Obviously on a show called “Jane By Design,” the double life exploits of high schooler/fashion assistant Jane (Erica Dasher) will take center stage. But in “The Online Date,” Jane’s older brother, Ben (David Clayton Rogers), is in the middle of the action.
While baseball coach Ben’s relationship with guidance counselor Rita (Smith Cho) lasted about an episode on screen (two months off-screen), it’s clear the two still have feelings for one another. Now that ex-mean girl Amanda (Briga Heelan) is back in town after a stint as an actress in Los Angeles, Rita has some competition for Ben’s affection.
“She comes in and is like the popular mean girl opposite sweet Rita,” Rogers tells Zap2it.
“I believe she played a dead body on one
episode of some crime procedural, so she comes back basically as the
success story. She has not really gone through the maturation process
that some others have.”
Although Rita has been reserved and cautious so far, the threat of Amanda brings out her competitive spirit, which results in some hilarious scenes.
“Briga and Smith, who play the two parts, are so good,” Rogers says. “There are scenes
where the two of them are sort of fighting over me but all with
innuendo, so I’m not quite picking up on what they’re saying. I would
find myself as David just watching the scene and then forgetting to say
my lines when it was my time. I was just watching a great funny
innuendo-laden dialogue, and then no one says anything for a little bit
and I go ‘Oh, right, sorry! I’m in this scene. My bad.'”
The Ben-Rita-Amanda scenes are a highlight for Dasher, too. “I love Ben’s world right now. When I get the scripts I love reading
about Ben and Rita and Amanda,” she tells Zap2it. “I actually went to school with Briga
Heelan. She’s so funny, and doing things
with her is a blast. I can barely get through them because I’m laughing
Since all the storylines on “Jane By Design” parallel one another, Jane will deal with a dating crisis too — her mother, Kate (Teri Hatcher), creates an online dating profile for fashion boss Gray without her knowledge. “You can imagine how that goes over,” she says with a laugh.
Ultimately, the online dating fiasco is another event that helps shape Jane’s impression of her mother. When Kate first came back, Jane was excited to build a relationship. “Then she started to see that her mother was glossing over things that they needed to talk about. She confronted that in the last episode. I think she needed to in order to continue to build the relationship,” Dasher says.
“Kate is a bit of a free spirit, and [Jane and Kate] trying to figure out how their dynamic should look is an interesting thing. I think Jane feels like she hasn’t had to deal with this person her whole life, and all of a sudden she’s coming in and creating online dating profiles, showing up at the office, and singing show tunes. I think it’s been a lot for her to handle because not only is she dealing with that, she’s also dealing with her double life, and her coterie of men.”
“Jane By Design” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC Family.