When I started seeing people compare MTV’s Finding Carter to The Face on the Milk Carton after the show premiered last week, I knew I had to watch it. Especially since I’m still holding a grudge against Kellie Martin for ruining the TV movie back in 1995. Finally, I thought, I can see this classic kidnapping story brought to life. Also perhaps it would inspire Reeve to start showing up in my dreams again. Has a hunkier hunk ever hunked? I hunk not.
But alas, I was misled. Finding Carter is not The Face on the Milk Carton – even though both stories revolve around a teenage girl being forced to return to her birth family after being raised by benevolent kidnappers for 13 or so years. And that’s mostly because Carter (Kathryn Prescott from Skins) sucks. Where Janie/Jennie came off as confused and sympathetic, Carter/Lyndon came off as atrocious and sociopathic.
Okay, fine, sociopathic might be a reach. But the way this girl attacks her biological mother for wanting to be reunited with her makes no sense. I get being standoffish during the transition — being ripped away from the life you know and being told your mom is a kidnapper must suck. But I don’t get sabotaging her bio mom’s career as a detective. Yeah that happens! (And yes, her mom is a detective because of course she is.) During the series premiere, Carter has all her new friends pull a hilarious prank on her mom. You see, her bio mom thinks Carter’s going to get re-kidnapped by her fugitive-kidnapper-mom, so she goes to the mall with a bunch of her detective friends to stop it. But twiiiisssssttt, Carter and her friends were just messing with her! The kidnapped mom is still on the loose and Carter’s totes safe. Jokes on bio-mom for caring! Charming, right? It only gets better when Carter hooks up with her bio-twin sister’s crush and then overdoses on molly. Like I said, Carter is a treat. A real joy to raise. I’m sure her family is soooooo happy they found her. Spoiler alert, her bio-twin sister is not.
As I was watching this last week, I felt myself getting heated and yelling at the TV. “THIS SHOW MAKES NO SENSE,” I kept telling my couch, “WHY WOULD THEY MAKE THE LEAD SO UNLIKABLE?” and “IF CARTER’S GOING TO BE A HEINOUS BITCH TO HER MOM, WHY NOT AT LEAST BE USEFUL AND TELL HER TO LAY OFF THE BOTOX?!” After spending two hours (yes, two!) telling the show how much it sucks, I set a series recording on my DVR. Mostly because there’s nothing I love more than hate watching teenage dramas that are targeted for people ten years younger than me. Not since watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager have I felt such a rush.
Since I’m such a kind and generous person, I want you to feel the same rush! If you’re like me and you like watching shows simply to make fun of them to yourself, you’ve got to watch Finding Carter tonight. It’s everything you want in a teenage drama, including, but not limited to Alex Saxon, the hawt blonde moppet from The Fosters. (And yes, he plays a juvenile delinquent with a heart of gold in this show too!) So cancel whatever plans you had for tonight and watch it, I’m going to need someone to listen to my rants tomorrow morning.