March 14 (Bloomberg) -- Becca Winstone, the skinny-jeaned heroine played by Ashley Judd on ABC’s new thriller series “Missing,” is a PTA-going suburban widow who arranges flowers for a living.
Threaten her kid, though, and she turns into Batmom.
“Missing” is ludicrous, implausible and more than a little fun -- a throwback to those old on-the-run dramas of high-stakes peril. It’s “The Fugitive” starring a soccer mom.
An ex-CIA agent, Becca, is on the trail of a shadowy, international organization that has kidnapped her college-age son.
In the flashback that opens the series, a car bomb kills Becca’s husband and fellow CIA operative (Sean Bean), prompting the now-single mother to ditch the spy life and settle down with eight-year-old son Michael.
Ten years later, Michael (Nick Eversman) heads off to college in Rome, where he soon disappears.
Suspecting foul play but with only a few clues and some long-dormant skills, Becca goes rogue, kicking, shooting and motorcycling her way through Rome and, in the second episode, Paris, searching for her boy while eluding the evil-doers and her old CIA cohorts.
“I am not CIA!” Becca protests to anyone who’ll listen. “I am a mother looking for her son!”
Judd, an appealing actress, lurches from 007 cool to sobbing grief with nothing in between. If she can find a more shaded approach, her mission impossible would be an even less-guilty pleasure.
“Missing” airs Thursday on ABC at 8 p.m. New York time. Rating: **1/2
Kiefer Sutherland abandons the post-9/11 vengeance of “24” for a brand New Age of spiritual hokum in “Touch,” a mid-season Fox drama.
The former Jack Bauer plays Martin Bohm, a Kennedy Airport baggage handler and single father (his wife died on 9/11) of 11-year-old Jake (David Mazouz), a seemingly autistic boy obsessed with numbers and the lost cell phones his dad brings home from the airport.
The boy won’t talk, fills notebook after notebook with long streams of digits, and climbs cell phone towers where his brain gets better reception than most New Yorkers’ smart phones.
Somehow, he’s able to discern the invisible connections between random people and events, and can predict the future.
If only dad could figure out what those numbers mean, any number of tragedies -- a school bus crash, a suicide bombing -- might be averted.
Enter Danny Glover as an eccentric professor who prattles about “quantum entanglement” and guides Martin to enlightenment.
Created by Tim Kring (“Heroes,” “Crossing Jordan”), “Touch” is nonsense, however earnest.
“Touch” airs Thursday on Fox at 9 p.m. New York time. Rating: *1/2
What the Stars Mean: **** Excellent *** Good ** Average * Poor (No stars) Worthless
(Greg Evans is a critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)
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