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TV or not TV
Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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MISSING - In the premiere episode, "Pilot," Becca Winstone learns that her son disappears while studying abroad, and it's a race against time when she travels to Europe to track him down. Amazing locations and thrilling twists abound as it's revealed just how far one mother will go to protect her family, on "Missing," premiereing THURSDAY, MARCH 15 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/LARRY D. HORRICKS) ASHLEY JUDD
ABC's "Missing" is a ridiculous mess

"Missing" is not a comedy, but it is utterly ridiculous.

Actually, if this new ABC series (Thursday, 7 p.m., Ch. 4) about a ex-CIA operative/mom (Ashley Judd) trying to rescue her kidnapped son was a comedy, it would be more entertaining. And the outlandish events would make more sense.

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Judd stars as Becca Winstone, whose husband (Sean Bean) died in a suspicious car explosion a decade ago.

(Really, aren't almost all car explosions suspicious?)

Becca is concerned when her 18-year-old son, Michael (Nick Eversman) heads off to Europe for school. But she lets him go. And he's promptly kidnapped.

She goes off the deep end, turning into a female Rambo, destroying everything in her way. She doesn't have super powers ... but if she did, that would make more sense than "Missing."

Judd doesn't do herself any favors. She's not believable as the ideal mother or as Rambo, delivering a wooden performance that would make Sylvester Stallone proud.

Beyond the utterly unbelievable action and the ridiculous dialogue, the show is fundamentally flawed. If Becca rescues her son, the show ends. So we know she's not going to rescue her son.

If she dies, the show ends. So we know she's not going to die.

So there's no suspense.

About the only reason to watch "Missing" is to see the European scenery - it was shot on location.

But you can see better scenery watching "The Amazing Race," and you don't have to put up with a show as dumb as "Missing."



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