Some television shows have an excellent plot but don’t make it. Others seem to squander their potential for longevity – working with limited resources to begin with. This one was in the latter category. Though having seen it, I can say that it was actually not the worst thing to have air time.
Missing, Season One (2012) TV Review
Becca Winstone (Ashley Judd) has a past. It’s one she intentionally builds and now carefully hides from her son, Michael. She along with her husband, Paul (Sean Bean) agree never to drudge up their pasts or to drag their son into their work. That’s before her husband and son go on a European vacation, before her eight-year-old son sees the car his father is in blow to pieces. Ten years later, Becca adapts and accepts life as a single mom. She’s a PTA parent and soccer mom all while running a successful florist shop. Life is perfect until college bound Michael (Nick Eversman) is abducted on the streets of Rome, and Becca’s past is back.
Of the 3 ten-episode season fillers ABC ordered earlier this year this is one of the two that didn’t produce a full season order. It isn’t hard to understand why but it’s also a solid series with some excellent twists that play with our mind. Some of the plots recycle (some plots aren’t hard to figure out) but I do admire some of the directions Missing, season one goes in. Every single episode leaves you breathless for the next and in fact, I did watch four episodes in one sitting. Right from the start it ends with a bang when it puts a bullet in our heroine and us gasping at her being in a life-and-death situation so early on.
Anyone who like Taken (or even the Bourne trilogy) will find this an interesting story. Although billed as a thriller this series takes a different approach than that of an action-packed production. It’s really about its characters. It has a way of drawing us in through them, not the thrills. Does that even make sense? The carefully laid stories that interlock and introductions to supporting character still leave us – continuously so, on the defense. It’s the show’s propensity to involve people from Becca’s past that keep up such a cloak of mystery.
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Part of the reason Missing vacillates between Michael’s kidnapping and the people from Becca’s past is to keep things interesting – to add more content to the overall picture. The end game is always seeing Michael’s safe recovery although sometimes I think they “forgot” that. No matter the cost, Becca’s determination is heartbreaking and it’s Ashley’s acting that keeps up this genuine pretense. She plays the I-am-mad-you-messed-with-my-kid mother to a T. I love her in this role because of this; it really makes the show seem more realistic even in its very unrealistic aspects.
The entire cast is really quite impressive; there isn’t a weak link here. The young man who plays Michael isn’t without some acting chops while the veterans like Bean and Keith Carradine kept things grounded. Fans of Castle will also appreciate the subtle nod to ABC’s top-rated show. I’ll confess the show is impressive. It doesn’t have the same intelligence as some of its mirror-exact counterparts but it’s entertaining. The poignant flashbacks actually work for this and seem to transition really well. Unfortunately, its cancellation prior to the finale should have inspired a quick, last minute edit or two to be wholly complete. As a result it would be best not to watch the final minute. If you are looking for something with a conclusive ending, you’d best look elsewhere.
Content: There is some flirting between a married couple; illusions suggest a woman had an extra-marital affair. One scene shows a woman being washed and cared for while in the bathtub following being severely bruised [also seen]. Implications
suggest two teens eventually have sex [off-camera]. There is some hand-to-hand fighting [some more intense] as well as gun shots [various characters die as a result]. There is the usual variety of profanity, p*ss, da*n. The show is plays out as a TV14 rating.