When you watched the Liam Neeson movie Taken, did you wish it was a TV show starring Ashley Judd? If so, you’re in luck, because that’s exactly what ABC’s newest drama, Missing, is.

Missing (premiering Thursday at 8pm on ABC) stars Ashley Judd as Rebecca Winstone, a stay-at-home mom who retired from the CIA 10 years ago. When her son is kidnapped while studying abroad in Europe, she travels across the Atlantic Ocean on a one-woman crusade to find her son.

Judd is fine in the role, I suppose. “Serviceable” might be the best adjective to describe her as an actress since I’ve never understood her appeal. To me, Ashley Judd is the kind of woman you’d cast in a coffee commercial, someone so bland and generic that you hardly notice her. It’ not that she’s bad, it’s just that she makes no impression on me at all.

There’s no point in explaining anything else about the plot or character, because the entire show is a worried mom trying to find her son and attacking anyone that stands in her way. And this is where Missing loses me.

The opening scene establishes why Rebecca might have a hard time trusting people, but the pilot does not satisfy my big question: Why is she doing this on her own? She seems to make no efforts to contact the authorities or government to get help. Instead, after learning her son hasn’t been in class, she books a plane ticket and flies halfway around the world.

I watch TV with a critical eye (hence my job), and this giant gap in logic and reason prevents me from enjoying this show at all. I don’t understand the mother’s motivation for doing it all by herself. It’s silly, preposterous and just annoying.

However, that seems to be what the show is going for. When you have a violent fight scene between a trained killer and a mom in a cardigan, you’ve clearly abandoned any sense of realism. Missing quickly devolves into a series of intense action set pieces while Ashley Judd runs around Europe, punching and yelling.

The Europe portion may be the only redeeming quality of the show. Missing is filmed on location in various European cities, so visually the show looks like nothing I’ve ever seen on network TV. If you’re interested in taking a European vacation without spending any money, Missing might be the next best thing.

But this requires you to turn off your brain, forget about the fact that the story makes no sense, and enjoy the breathtaking locations and ridiculous action. Just think of Missing as a vacation from logic and reason.

Missing airs Thursdays at 8pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)


John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.