Parents' Guide to

Jane by Design

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Unlikely teen drama centers on positive female role model.

TV Freeform Drama 2012
Jane by Design Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 14+

Watchable but not believable

I've just viewed the first season of Jane By Design on DVD, on loan from my library. The first thng I want to address is almost the complete absence of parental figures. Billy is a high school student who lives with his brother who is always in trouble with the law. Apparently, they earn money by selling fake IDs. There is never mention of a parent except for an absentee mother toward the end of season 1. Billy's sole purpose in life appears to be that he is an enabler for Jane. The double life premise in regard to Jane attending high school part time and working for a fashion designer could never happen the way it is portrayed. Jane is hired on the spot with no background check and no verification of her age or employment status, completely unbelievable, apparently she lied on the application. Even those entering into intern programs are carefully screened, certainly this would have been discovered. Also, her boss and the majority of her coworkers never have a clue that she might be a high school girl and never question her age. We see Jane enrolled in AP calculus and English lit, the top student in her class, when does she have time to study? I loved the designer clothes, but the girl's income must all be on her back, yet she manages to make the mortgage and support her marginally employed brother, all on $34,00 a year. Flying to Paris and back in a day? Give me a large break! The show is entertaining and definite "eye candy," just don't try to make sense of the plot.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
age 16+

Good doesn't outweigh the bad.

While I think the characters are endearing and the main characters Jane & Billy could be seen as positive role models, I don't think those things outweigh the amount of sexual encounters in this show. There is a lot of heavy making out and "almost" moments with the teenagers and "in the middle of" or "just finished" moments with the adults. For me I was a little surprised that this was ABC Family. I wouldn't want my 14 year old watching it. Teen & adult drinking and few swear words too.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (11):

JANE BY DESIGN embraces a number of qualities inherent to teen life, including blossoming self-identity and the desire to be accepted by your peers. While the show's premise is a bit of a stretch, the underlying concept of throwing caution to the wind and following your dreams is anything but, and it's a sentiment to which many coming-of-age viewers will relate. As for the show's presentation of teen life, there's a lot of truth to Jane's trying experiences with her peers, and the content brings relevant issues like bullying and popularity to the forefront. It also turns the tables on some stereotypes by casting multi-dimensional characters who often exceed viewers' preconceived notions of them. Either way, there's plenty of food for thought about a variety of social relationships.

Content-wise, the series is on par with what its intended teen audience is ready for. Sex is the most obvious issue, but physical contact stops at heavy making out (kissing, rolling around on a bed, and implications of sex, but nothing is shown), and there are some likable relationships that develop over the course of the show. And as peer models go, teens could do a lot worse than Jane, who's motivated by career and personal goals to take on daunting challenges and discovers a lot about her own strength along the way.

TV Details

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