Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Missing, in More Ways Than One

This week Amber West and I revisit two of our simmering reviews on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday — ABC’s Scandal and Missing.  Are we still watching?  Or have we given up completely?

Well, I may not have given up on Missing completely, but it seems the network has.  Missing has officially been cancelled — so I guess it’s missing in more ways than one.  But for the sake of today’s review, I’m sticking with it… considering I’ve stuck with it every episode along the way.

What would you do if your child went missing while studying abroad?

This frightening situation is the premise behind ABC’s soon to be missing drama, Missing.

The series begins with Becca Winstone (Ashley Judd) as she witnesses, or overhears really, an explosion that kills her husband (CIA Agent Paul Winstone, played by Sean Bean) while talking to her son, Michael, on the telephone.

Missing then fast forwards ten years when a now eighteen year old Michael (played by Nick Eversman) informs his mother that he has been accepted to an architectural summer program in Rome.  Becca’s hesitant at first, considering Venice is where her husband was murdered, but agrees to Michael’s study abroad opportunity.  The two only have each other, and they share a very close relationship as apparent with his secret “I love you” code — 235@W’ — “23” is Michael’s soccer number; “5” because the heart is the 5th largest organ in the body; and “@W’” because Becca is the head of the Winstone household, thus making her Winstone Prime.

A little while into Michael’s trip, all texts and calls stop.  Causing her to worry even more, Becca receives a phone call from Michael’s architectural program telling her that he has missed multiple courses and has since been withdrawn from school.  Becca decides to do what any mother would do — she takes it upon herself to travel to Rome to search for any leads and clues into her son’s disappearance.

Becca first visits Michael’s apartment where she discovers spoiled food on the table and his cell phone plugged into the wall charger.  What teenager goes anywhere without his or her cell phone?  She’s reading his outgoing call history when she is interrupted by a man with a gun.  A struggle ensues, but Becca kicks this man’s booty, grabs his gun, and flees from the window after she hears police sirens.

How in the world can a soccer mom (literally, she’s a soccer mom — Michael’s favorite sport is soccer, and this plays into the story in more ways than one) and flower shop owner disarm and kill a man so effortlessly?  Because like her deceased husband, Becca is a retired CIA agent (she retires following her husband’s death).

While on the run from authorities, Becca reaches out to an old ally (Giancarlo Rossi, played Adriano Giannini) who informs her that the man she just killed in her son’s apartment is former Italian intelligence.  While hiding out and resting at Giancarlo’s, Becca continues to study her son’s phone and its photographs, and discovers that there is a surveillance camera out on the street behind his apartment.  She tracks it across town, breaks in, disables the security alarm, and hacks into the video footage of the day her son disappeared (she knows Thursday was the last day anyone saw him alive).  Becca watches the surveillance as two men grab Michael and throw him into the back of a black van with French plates.  A mother’s worst fears realized… 

Becca manages to track down clues, but constantly runs into more men and women with guns.  Not only is she frantically searching for her son, hopping European cities left and right (Missing was filmed on location in Europe — eight different cities, I believe), and dodging foreign police, she’s also attempting to trust other CIA operatives (led by Agent Dax Miller, played by Cliff Curtis).  She needs help, but Agent Miller’s team definitely doesn’t trust Becca because of the size of her CIA file — “the thinner the file, the better the agent.”  After a few chance encounters with the operatives, Becca also begins to run from her former employer’s new team.

She can’t trust anyone.  TWIST.  Or can she?  TURN.

Without giving too much away for those who haven’t seen it and still wish to, despite the cancellation — hopefully it will be available on Netflix and worthy of a watch — know that no one is as they seem.  No one.  TWIST and TURN.

With only the season finale left, the series has impressed me in that the action never slows down.  The twists kept me on my toes and impressively answered questions along the way, while of course throwing more twists right back at us.  Considering the network’s cancellation, I really hope the season finale wraps things up.  I want to see Becca — a woman on a mission, comparable to a female Jack Bauer — beat the living daylights out of the bad guy and wrap her arms around her son.

And despite the network’s cancellation, I can’t help but award Missing with the MacTV rating.  Not only do I like Ashley Judd (I can watch Double Jeopardy and High Crimes over and over again), but the non-stop action and numerous twists adds heat to the already rapidly boiling water — perfect conditions for a warm bowl of our favorite cheesy pasta.

If anyone missed the series, Missing may totally be worthy of a spot on a Netflix Queue when available – well, depending on how the season finale (eh-hem, I mean series finale) wraps up.  If the episode ends on a cliffhanger, a cliffhanger that will never see answers, I might recommend everyone steer clear of Missing.  There’s nothing quite like investing hour after hour in something to only be disappointed at the end.  Thanks a lot, ABC…

But if the finale ends with Becca kicking booty and finding Michael, it’s definitely worth a watch!

What do you think? Did you watch Missing?  Was this series cancelled too soon?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and find out if Scandal has passed her DVR queue test… is she still watching?

Come back next week when Amber and I review two of the USA Network’s dramas – the new series, Common Law, and the sophomore surprise, Fairly Legal.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Tele-Tuesday: Spring Cleaning, 2012 Edition

Years ago, May sweeps meant that the television industry saved the best for last.  The networks broadcast non-stop, action packed, cliff-hanging storylines every night of the week, hoping to pull in the largest ratings of the year before announcing which shows would receive pink slips.

Times have changed, and today’s May sweeps ultimately means knowing which shows will return and which shows will be swept away before the season finales have all aired.

Recent years prove that no show is safe: many shows are done after only one season; some shows make it through the toddler years, a minimum of two or three seasons; some programs have aired for years, even decades with multi-generational loyal followers; and, some still await their destiny.

Television’s broom was very busy this year….


One & Done

A Gifted Man, Alcatraz, Are You There, Chelsea?, Awake, Bent, Best Friends Forever, Charlie’s Angels, Free Agents, GCB, How to be a Gentleman, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Man Up, Missing, Napoleon Dynamite, NYC22, PanAm, Prime Suspect, Ringer, Rob, Terra Nova, The Finder, The Firm, The Playboy Club, The River, The Secret Circle, and Unforgettable


Terrible Twos & Threes

Breaking In and Harry’s Law


Seasoned Veterans

Chuck, CSI: Miami, Desperate Housewives, House, and One Tree Hill

While Chuck, the Housewives, Dr. House, and even the town members of Tree Hill had advance notice that the 2011-2012 television season would be their last, CSI: Miami was not awarded the same courtesy.  After ten years, Horatio and his team say goodbye.  And at a bar no less.  Thanks a lot CBS.  The series end would have been much better if someone destroyed Horatio’s glasses…


Still Awaiting their Destiny:

Rules of Engagement and The L.A. Complex


On a positive note, not all chivalry is dead: some shows have earned advance notice that next season will be their last.  Thank you networks; thank you for allowing the writers to close out a series appropriately for the loyal fans.  This doesn’t happen all that often, just ask Law & Order.

Gossip Girl – It may be a short season, only eleven episodes, but at least the Upper East Side characters will wrap up their storylines.

Fringe – Walter, Olivia, and Peter definitely deserve the chance to close out their story appropriately.   Thank you, Fox; and Thank You fans for doing your part to keep Fringe alive for one more final season.


And even better, one network picked up another network’s sure to be cancelled series…

Cougar Town – hop on over to TBS this fall to catch new episodes.


Seems a bit insane, doesn’t it?  What are the morals of today’s Tele-Tuesday?  Don’t get too attached to freshman television series, and no television show is safe from May sweeps.

Which of these cancellations came too soon?  Over the years, what television series has been cancelled that you still mourn?  Which network do you think sweeps the most shows in the trash before giving the audience a chance to watch week in and week out?  I’d love to hear from you!

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