MTV has gone all The Face on the Milk Carton on us with its newest summer show, Finding Carter. The new show, starring Skins alum Kathryn Prescott, follows a teenage girl who finds out that the woman who raised her isn’t her mom, but her kidnapper. Cue that promo you’ve been seeing for weeks where her world literally turns upside down.
Carter gets caught thanks to some fairly innocent teenage debauchery (she and her friends break into the local park’s carousel). Her mom is the Cool Mom and let her go because she capital-T Trusts her. Of course, all it takes is one night in jail and a set of fingerprints to alert the authorities that Carter isn’t actually Carter, but Lyndon, a little girl who was abducted 13 years ago.
Despite the YA lit/ABC Family-esque premise, Finding Carter is actually shaping up to be a really interesting show. Here are five reasons you need to check it out.
1. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce is the dad!
I mean, Alexis Denisof is the dad. Still, if you’re a fan of Buffy or Angel, you can’t miss it. Plus, look at how cute this is. Seriously, TV Father of the Year is practically in the bag based on this one GIF.
2. Carter and her kidnapper might just have the best mother/daughter relationship since the Gilmore Girls.
They have a great, open, trusting relationship. Then, even when the feds are on her case, Not Mom risks it all to come meet Carter for just a second at the frozen yogurt shop she immediately gets a job at. Even their illegal, secret messages are adorable.
3. Carter is sassy and effortlessly cool.
Everyone loves Carter instantly. The kids in her bio parents’ neighborhood are floored by her use of basic science at a drunken party. Her twin sister, Taylor’s (no, not played by Prescott’s real-life twin sister and fellow actress Megan Prescott—this twin is frumpy and fraternal) crush immediately falls for her. It’s a hard-knock life, being loved by everyone.
Also, she refuses to answer to Lyndon (or Lyndy, the popular nickname option) and insists that the family call her Carter. They try to guilt her into going by Lyndon, saying that she just doesn’t understand what her other name represents to them, but that kind of misses the point, doesn’t it? She’s 16 and has gone by Carter for as long as she can remember. I say point goes to Carter on this one, and I’m glad she stood her ground.
4. The little brother is awesome.
When Carter meets her new family, there’s one member she couldn’t possibly remember: Her little brother, Grant. Grant has never lived in a world in which he wasn’t related to a missing and presumed-dead girl. He almost died himself, born 10 weeks premature. He calls himself the “replacement child” and, even though the parents scold him for saying it, they don’t really deny it. Grant is also the only member of the family who realizes on his own that Carter is trying to send a message to her mom by taking Instagram and Twitter selfies with anyone who wants one at the local fro-yo joint. He’s observant and sarcastic and awesome.
5. Intrigue! The bio mom is having an affair.
The show is really setting us up to hate the bio mom. She’s a police detective who has been searching for her daughter for years and holding the rest of her family together with a homemade glue of paranoia and overprotective child rearing. Oh, and she’s been having an affair with another officer. Until the sudden and unexpected reappearance of her missing daughter, she was planning to leave her husband (and maybe her family?) for her lover. They’re trying so hard to make us hate her. So far, it’s working like a charm.
Did you watch the Finding Carter premiere? What did you think?
Finding Carter airs Tuesdays at 10/9C on MTV.