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Finding Carter review: It gets better, right?

MTV’s new series, Finding Carter, is about a teenager who is found by her family after being kidnapped 13 years ago. Kids and adults will like the show, but they may not like the same characters.

The show can be watched by the entire family, but it’s bound to generate some interesting family discussions. I’m guessing kids are going to love Carter, while adults are going to side more with her birth mother.

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Kids will consider Carter a hero

Carter is a young girl in a very difficult situation. She grew up with a totally cool, single mom who let her be free and do all those things that kids love to do. She’s basically a good kid at heart, but she also has her wild side. Suddenly, she finds herself thrust into a foreign situation: She has a new family with two siblings she either doesn’t remember or has never met, plus a new mom who is nothing like the woman that she loves.

Teens will sympathize with Carter for the terrible spot she’s been put in by having her new mother trying to actively capture her “real” mother and send her to jail. She may not handle the situation in the most mature way sometimes, but she does the best that she can. She’s also not afraid to tell anyone how she feels and is very willing to stand up to Elizabeth and her uptight ways.

The problem I had with Carter is that she spent a lot of time accusing her birth mom of being so insensitive to her feelings, and yet Carter was doing the exact same thing to Elizabeth. Carter allowed her friends to play that terrible trick on Elizabeth and think that her daughter was gone from her life again. Even when Max pointed out how sad Elizabeth looked, all she did was turn it around to say that no one understood how awful it was to have Elizabeth be hunting down her “real mom” to send her to jail. I felt like screaming at my TV because, well, her “real mom” was a kidnapper and should go to jail. What, just because someone is nice to you and you love them, that means they shouldn’t be arrested for their crimes? I don’t think so.

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Moms will sympathize with Elizabeth

As hard as things are on Carter, they are just as hard on her birth mother. While Carter was off enjoying the last 13 years of her life, Elizabeth has been living in a world of fear and pain. She lost her baby girl and had years of imagining the horrors that could have been inflicted on her child in an unknown kidnapper’s hands — or worse, imagining the awful ways that her baby may have died. Not only that, but she then gave birth to another child who nearly died and had her marriage slowly unravel under all the pressure.

Now, she’s just a mom trying to make things right with her daughter and the rest of her family. Like Carter, she doesn’t always handle the situation in the best manner, but she is obviously trying. Let’s not forget that Carter also thinks the world of her dad, but has no idea that he’s actually doing things that are much more awful than anything Elizabeth has done. Elizabeth may be uptight, but at least she’s not writing a book behind everyone’s backs and recording their family therapy sessions.

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Everyone else will love all the other kids

For those who don’t really side with either Carter or Elizabeth, there are plenty of other characters to love on this show. Little Grant is wise beyond his years and also quite hilarious. Max and Gabe are each sweet in their own ways and both are good friends to Carter. Taylor is also caught between a rock and a hard place as the twin of the famous little girl who got kidnapped and is now struggling to get some attention for herself.

It’s clear that Finding Carter is geared toward the younger MTV crowd, but I have to wonder how many adults are going to be able to side with the main character. I’m still interested to learn more about Carter and hope that they will reveal another side of her character. I’m hopeful there’s a heart in her somewhere, I’m just waiting to see it.

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