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July 22, 2014

I'm worried about Jane Doe

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 28th 2008 3:00PM

Lea ThompsonSo what did you do yesterday? I spent the entire Sunday watching detective movies on The Hallmark Channel. Of course, when I say "detective movies" it sounds like I was watching old film noir flicks from the 40s and 50s. Actually, I was watching Murder, She Wrote, Perry Mason movies, and Matlock.

Yes, I have the social life of a 70 year-old woman.

I've always been a sucker for these shows, going back to the NBC Mystery Movie and Columbo and McMillan and Wife. Those shows were probably better produced and written than the stuff you see on Hallmark Channel, but I think the new shows are quite entertaining and fun, and it's good to see favorite familiar faces on TV again: the McBride movies with John Larroquette, the Murder 101 movies with Dick Van Dyke, and the TV movie series I'd like to talk about, Jane Doe.

To put it simply, I'm worried about Jane Doe.

Jane (Lea Thompson) is a fortysomething suburban housewife with two kids and a hubby (played by William R. Moses of Melrose Place and Falcon Crest) who supposedly works for a puzzle/toy company. She also happens to be a secret spy who helps out agent Frank Darnell (Joe Penny of Riptide) on baffling cases. Her puzzle background helps in that regard. One problem: she has to keep the assignments secret from her husband and kids. Plots like this have always bothered me. What if Jane is killed on assignment? Not only will the family have to deal with the fact that their wife and mother is dead, but she's been living a secret life for years. That would be crushing.

Anyway, Jane is always getting phone calls and text messages from Frank saying he needs her (if her husband found these text messages he'd probably think she was having an affair, but I digress...), so she'll make up an excuse about there being some type of emergency at the puzzle company (not sure what type of emergencies puzzle companies have, but I'll go along with it) or spilling milk "accidentally" so she has to rush out to the grocery store to get more. Oh, by the way, the secret HQ for the Central Security Agency is in the back of the store.

So we have the set-up for a fun series of movies, sort of a Long Kiss Goodnight meets Banacek. But something troubles me. I've noticed (in the two movies I've watched anyway) that whenever Jane goes out to do a little snooping around, she often goes alone, with no gun. She'll go into abandoned houses and spooky staircases and deserted office buildings, following the bad guy, and then the bad guy will come up behind her and try to shoot her, and all she can do is run or hide in a closet. Now, as far as I know, Jane is not Jason Bourne, able to kill any bad guys with a rolled up newspaper, and she constantly has to duck bullets and call for backup on her cell phone. This is probably really good for Verizon's bottom line, but if she carried a gun she wouldn't get in trouble like this all of the time.

So Jane, I like your movies and I like the plots and I think you're a very smart, capable women. I just wish you'd either carry a gun or just be a little more careful out there, OK? Thanks.

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Cynde Kaply

You should be glad to know, while, she still doesn't carry a gun, in the later movies, Jane Doe tells her husband about her secret job, and he is in full support or her.

April 29 2008 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ctunightfall

Jane Doe, eh?
The premise sounds like The Pretender, or the slightly more current and similar sounding John Doe.

April 29 2008 at 12:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kate

Oh Bob...

April 28 2008 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Goody

It's Frank Darnell, Joe was Nick Ryder on Riptide.

April 28 2008 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sludgehound

Nice thoughts. I've had similar concerns when caught series again last year. Wore off on me in favor of MI-5 and such.
Also did like the Hallmark mystery series about the woman who runs a Mystery book store. It and ones you mentioned are stronger overall.
Do like Lea & Perry and hope they can get an upside bounce to a Psych or Burn Notice level or parts on a Closer.

April 28 2008 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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