By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Action drama mixes motherhood and bloody violence.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Missing is a drama about how far a mother will go to help her son, but it also involves so much violence and law-breaking that positive messages are diluted.
Positive Role Models
Becca is smart, strong, and empowered. She'll do whatever she has to do to help her son, even if that means breaking laws along the way.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent physical fighting, strangulation, gun shots, explosions, and other violent acts. Bloody wounds are sometimes visible; people sometimes die as a result.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to STDs. Female characters are shown taking off their shirts and removing their bras and having wounds bathed (no visible nudity).
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Words like "hell" are occasionally audible.
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Products & Purchases
Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Citroen, and other common European car makes and models are visible.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The illegal drug trade is a main theme. Cigarettes and alcohol are visible.
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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.
Where to Watch
Based on 2 parent reviews
High Intreuge Must See
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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?
- Premiere date: March 15, 2012
- Cast: Ashley Judd, Cliff Curtis, Nick Eversman
- Network: ABC
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: March 2, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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