I gave in to watching a scripted show on MTV. While I'm not typically into the network's scripted series, Finding Carter looked too good to pass up. It turns it out that it really wasn't too good to pass up, but it was actually relatively good.
First, a fun fact: Kathryn Prescott, who plays Carter, has a real life twin, Megan Prescott. Megan does not play her twin on the show.
Okay, here we go. Finding Carter was fun to watch. It was suspenseful but not in a stressful kind of way, and it was interesting to see the characters interact. Kathryn Prescott is very intense onscreen, which is a good fit for her character.
Now, for the issues:
- Carter and her friends were clearly into partying and stuff. Carter didn't seem at all concerned when everyone got arrested, saying they'd get off with a warning. That sounds like someone with experience being arrested. But if Carter had been arrested before, this would have been discovered already.
- Carter didn't seem completely concerned when she was told her mom wasn't her real mom. At first, yeah, but she moved on way more quickly than makes sense. She moved right in with her 'new' family, and although they didn't quite get along, she seemed to kind of take everything at face value.
- In her new room, Carter held a framed picture of her and her mom. So, did Carter get to go back to her old home for her stuff? When did that happen? How did her kidnapper mom know not to be there and what was going on? How did her kidnapper mom just abandon her life like that - did she have a job or anything? Couldn't cops have gotten a lot of info by learning Carter's old address?
- The characters were relatively predictable. Carter's sister, Taylor, is the safe one. Taylor's best friend Gabe likes Carter. Carter's mom is overbearing and is having an affair. Carter's dad seems nice but is harboring a secret (regarding writing Finding Carter, the follow up to Losing Linden, which is Carter's original name...more on the book issue below). Carter's original mom is stone cold - there's no depth! I mean, one scene tries to show some emotion but even that is shallow.
- How convenient is it that Carter shows up right when her dad would have to admit to her mom that he can't write another book and the family's in serious debt? And in one part of the show, he said he told Carter that he agreed not to write his follow up book when they discussed it. But why would that even come up? Was her dad like, "Oh, hey, welcome back daughter, now I can write a book about you coming home?" It seemed a little contrived as a way to lead into the fact that he was lying.
- How was Carter magically put into her old life without serious explanation, counseling, etc? Shouldn't she have been put in some kind of protection until her mom was found, not put out in the open to get a job? How did Carter's little brother's realization about Carter trying to be found have the cops magically show up right when her adoptive mom did?
- Where did all the foam fingers come from in the mall scene? How exactly would a whole food court of people get involved in a prank such as that one? How were the kids so absolutely sure that the cops would crack the code in time and all that stuff?
- Why is Carter's mom not utilizing the internet to reach her? I'm sure she could come up with a fake email address or something and reach out.
The story seemed to twist and turn a lot, and would have benefited by spending more time exploring Carter's emotions and transition to her new life. Instead, it jumped right in and took us down what felt like a water slide of madness.
Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed watching the show. And I plan to keep watching it. It was good! It's just that Finding Carter seems as if a bunch of pivotal scenes were left on the cutting room floor and replaced with unnecessary clutter.
I think the show may smooth out over time. After all, pilot episodes are often a bit rough. I guess we will see.
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