A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Missing is an action-adventure series centering on a strong and empowered female lead character who's subjected to lots of physical attacks (punches, kicks, gunshots, etc.) that lead to bloody wounds. Explosions and other violence are also visible. Women are shown in sexy clothes, in their underwear, and in various stages of undress or being bathed (though there's no actual nudity). Words like "hell" are sometimes audible; alcohol and cigarettes are occasionally visible. The illegal drug trade is a theme of the show.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
MISSING stars Ashley Judd as Becca Winstone, a retired CIA agent who's forced to use her training in order to find her missing son. After her CIA agent husband Paul (Sean Bean) dies at the hands of Russian Intelligence, Winstone commits her life to raising and protecting her son, Michael (Nick Eversman). When he's kidnapped a decade later during a summer internship in Italy, Becca finds herself returning to Europe and relying on former colleagues for help, including Italian agent Giancarlo Rossi (Adriano Giannini). But following the leads that will lead to her to Michael proves difficult, especially when she raises the suspicions of American agent Dax Miller (Cliff Curtis), as well as other European operatives.
Is it any good?
Missing tells a rather traditional story about a mother doing anything to help her child, but it does so by offering an action-packed drama that revolves around the secret world of international intelligence. The result is a heroine whose empowerment comes from her determination, strategic thinking, and superhero-like ability to withstand lots of violent attacks with minimal injury. It also presents motherhood as both a benefit and a hindrance when it comes to getting the job done.
While Missing offers some of the suspense that you'd expect from this type of show, Becca's awkward transitions between being a cold and calculating field agent and a desperate mother lead to some uncomfortable, over-the-top melodramatic moments. The result is a show that's entertaining but that leaves you wondering who it's trying to appeal to.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the media presents motherhood. What questions does it raise about the compatibility between parenthood and working at a dangerous job? Is this an issue that pertains more to mothers than to fathers? Why or why not?
Thrillers, mysteries, and crime dramas often incorporate violent themes into their stories, but is it necessary to show this violence? When does showing a violent act go too far? What kind of impact does watching violence in the media have on viewers?
For kids who love drama
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.