4 Reasons Why “Finding Carter” Is The Best Show You Haven’t Been Watching

In a summer of repeats on television, it’s a relief to stumble across something interesting like MTV’s unconventional, coming-of-age family drama, “Finding Carter.”  The series tells the tale of Carter (Kathryn Prescott) a teenager who  has the perfect life until the night she is arrested at a high school party, is fingerprinted and learns she was kidnapped as a child. And while that may sound like a cross between a daytime soap opera and an actual news story,  the well-written show has already captured 1.25 million viewers and has ben renewed for a second season. Read on to find out why “Finding Carter” is the best show you haven’t been watching — luckily it isn’t too late to start.

1. If you’re missing “Gilmore Girls,” “Finding Carter” may be the show for you. “I have a teenage daughter, and we watch a lot of television together,”said Terri Minsky, executive producer, at a recent press event. “It was my absolute fantasy to write a mother/daughter show, a sort of ‘Gilmore Girls’ kind of thing, and when MTV sent me the script that they had by Emily Silver (Bones) and I read it, it was like this incredible gift from the universe just to say, ‘Do you want to write a mother/daughter show?  Okay.  How about if you have two mothers?’ And I just absolutely loved the idea of writing the fantasy mother, the mother I love to be with my daughter.”

4 Reasons Why Finding Carter Is The Best Show You Haven't Been Watching

2. Whether you’ve seen her on “The Young and The Restless,” “Guiding Light” or “Lost,” Cynthia Watros is always a riveting actress to watch. And as Carter’s real mom, Elizabeth, she has a lot to play with in the role. “I am a mother of [13-year-old] twins … and I don’t think that I had to dive too deep to kind of feel the pain and agony that you must feel when you lose a child,” Watros said about the role. “I tap into sort of that despair easily because, you know, that would be my nightmare.  I’ve heard of stories about kidnappings and stuff, and you always feel for the parents. So my research in it, I didn’t have to go very far because I’ve always just heard about these stories. The way that Terri wrote the script and stuff, it was really easy for me to just slide into that sort of protective mother ‘find my daughter’ role. Elizabeth has shut down for a long time because a huge part of her died when Carter was missing, and I can completely relate to that; you lose the joy…you lose the lightness in you.  So  as the season goes on, you will see a little bit of joy and lightness come back into Elizabeth.”

3. The show is run by women — all the producers are female, a rarity in Hollywood. Said Minsky: “I didn’t think of it deliberately.  It’s not like I said, ‘we have to have women.’  It was just that women understood the emotion of the show.  The women that we met with, to me, understood the show. I hired the people who understood the show.”

Added Prescott: “Because so much in television and film, you see women that a lot of the time, are secondary characters. And if they are main characters, their storyline is very often directly related, and  are only there because of their relation to a male lead. There’s something called the Bechdel test; it has all these rules about how there is still this subtle but very existent sexism in TV and film, and you don’t often see women’s relationships with each other as central as women’s relationship with the men in their lives. I think that’s what’s great about this–that you see Carter and her two mothers and her sister, and it’s very much about her relationship to them and her relationship with boys, which she does come into it eventually, but it’s not like the central storyline.  It’s very secondary. “

4 Reasons Why Finding Carter Is The Best Show You Haven't Been Watching

4. But enough about the ladies, there’s eye candy for every age group! “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” fan favorite Alexis Denisof, (and “How I Met Your Mother’s” Alyson Hannigan’s hubby!) plays Carter’s dad, and hotties Alex Saxon (Max), Eddie Matos (Kyle), and Jesse Henderson (Gabe) round out the cast.

“I think what interests me about him was what tools does he use to get through the day and get through this tragedy,” said Denisof. “And what tools have become useful for his loved ones … how can he support them during it too. So it was partly that and partly looking at everything — looking at the piece as a whole … if this were a painting, what colors were being used by the writers and the actors and try to find things to bring to it that would balance it out. I felt that he is able to internalize this event and find a place to put it but still be able to function in that way in order to carry those around with him without bringing them into a dark place, which I think is important.”

You can watch all of season one of “Finding Carter” on MTV.com. And stay tuned for season two!