In "Jane Doe: The Ties That Bind," Cathy's son is doing a piece for school on "nature versus nurture." In Jane Doe's case (that's Cathy's alias when she works for the government) the question of nature versus nurture is an underlying theme. She embarks on a case with Frank Darnell (Joe Penny) involving a man being in two places at the same time. We know what's coming. When that comes, and there's still 45 minutes to go, we know what's coming next.
Lea Thompson stars as Jane Doe. This particular story is preposterous, though I've spent my time doing worse. Thompson is likable. The best thing in the series is Joe Penny by a mile. The worst thing about this series, by a mile, are scenes depicting Cathy's home life, which are great if you're trying to go to sleep. The family part is the major problem with this series and drags the rest of it down to an even lower level. The episode this week dealt with the older daughter getting permission to stay out all night. The script for these scenes was a total mess. Cathy (Jane Doe) tells her husband (Billy Moses) to have the daughter text every half hour. This is never mentioned again, but before the daughter leaves, she begs her father not to call her every half hour. He doesn't tell her to text. Later on we learn he's calling her every half hour. Then Jane Doe is concerned back in her office because her daughter hasn't called. No mention was ever made of her daughter calling her. Nobody in the show can get their cell phone to work - they're always conveniently out of range whenever the plot needs them to be. At the end of the show, the son gives his speech on nature versus nurture - which is not the speech he was practicing in his room.
The "Jane Doe" series has some action to it - and it has Penny - and a pleasant, if not fiery actress in Thompson. With some attention to the scripts, this show could be much better. The family is too perfect, the scenes are too ordinary, and they move too slowly. The music is horrific. The rest of the show is always more interesting, and some of the mysteries have been pretty good.
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