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a phone call from Michael’s architectural program telling her that he has missed multiple courses and has since been withdrawn from school.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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Messin’ with Momma is a Bad Idea

This week Amber West and I review two new 2012 midseason replacements starring two of Hollywood’s biggest stars on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday — Fox’s Touch, starring Kiefer Sutherland, and ABC’s Missing, starring Ashley Judd.

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

This frightening situation is the premise behind ABC’s new 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 from Game of Thrones) 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 their 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 concerned mother...

A little while into Michael’s trip, all texts and calls stop.  Making her worry even more, Becca receives a phone call from the architectural program that Michael 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.

A mother with one concern -- find her son...

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 some serious booty, grabs his gun, and flees from the window after she hears the Italian police.

How in the world can a soccer mom (literally, she’s a soccer mom) and flower shop owner disarm and kill a man so effortlessly? Well she has bruises, but still.  Because like her deceased husband, Becca is a retired CIA agent (she retired following her husband’s death).

While on the run, Becca reaches out to an old ally (Giancarlo Rossi, played by Swept Away’s Adriano Giannini) who informs her that the man she just killed in her son’s apartment is former Italian intelligence.  This just keeps getting worse…

Becca and her ally, Giancarlo

Becca manages to track down Francesca, one of the most dialed phone numbers on Michael’s cell phone, at her place of employment (a nightclub).  Francesca admits to seeing Michael the day he disappeared and sends Becca to a soccer bar hangout where Michael likes to frequent.  Once there, Becca runs into two more men with guns.  She escapes by stealing a moped and drives back to the nightclub where she finds Francesca murdered.  This just keeps getting worse…

While resting at Giancarlo’s, Becca continues to study Michael’s phone and from a photograph discovers a surveillance camera out on the street behind her son’s apartment.  She tracks 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 Francesca 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… 

A distraught mother...

Becca returns to Giancarlo’s where the two discover the black van is registered to a warehouse in France. Becca’s next stop — Paris.

**Missing was filmed on location in Europe (eight different cities, I believe) — the settings are real, not studio CGI imagery.**

In the meantime, viewers meet the Italian based CIA operatives who are now hot on the trail of Becca, led by Agent Dax Miller (Cliff Curtis, Trauma).  These agents have access to Becca’s CIA file, but learn very little because of the size of said file — “the thinner the file, the better the agent.”

CIA Agent Cliff Curtis

Becca is “persona non grata” in France, and the CIA must intercept her before she crosses the border.  They send in a team who singles her out, and a fight ensues (yes, another fight).  Despite Becca’s phenomenal fight skills, the agents subdue her.

While in CIA custody, Becca somehow manages to befriend Agent Miller and he allows her three hours in France to do what she needs to do.  She immediately tracks down the warehouse and finds evidence that her son was indeed held prisoner in this location from his wall etchings — 235@W’.

Becca’s visit to the warehouse is interrupted by a guard, who she disarms and incapacitates before going about her business searching for any clues or evidence as to where Michael might be being held now.  She discovers a package of surveillance photos in a desk drawer — photos of her son since he was a small boy.  Finished at this location, Becca picks up a phone and dials the CIA requesting Agent Miller.  She lays the receiver down, allowing a trace.

Obviously she’s not completely against working with the CIA, but she has her own mission to worry about.  Nothing will stop her from finding her son.  Seems like the kidnappers picked the wrong woman to mess with…

Messin' with Momma is a bad idea...

The pilot ends with Becca walking along the streets of Paris studying the photographs from the warehouse.  Once again she is being followed and is shot in the shoulder, causing her to fall over a bridge and into a body of water.  This just keeps getting worse…

Only two episodes of Missing have aired to date, and the action does not slow down.  Becca is a woman on a mission, comparable to a female Jack Bauer.  Seriously.

Seriously, messin' with Momma is a bad idea...

Missing was a television series that my guy wasn’t all that interested in.  He thought it was just going to be another one of my mysteries that I can’t live without, so he declared Missing as one I could watch without him — we have his, hers, and ours programs.  After telling him all about the action in the first two episodes, he now wants to check it out.

But because only two episodes have aired, I must award Missing with the SSTV 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 actual European filming adds heat to the already rapidly boiling water.  It may not take many more episodes for Missing to be upgraded to the MacTV rating, but we’ll see…

What do you think? Have you caught an episode of Missing?  Does Becca remind you of a female Jack Bauer?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about Kiefer’s new series, Touch.  And speaking of Jack Bauer, will Kiefer be able to shake his popular 24 personality we’ve all grown to love over the years with his new role?

Come back next week when Amber and I review something…

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: New Year, Even More New Drama

The last couple of weeks, we’ve introduced a few of the new programs to hit television screens in 2012.  Many have accused us of adding too much to their already full TV schedules, and for that we apologize.  But that’s not going to stop us from talking about even more!

That’s right, we’re not done yet!  The networks are bringing television viewers a few additional winter premieres, or mid-season replacements as they like to call them, starting in February and some as late as April.  But for the sake of today’s post, we’ll stick to a handful that we can expect to see sooner rather than later.

So what do we have to look forward to?

*****

Smash

Will a show about a Broadway Musical have as much success as the popular musical dramedy Glee?

NBC sure hopes so.

Smash stars two of entertainment’s most dynamic women: Debra Messing (Will & Grace) plays Julia, a co-writer of the musical, and Academy Award winning actress Angelica Huston plays Eileen, the producer.  Keeping with the popular appeal of female success, former American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee plays Karen, a young and unfamiliar talent who finds herself a favorite for the starring role in the musical.

Perhaps the story behind the musical itself will attract an audience all its own, telling the story of the original blonde-bombshell and 1950’s starlet, Marilyn Monroe.

If the musical is actually biographical, this TV junkie might have more of an interest in checking out Smash.  But we have a feeling the new series will actually focus on the personal lives of those behind the scenes and those vying for a part in the musical, rather than the life of one of our favorite sex symbols.

Smash premieres on NBC Monday, February 6th.

*****

Missing

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

This frightening situation is the premise behind ABC’s new drama Missing.  The series stars yet another motion picture favorite, Ashley Judd, as widower and single mother Becca Winstone.  Becca takes it upon herself to travel to Rome to search for any leads and clues into her son Michael’s disappearance, and it doesn’t hurt that she has a background as a former CIA agent.

Sounds like the kidnappers picked the wrong lady to mess with…

Missing also stars Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) as CIA Agent Paul Winstone, Becca’s deceased husband, and Nick Eversman as Michael Winstone.

Missing premieres Thursday, March 15th on ABC.

*****

Awake

What is quantum immortality?

Physicists explain that quantum immortality is the subjective experience of surviving quantum suicide, or that this highly controversial phenomenon implies that a conscious being cannot cease to be. 

Does this make sense to anyone?  How about an explanation that the rest of us who struggled in Physics can comprehend, please?

Better yet, let’s explain it by introducing the premise of NBC’s new science fiction drama, Awake.

Awake follows Detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs, from the Harry Potter films) after he survives a fatal car accident involving his wife and son.  Once he wakes up, he is faced with two realities – one where his wife (Laura Allen, the 4400) did not survive, and another where his son did not survive.  Michael begins moving from one reality to the other, struggling to remember which life he is currently living, all while attempting to keep his family together.

The new series is filled with familiar faces, including: Steve Harris (The Practice) as Michael’s partner in one reality; Wilmer Valderrama (That ‘70s Show) as Michael’s partner in the other reality; B.D. Wong (Law & Order: SVU) as Michael’s therapist in one reality; Cherry Jones (24) as Michael’s therapist in the other reality; and Michaela McManus (also from Law & Order: SVU), Michael’s love interest in the reality where his wife has passed.

How does he keep his life straight?

I’m glad to see that Michael has a therapist in both worlds…his life sounds confusing, doesn’t it?

Awake is scheduled to premiere in March, after it was originally scheduled to begin in Fall 2011 and again in January 2012.  What’s the deal?  Why is NBC all over the place when it comes to the actual premiere date?

According to an online article by NY Mag.com, the writers had to work out a few kinks.  Makes sense, considering the storyline could definitely confuse the audience with all the back and forth (Fringe, anyone?).

*****

What do you think?  Do you plan to watch Smash, Missing, or Awake?  Which show has the most promise and why?  The least?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

If you’d like to take a stab at  better understanding quantum immortality, quantum suicide, or metaphysics, click here!  Thank you Wikipedia, but even this is out of my league.