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MCN Review: 'Ties That Bind'

UP Network takes a takes a shot at an original drama with its new show Ties That Bind.

The series, the first scripted effort for the family-entertainment network, stars Kelli Williams as Allison McLean, a strong-willed woman who juggles being a tough police detective with her role as caring wife and mother of two teen kids. When her brother Tim (Luke Perry) is sent to prison for two years on an aggravated assault conviction that Allison had a hand in securing, she takes in her brother’s two teenage kids, Mariah (Matreya Scarrwener) and Cameron (Rhys Matthew Bond).

Click here to see a video of Kelli Williams discussing her starring role in Ties That Bind.

The move isn’t necessarily welcomed by Allison’s husband Matt (Jonathan Scarfe), her son Jeff (Mitchell Kummen) or her daughter Rachel (Natasha Calis) -- not to mention by Tim’s children, who are a little upset over Allison’s role in their father’s incarceration.

On top of all of that, Allison has to track down the bad guys with her partner Devin (Dion Johnstone). In the first episode Allison and Devin look to solve a robbery perpetrated by an young, teen boy and his pregnant girlfriend. The writers do a good job of juxtaposing Allison’s dogged but humane approach to policing with her struggles at home.

Ties That Bind stays true to UP’s brand while not being preachy or mushy. The result is a well-rounded and entertaining series that adults will like and won’t be afraid to watch with their kids.