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Missing: The Complete First Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

June 13, 2012 by  



Exciting and absolutely riveting!  “Missing: The Complete First Season” was one of the better drama series on television that was unfortunately canceled in 2012.  If you haven’t seen this mystery thriller but are curious about it.  Do yourself a favor and check it out! You won’t be disappointed.

Images courtesy of © 2012 ABC Studios. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Missing: The Complete First Season

DURATION: 10 Episodes (430 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Color, English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Widescreen (1:78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Television, Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese and Spanish

COMPANY: ABC

RATED: TV 14 LV

RELEASE DATE: June 12, 2012

Directed by Steve Shill, Phil Abraham, Paul A. Edwards, James Strong

Written by Gregory Poirier, Paul Redford

Produced by Gideon Amir

Co-Producer: Kenny Bates, Meredith Lavender, David Minkowski, Matthew Stillman, Marcie Ulin, Richard Peter Schroer

Executive Producer: Gina Matthews, James D. Parriott, Gregory Poirier, Grant Scharbo, Steve Shill

Co-Executive Producer: Ashley Judd, Paul Redford

Consulting Producer: Adele Lim

Music by Robert Duncan, Kim Planert

Cinematography by Arthur Albert

Edited by Nick Arthurs, Allan Lee, Yan Miles, Simon Webb

Production Design by Ondrej Nekvasil

Art Diretion by Stefan Kovacik, Katja Soltes

Set Decoration: Beata Brendtnerova, Katerina Koutska

Costume Design: Roland Sanchez

Starring:

Ashley Judd as Becca Winstone

Cliff Curtis as Dax Miller

Adriano Giannini as Giancarlo Rossi

Nick Eversman as Michael Winstone

Laura Donnelly as Violet Heath

Sean Bean as Paul Winstone

Tereza Voriskova as Oksana

Keith Carradine as Martin Newman

Jason Wong as Fitzpatrick

Gina McKee as Kaime Ortega

Jessica Boone as Rabia

Karel Roden as Azimoff

After Becca Winstone’s son disappears while overseas for a summer internship, she takes it upon herself to travel to Europe to track him down. It soon becomes clear that Becca is no ordinary woman, but a former CIA agent deactivated after the devastating death of her husband. If she wants to find her son alive, Becca will have to rely on old friends…and old enemies…thus reopening old wounds. Her resourcefulness, skill and determination will be put to the test – but a mother’s love knows no limits.

In 2012, the ABC midseason replacement, a mystery thriller drama television series known as “Missing” aired on television.

Starring Ashley Judd, Cliff Curtis and Sean Bean, “Missing” would feature Ashley Judd in her first action role and the series would be different in the fact that it was shot in various countries in Europe.

With ten exciting episodes and literally ending with a “bang!”, unfortunately, ABC pulled the plug and canceled the series.

Fortunately, the first season’s storyline does end in the season finale, but also left a teaser for more adventures featuring former CIA agent Rebecca “Becca” Winstone for a season two or hopefully a book release.

But for now, people can enjoy this thrilling, riveting drama series on DVD in June 2012.

“Missing” is a series that revolves around Rebecca “Becca” Winstone (as portrayed by Ashley Judd), a housewife who owns a flower shop, happily married to her husband Paul (as portrayed by Sean Bean) and has a young child named Michael.

One day as Paul and Michael were on a trip in Europe together, an accident takes place in which Paul’s car has blown up and a young Michael, who was inside the hotel at the time, witnessed his father’s death.

Ten years later and Michael (as portrayed by Nick Eversman) is now preparing to go on a summer college internship in Rome.  Becca is unsure and a bit paranoid (after what happened to her husband) that she wants her son to study abroad but decides to give him that opportunity.  Just as long as he keeps in communication with his mother, to let him know that he is OK.

And as Becca would receive periodic video and e-mail messages from Michael, communication suddenly stops.  She then receives a call from the school that he has been dropped from his classes because he stopped attending school.

Becca knows that is not like her son to do such a thing and immediately thinks something is wrong, so she travels to Rome to check on him.

But when she goes to his room, she is suddenly attacked by a gunman and we watch and see Becca fighting back and literally beating the assailant and killing him.

The ruckus causes the landlord to call the police and when surveillance footage shows footage of Becca, the CIA in America finds out that their former agent, Rebecca Winstone may be up to no good and is working with another country.

This leads to CIA agent Dax Miller (as portrayed by Cliff Curtis) to assemble his group to pursue Rebecca Winstone in Europe.  Meanwhile, Becca gets some help from a former lover and Interpol agent named Giancarlo Rossi (as portrayed by Adriano Giannini), the two find out through video footage that Michael has been abducted.

And now, Becca will do whatever she can to get her son back!  Even if it means going against international authorities and the CIA.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Missing: The Complete First Season” is presented in Widescreen (1:78:1).  First, let me just say that “Missing” was the most ambitious drama series on television because it was shot in several countries.  You just don’t see series that are filmed country after country and in the case of “Missing”, it was shot in many countries.

So, there are quite a few breathtaking scenes in “Missing” and it helps to have an experienced cinematographer like Arthur Albert who has worked on several films such as “Happy Gilmore” and “Saving Silverman” but also experience on working on major drama series such as “ER” and “The Gates”.

For the most part, picture quality is good for DVD but as expected for a DVD release, you can see a bit of compression but nothing that would hurt your viewing of the film and for the most part, for most viewers, this is a non-issue for a DVD release.  But with all the beautiful location shots utilized for this film, I wish “Missing: The Complete First Season” was released on Blu-ray!

“Missing” is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound with subtitles in English SDH, French, Portuguese and Spanish. As a drama series, audio for “Missing” was primarily a dialogue-driven track with some use of scenery ambiance for surround channels.   Because this was also an action-driven drama series, not only are their gunshots, explosions, car crashes, etc.  It was a soundtrack that utilized the surround channels but also a series that had a good amount of ambiance.  While not too immersive, on DVD and for a TV drama series, I was quite pleased with how this series sounds on DVD.

Once again, I wish “Missing: The Complete First Season” was released on Blu-ray but for the most part, audio isa ppropriate and dialogue is clear and understandable.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Missing: The Complete First Season” comes with the following special features:

  • Missing: In Action – (16:05) Interviews with Ashley Judd and the cast of “Missing”.  Behind-the-scenes of the making of “Missing”.
  • On Location: Inside Istanbul – (32:40) A featurette about the “Missing” production team traveling to different countries for filming, leading to their finale in Istanbul.
  • Deleted Scenes – (6:31) Featuring seven deleted scenes.

EXTRAS:

“Missing: The Complete First Season” comes with a slipcover case.

Not too often do you find a mystery thriller drama series on television that tries to bring the elements of what you enjoy on the big screen to television.  In this day of reality TV and studios trying to stay away from big budget series, “Missing” was one series that was one of the surprises of 2012.    And it turns out that of the newer drama series I have watched so far this year, “Missing” was one of my favorites.

Unfortunately, it was also a series that was canceled after its first season.

I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical of “Missing” because you don’t really find any mystery thrillers involving a 40+ housewife in many action scenes, kicking a lot of butt while  trying to look for her kidnapped son all over Europe.

Reading about it, it just didn’t make sense to me.  Finding out that Ashley Judd was playing the main character, didn’t make sense to me.  But watching it…it made sense and Ashley Judd’s character, Becca Winstone… don’t underestimate her!  This woman can kick ass!

While most action series on television within the last ten years tend to focus on a younger, non-married, not a mother, female heroine.  We have seen it done in the past with “Alias” or even “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.  A series that would feature characters that would appeal to the 18-49 demographic.

But “Missing” took its chance by utilizing actress Ashley Judd in a way that at first it didn’t make any sense to me, until I watched the first episode and from there on, I realize that “Missing” is possibly the best performance I have seen of Ashley Judd.

Yes, I enjoyed watching her on films such as “Heat”, “Double Jeopardy”, “High Crimes”, etc. but in the context of her character, Becca Winstone is a former CIA operative, one of their top agents who quit her job right after her CIA husband was killed and focused her life on raising her son and being a normal mother.

And when you read about this series and watch the trailer, your initial thought was, what is an older mother of a college student going off on her lonesome to save her son?  It didn’t make any sense.  But once you see how this series plays out, not only do you find it riveting but you are just captivated.  Everything that was happening onscreen was magnificent and suffice to say, I was rooting for Becca and watching this mother not only kick butt but doing all she can to save her son, that includes breaking rules that literally would put her in prison.

As mentioned, Ashley Judd is playing the character of the former CIA operative and mother, Becca Winstone.  And one thing that Ashley Judd does bring to the table is the fact that she can play emotional characters.  And as for action-based characters, I have to say that Becca Winstone kicks ass!

And you add in a wonderful supporting cast such as Cliff Curtis (“Live Free or Die Hard”, “Training Day”, “Three Kings”) as CIA agent Dax Miller, heading the operations to assist but also prevent her from causing any major problems but also responsible in finding Becca Winstone.  You have Andriano Giannini (“The Consequences of Love”, “Ocean’s Twelve”) as Becca’s former boyfriend and Interpol connection.  And for “Lord of the Rings” fans, Sean Bean plays the character of Paul Winstone, the husband of Becca and father of missing Michael who was killed in the first episode.  And Keith Carradine (“Cowboys & Aliens”, “Nashville”, “Damages”, “Dollhouse”) as the friend of the family and godfather of Michael.

And to add to the excitement, rarely do you find a TV drama series that is shot all over Europe.  You see sets built in America but for “Missing”, this was an expensive production as the characters and production crew were literally traveling all over Europe to shoot these episodes.

With awesome writing and performances, it’s unfortunate that a series this exciting was canceled.

Why was it canceled?  It’s all about ratings and not sure if the production costs to shoot all over Europe was too expensive but I also believe that the ratings also were hampered for several reasons.  As mentioned earlier, for female action stars on television, they are usually young, sexy and often dressed in tight clothing.  Once again, we have seen it with “Alias”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and recently with a show like “Nikita”.  I feel that people are so used to seeing action heroines on television a certain way, it’s hard for viewers to get outside of that.

I look at Becca Winstone like the female version of Jack Bauer of “24”.  But as people are so used to seeing older male protagonists in action roles, the same can’t be said for female protagonists.  So, in a way, I respect this drama that we see a mother, a former top CIA agent, getting back into the scene.  And because for her love of her son and it’s all that she has left in her life, she will do everything and anything possible to save him.

And the character and the storyline definitely was awesome and captivating, unfortunately… how I felt by reading it or seeing the trailer, it didn’t do much justice in promoting the series, because the series was so much more than what I expected.  It was a pleasant surprise and I couldn’t stop watching.

Another reason I can only think of why some people wouldn’t give the series a chance is because people are not used to seeing Ashley Judd as an action star.   She is known for her roles on romantic comedies or thrillers.   But if people did give “Missing” a chance, as I was skeptical at first, I was proven wrong.  Ashley Judd did a fantastic job in this series and I was pretty impressed by the production values of the series.  Once again, while we are used to seeing action films taking place in several countries, never do we see modern television drama series doing the same thing as “Missing” is shot in several countries (note: “24” had a series shot in Africa, but that was for a one-time special, “Missing” is shot in several countries).

As for the DVD, the DVD looks great and it’s one of those series that you wish was released on Blu-ray, because some of these locations look magnificent, and would even look much better on Blu-ray.  But on DVD, the series still looks very good and audio quality is just as great utilizing ambiance and plenty of sound effects via the surround channels.  Granted, it’s a TV series, so one can’t expect it to be too immersive but for a TV drama series, “Missing” looks and sounds very good on DVD.

There are few special features included but the most intriguing feature is showing how the production crew had to travel to different countries to shoot the series.  For me, I was quite fascinated by that feature alone but it would have been nice to have an audio commentary included with this DVD release.

And as much as I enjoyed this series, unfortunately, its cancellation affects everything for this series because although it manages to conclude one storyline, there was no doubt that the series finale was setting the story for season two, which unfortunately is not ever going to be made.  While the series finale was good in tying up some loose ends, it also leaves you feeling a bit bitter that you can watch this exciting, riveting series but to find out that there is no closure because the series was canceled.  Especially when you get a teaser finale that would definitely make things much more exciting if there was a second season.

With that being said, fortunately, “Missing: The Complete First Season” is among the better canceled series on DVD, because there is closure at least for the first season’s main storyline.  Also, there are so many twists and turns in the storyline that watching all ten episodes was definitely worthwhile.

Exciting and absolutely riveting!  “Missing: The Complete First Season” was one of the better drama series on television that was unfortunately canceled in 2012.  If you haven’t seen this action/drama but are curious about it?  Do yourself a favor and check it out.  You won’t be disappointed!






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Comments

  • Nuno Ponces

    Hello,

    Thank you for your review.

    Can you confirme the subtitles in portuguese as a said Amazon, i know that the cover back said only English, French and Spanish, but maybe in the menu,,,
    Best regards,,

    Nuno Ponces

  • jentonline

     Greetings Nuno, I checked and it does have Portuguese subtitles.

  • Nuno Ponces

    Thank you very much.

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