In ABC’s Missing, a former CIA agent named Rebecca Winstone (Ashley Judd) travels to Europe in search of her son Michael (Nick Eversman) who’s disappeared while on a summer internship in Italy.
She’ll use any means necessary to get her son back but will enough viewers want to follow along? Will the show be cancelled before she can find her boy?
Here’s what some critics are saying about Missing:
NY Daily News: “Rome isn’t conquered in a day, even by Becca, and watching Missing will require a commitment, not occasional whim. As drama it has a few holes and clearly a lot of backstory that will unspool at its own pace. Some of the action scenes, in keeping with special-effects tradition, are filmed in near-darkness. But the narrative is crisp, fast and easy to follow, and in the end the real issue is pretty simple: Do we like Becca Winstone enough to follow her every week down a long and bloody winding road?”
Boston Herald: “The mix of soccer mom and expert operative can turn funny: Becca interrupts her own interrogation of Michael’s girlfriend to scold her about smoking. Judd, who serves as series co-executive producer, makes for a surprisingly convincing action hero. It’s when she stops to emote in full mommy mode that the show drags. Missing might as well be about Becca’s identity crisis. ‘I am not CIA! I am a mother looking for her son,’ she protests. For this series’ sake, here’s hoping Becca finds her son soon and realizes her true calling is rescuing the rest of the world — or at least the eight o’clock hour.”
Washington Post: “Missing is certainly no 24, but like that show, it prefers action at points where it could really stand to slow down and build out a slightly more creative story. It’s the very definition of a guilty-pleasure series, which ABC is getting good at, but it’s also a reminder of how far we’ve fallen since the more complex Alias days. You know how some people can get their father a spy novel and a sweater every Christmas — and he’s always satisfied? This is just his kind of show.”
LA Times: “She can say, “I’m not a spy, I’m just a mother looking for her son” as often as she wants (and she does, with wearisome regularity), but since Judd makes it so difficult to engage with her character, Becca’s quest becomes less, rather than more, emotionally evocative. What viewers are left with, then, are some excellent fight and chase scenes, an outstanding supporting cast (who, alas, only highlight the main character’s deficiencies) and a lot of truly beautiful location work. It may be enough, but it could, and should, have been so much more.”
USA Today: “Judd is certainly a game action star. But like many Hollywood stars her age, male and female, a certain plasticity has seeped in that damages both the character and her abilities as an actor. Whether through natural or artificial means, her face often appears to be immobile. And beyond the distractions, which include wondering how it can be possible that Becca has fewer wrinkles than her son, it limits her performance range. The scenery is pretty, though, and it’s not supposed to move. You’ll have to decide if that’s enough.”
NY Times: “The fights and action sequences are good by TV standards, and there’s a bit of classic international thriller ambiance, courtesy of location filming in the Czech Republic and a few scenes that actually appear to have been shot in Rome and Paris. Mostly it has Ms. Judd, who, with a mightily clenched jaw and the help of some excellent stunt doubles, is surprisingly credible as a starched, middle-aged action figure battling unknown kidnappers, every intelligence agency in Europe, her former C.I.A. handlers and, most critically, her own maternal instincts, which alternately help and hinder her.”
Hollywood Reporter: “Eventually, Missing stops demanding that it be taken so seriously. Your eyes are in for a treat, and Judd grows on you. Some of the hokey plotting fades into the background after that… If you want an hour of escapism and entertainment each week — and why wouldn’t you? — credit ABC for making an hour disappear into thin air.”
Newsday: “Nice locales (Paris! Rome!), a couple of decent action sequences… but otherwise a tepid potboiler over-seasoned with too many spy tropes and a plot with too many gaping holes.”
What do you think? Does Missing sound like it’s worth watching? If you’ve seen it, will you tune in again?
Image courtesy ABC.