Without a Trace

CBS (ended 2009)





Without a Trace Fan Reviews (142)

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out of 10
4,250 votes
  • Great concept, great acting, well put together. Everything was great, until the endings. The show never managed to bring it all the way home. An unfortunate waste of a great opportunity that ultimately more than justified the show's cancellation.

    Let me begin by saying that there was a lot to like about this show. The cast was about as well cast as any on American television (at least mainstream television) at the time. The characters were all well developed and they played off each other wonderfully. The concept was great. There really wasn't, and isn't, anything like it on the air; a group of investigators following the last steps of a missing person(s), trying to find them. The visuals were beautiful. So where's the problem? The endings. Virtually every episode ended the exact same way, with the person(s) being found. It stills baffles me as to why CBS/Jerry Bruckheimer/Hank Steinberg didn't get this, but you simply can't construct a show, in particular this show, this way. The whole point of the show is to find out what happened to a missing person. If you already know before the episode begins that the person is going to be found, than half of the suspense ends before the episode even begins. And that is not a good thing. It would have been SO easy to just let the missing person die a few times, throw in a few more twists as to what happened to them, aka. not always let them be found. Had they done this, voila, you've got a great show. But no, they stuck to formula and it just didn't work.

    I still score this show fairly high at 7/10 because the acting, in particular Anthony LaPaglia who won a Golden Globe for his performance in this show, and the writing and overall concept were good enough that they needed to be recognized. It really is too bad that the show didn't go the little step further and become a really great show.

    Just a random side note, but I've been seeing a lot of people claiming that Roselyn Sanchez ruined the show. I completely disagree with this. I thought she did a perfectly fine job with her character.
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