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October 31, 2014

Vanished -- an early look

by Richard Keller, posted Aug 20th 2006 10:29AM

The cast of Vanished

How do you describe Fox's new criminal drama Vanished? Well, combine the premise of Without a Trace with the technology shown on CSI, expand one episode to cover an entire season, and have all of the suspects become main characters on the show. Oh, and thrown in so many twist and turns that your head begins to spin.

You can also describe Vanished this way . . . a pretty decent show.

The plot is this: the wife of a prominent Senator from Georgia is kidnapped from an event honoring her charity work. There is no evidence pointing to where she went. Senior FBI Agent Graham Kelton (Gale Harold) is brought in to head the investigation of her disappearance. He is assisted by Agent Len Mei (Ming-Na of ER).

Everyone, and I mean everyone, connected to her in some way is a suspect. This includes her husband, her stepchildren, the boyfriend of the stepdaughter (who seems to be doing something shady on his own), the Senator's ex-wife, and the kidnapped woman's parents. Throw into that mix a recently unfrozen female corpse (the wife of a former Atlanta mayor) and . . . well, I'd be spoiling it if I told you what happens at the end of the episode.

Granted, there are many plot points and clues introduced in the first episode that you may need a scorecard to keep track of them (or a press kit, if you're lucky). However, it doesn't distract from the intensity of the show. In fact, it keeps you interested. Gale Harold as Agent Kelton is okay, if not a little stiff in his performance. Ming-Na's performance as agent Mei is very one-dimensional. If she was just brought on the show just to say 'Agent Kelton come see this' or 'Agent Kelton the parents are in your office' then she needs to have her character re-examined or taken off the show entirely. Another character who needs to be re-examined is reporter Judy Nash (Rebecca Gayheart), who is handling the investigation from the journalistic end. She is another one-dimensional character that doesn't seem to fit into the show.

I'm not a big fan of serialized dramas. In fact, if I've seen an episode of 24, Prison Break or Lost in the last few years its been while switching to another channel. But, Vanished intrigues me. So, it will probably be added to the DVR schedule to watch at my leisure. I would recommend you do so as well. The series premiere is Monday, August 21st at 9:00 PM, right after the 2nd season premiere of Prison Break.

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