TV Review: ‘Finding Carter’

Finding Carter TV Review

What sounds like a highly provocative concept quickly devolves into a standard-issue, ABC Family-style soap in “Finding Carter,” a series whose protagonist is the right age for MTV, yet which feels fuzzily off-brand. Kathryn Prescott stars as a 16-year-old girl who discovers she was abducted at age 3 and is reunited with a family she doesn’t know, while missing the woman who happily raised her. Granted, MTV ought to be able to branch out within its younger demo, but this is still such a me-too idea it’s pretty hard to get spirited away by it.

Although one can appreciate the desire to plunge right into the story (created by Emily Silver, who shares writing credit with showrunner Terri Minsky), it might help if viewers had a little longer to get to know Prescott’s Carter in her initial environs, before a chance arrest lands her in the system and leads to her unwelcome, emotionally jarring reunion.

Understandably stunned, Carter quickly meets her mom (Cynthia Watros), who, in the program’s most risible wrinkle, just happens to be a cop; dad (Alexis Denisof), a writer whose one golden moment professionally was penning a book about the family’s ordeal; as well as a twin sister (Anna Jacoby-Heron) and younger brother (Zac Pullam). For good measure, the grandparents are Meredith Baxter and Robert Pine, adding a TV Land touch.

Prescott (another British import, featured in the U.K. version of “Skins”) is an appealing-enough lead, although she has a habit of muttering some of her dialogue — at least, when she isn’t angrily calling her new mom a “control freak.” While the charge is generally true, under the circumstances everyone in the family should probably be cutting each other a lot more slack than they initially do, starting with the thrown-together sisters, who almost immediately clash over a boy.

MTV has done reasonably well with its expansion into the scripted realm, and the show’s underlying exploration of identity and heredity would seem to dovetail with some of its unscripted fare, such as the nature-vs.-nurture exercise “Generation Cryo.”

Still, the glut of series currently devoted to chasing the network’s core demographic also raises the bar in terms of expectations, while providing the younger audience (tilted, in this case, toward females) plenty of options. Based on that, “Finding Carter” isn’t bad, necessarily, but nor does anything about it really cry out to be found.

TV Review: 'Finding Carter'

(Series; MTV, Tue. July 8, 10 p.m.)


Filmed in Atlanta by POPfilms and MTV.


Executive producers, Terri Minsky, Deborah Spera, Maria Grasso, Alexander Motlagh; director, Scott Speer; writers, Emily Silver, Minsky; story by Minsky; camera, Alison Kelly; production designer, Jeffrey Pratt Gordon; editor, Evan Henke; music, Jacob Yoffee; casting, Angela Demo, Barbara McCarthy. 60 MIN.


Kathryn Prescott, Cynthia Watros, Anna Jacoby-Heron, Alexis Denisof, Zac Pullam, Milena Govich, Meredith Baxter, Robert Pine, Eddie Matos, Alex Saxon, Jesse Henderson, Stephen Guarino

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  1. Pearl says:

    I loved this show it was so good and interesting it make me sad that they cancelled it stupid mtv 😒😭

  2. I watched the first two episodes and was amazed at how self-centered Carter and her biological mother are. Carter fails to realize that her abductor caused her biological family to be the way they are. Her biological mother fails to realize how she has damaged the relationship with her other two children because she was so focused on what happened to Carter. I will continue to watch the show to see if it evolves.

  3. Stephanie says:

    We loved the show and cant wait to see next weeks episode.

  4. lisa says:

    Not exactly something Id watch again

  5. Daisa Smith says:

    I love this show and look forward to seeing new episodes like Ashley said a lot of really good shows have been cancelled e

  6. Ashley says:

    I love this show!!! If you guys cancel this I’m gonna die!! I’ve never seen a show were it was about this… I’ve had too many shows canceled… Ringer, The Crazy Ones, The Lying Game, Buckwild(rip Shain), etc… so I actually found a show that I love… MTV PLEASE keep Finding Carter on the air:/ I mean I also love 16&Pregnant and all the Teen Moms… but how is it that these shows have stayed on the air for so long but these other great shows (the ones above) didn’t … just please please please please give this show a chance!!!

  7. Carl Spinoza says:

    This was filmed near my house so I was curious and watched as much as I could, about 45 mins. Being a man with grown kids, I still worry that young people watch stuff like this and think it’s normal behavior. Did we really need one more show about teens that know it all and parents who are clueless on raising them? FC reminds me of a bad episode of Dr. Phil.

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