Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TV Tuesday: The Missing

In this sort of in-between seasons TV season, my husband and I were looking around for a new show to try on one of the streaming services. We settled on The Missing, a Starz show currently available on Amazon Prime (note that there is a different show also called The Missing available on Netflix or to rent on Amazon - the one we are watching aired in 2014 and is a joint Starz-BBC production).

In short, The Missing is a show that centers on a single mystery and is a suspense-thriller, though it is focused on the victims. British citizens Tony and Emily Hughes are enjoying a vacation in France with their five-year old son, Oliver, when the unthinkable happens. One evening, in a crowd of people, Oliver goes missing. One moment he's holding onto Tony's hand, and the next, he's gone. It's every parent's worst nightmare (and brought back my own nightmares of the time my 2-year old son slipped away from me at a shopping mall!).

As the show opens, it has been 8 years since Oliver's disappearance, and Tony is back in the small French town where it happened, following up on a new lead he thinks he found on social media. Tony has never stopped looking for his son and has become obsessed with the case, to the point that he and Emily are now divorced. Tony calls on the detective originally assigned to the case, Julien, who has since retired but also still thinks about Oliver. Together, the two men follow Tony's latest lead, slim though it may be.

The narrative moves back and forth between the past, when Oliver first disappeared, and the present day, with scenes in both England and France. Most of the action takes place in the small French town where Oliver went missing. As with any mystery or detective show, the details of the investigation unfold gradually, as the police follow one lead after another, chasing down a variety of suspects and clues. What is different here, though, is the focus on this one single case, as well as the perspective of Oliver's parents. Most of the story is told from Tony's point of view.

We have watched the first 5 episodes of 8 in season one (the fact that there is a season 2 doesn't bode well for the Hughes family!). It is engaging and intriguing, a good mystery that keeps surprising us. The subject matter gets a little difficult at times, as when the police suspect a pedophile. After watching episode 5 recently, I asked my husband if he wanted to watch another and he said, "How about something a little lighter?" (episode 5 is a tough one!). But we do want to watch more. It is suspenseful, the action moves along at a good pace, and we want to see what happens next.

The Missing is currently available free on Amazon Prime and on DVD.

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