drop Dead Diva, will air its final episode. The Advocate interviewed showrunner Josh Berman and took a look back at some of the LGBT-inclusive episodes.
Law & Order isn't the only show known for its ripped-from-the-headlines storytelling. The hit Lifetime series, Drop Dead Diva, has been doing it for six years, often tackling issues of great importance to LGBT viewers along the way. Now in its final season, the show — created by gay showrunner Josh Berman — is about to do it again this Sunday with an episode titled "Identity Crisis."
In the episode, Jane (the plucky and plus size attorney at the center of the series) represents the family of 10-year-old Sam (who was born Samantha) after school administrators prevent the transgender elementary school student from using the boys’ room at his private school. After the school insists that as a private school it is not bound to follow California’s School Success and Opportunity Act, Jane files suit. The school board escalates by expelling Sam for supposedly deceiving them about his gender on his application and counter-sues to recover the financial aid provided to Sam under what they allege were false pretenses. The court battle takes a toll on Sam and his family, but in the end the case educates everyone, even the allies, about the meaning of acceptance and biology.
It's the kind of episode LGBT fans have come to expect from the show.
"Over the past six years, Drop Dead Diva has masterfully adapted LGBT news stories to the small screen in an entertaining and compelling way," said GLAAD national spokesperson Wilson Cruz. "From the story of lesbian teen Constance McMillen not being able to bring her girlfriend to prom, to the recent episode about a gay professional athlete, the series has allowed millions of viewers to gain insight into LGBT lives and will definitely be missed."
Behind it all was Berman, who began his career as a writer at CSI; when he left that show, he was an executive producer (his brother David is still a researcher and actor on the show, playing assistant coroner Super Dave). We caught up with the former Fulbright Scholar to talk about the end of Drop Dead Diva.